Guide to Purchasing a Puppy

Many potential new dog owners have the same questions when making the decision to purchase or adopt a puppy. “What breed of dog do I want?” “How big will the puppy be once fully grown?” “How much time do I need to spend with the puppy?” “Do I want to adopt a puppy, buy from a pet store, or buy from a breeder?” “How much will it cost to purchase a puppy and take care of it?”

When searching for a new canine companion, do your research! There are many books written on this subject, as well as many internet resources like the American Kennel Club website (www.AKC.org). Speak to other dog owners, breeders, and pet store owners and tell them what type of puppy you are looking for. For example, if you have allergies but really want a puppy, then ask an allergist what breeds would work best for you. If you have children or planning to have children, ask what breeds are known for being compatible with children. A great way to observe all types of breeds is by going to Dog Runs and Dog Parks and watching the interactions of the different dogs, as well as speaking to the owners. Many dog owners are willing to talk about their “furbabies” and their experiences. When it comes to choosing a breed, think about your present situation and your future plans. Remember puppies are adorable, cute, and small; but they all grow up to become adult dogs, as well as a lifetime commitment.

Many dog owners’ dwellings are of all different shapes and sizes. Some live in a studio apartment where others have the freedom of the land! This also should be a consideration when purchasing a dog. Think about the size of the puppy once fully grown, and how the puppy will be socialized and exercised with your current living situation.

How much time do you plan on spending with your new puppy? Regardless of what breed you choose, puppies need your time and need to be trained. There are many classes, books, and individuals that can help in housebreaking and training your new puppy. The first couple of months can be hard on a new owner. As long as you stick to your routine and be continuous, you will see all your hard work paid off as the puppy becomes a young adult. It’s amazing! Also by training your puppy, a bond forms and teaches the puppy who is in charge. Remember, dogs are pack animals and if the new owner does not take the lead, many times the dog will; you need to establish your dominance when they are a puppy.

When deciding to adopt or purchase a puppy, the cost can vary. Some adoption organizations (www.petfinder.org) charge a small fee ($50 – $300) to cover the cost of the puppy shots and health check-ups. Pet stores and breeder prices are not set in stone and every one is different. Regardless, whichever way you decide to purchase a puppy, researching about where you plan to acquire a puppy is vital!

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