Getting A Dog – A Checklist Before You Buy That Pet!
Here’s a really useful list of things to think about before you get a puppy or dog.
Work through this with the whole family and it will improve your chances of a happy life with your new dog. It can also introduce children to responsible pet ownership.
The information provided below is a referance from Pets Australia. You can join Petsaustralia.org today, to find more handy information.
1. What can we offer this dog?
“Ask not what you can your dog do for you, but what you can do for your dog” was famously not said by JFK, but it can avoid heartbreak later.
Insert your answers below:
Can we really, honestly take this pet out for exercise daily? ___________________
If NO, take a look at lap dog breeds or other pets
Can we really, honestly give this dog hugs and cuddles daily? __________________
If NO, a lower maintenance pet may be a better companion for your family. Dogs need lots of social contact to be happy.
Can we really, honestly train this dog to our standards? ______________________
If NO, be prepared to pay for training, choose a “biddable” breed or consider a cat.
Can we really, honestly afford to provide this dog with veterinary treatment in emergencies up to $4000? ____________________________________________
If NO, see if you can afford pet insurance, or consider a pet that requires less maintenance.
Can we really, honestly, afford to have this dog groomed professionally? _________
If NO, consider a “low grooming” breed or a breed you can groom yourself
Are we really, honestly, going to have this dog desexed? _________________
If NO, consider another pet – fish, reptiles, birds.
Is our housing situation really stable enough that we can take the dog anywhere we go? __________________________________________________
If NO, try another pet or wait until your housing situation is stable. Tenants moving house is one of the leading causes of surrenders to shelters, broken hearts and euthanasia of beautiful dogs.
If you have answered the above truthfully, you now know whether a dog is the right choice for you. If it is, proceed to the steps below.
2. Are we going to get a puppy or an adult?
A puppy will bond strongly with the family, but you have to raise it, train it, and get it through those “puppyhood” and “teenage” periods.
An adult may bond less strongly and may have some bad habits that need a little work, but maybe knows some basic training, housetraining and can “read” humans better. They may be already desexed and free of health issues.
3. Are we going to get a male or a female? Write Answer here:
If you already have a dog, consider getting the other gender. The “oldest dog in the yard” is generally “the Boss”, so if you already own an older male remember that he may find himself henpecked! If you don’t already have a dog, males are sometimes a bit more protective, females often lick more.
4. What breed/s shall we get?
This will depend on your answers to the above and there are excellent websites that can help you sift through the more than 200 breed types.
Answers can be grouped into three groups
Purebred (insert breed);
Hybrid (a deliberate mix of two or three breeds to give certain characteristics, usually but not always including the poodle breed eg labradoodle)
Crossbreed/unknown – often of mixed parentage, often from shelters or accidental breeding, these pets often have excellent temperaments to make up for unsophisticated looks.