THE decision to buy or to adopt a dog is not one to take lightly. It’s a serious commitment with several factors to consider. Are you really ready to have a dog?
As fun as dogs can be, it’s a serious decision. You’re taking responsibility for a living creature that’s completely dependent on you. They require food, shelter, healthcare, exercise, attention, love, time and money. If you’re not completely prepared to provide all of these things, you’re not yet ready to own a dog.
Your lifestyle is one of the biggest factors to consider as all dogs require attention, but some do need much more than others. If left alone they won’t do so well and are more likely to destroy items in your home. The same can be said for exercise. Some dogs require much more time to run around, while others can get by with less physical activity.
If you’re often away from home choose a dog that will manage well in your absence like the independent breeds Dachshund, Mastiff or Yorkshire Terrier.
Once you know what you want you have two options, you can buy from a reputable breeder or adopt from a shelter. Unless looking for a purebred consider adoption as it’s not as expensive as buying a pet from a breeder. Animals from a shelter are usually screened for health and temperament, so you can be more sure it’s the right animal for your home.
However, if you’re looking for a specific breed, a breeder (or a specific breed rescue) is the way to go. Ask for references and check how many times a year they breed. A good breeder generally only produces one to three litters a year and will guarantee their dogs against most major health defects.
Pet stores offering puppies is not a good option as they tend to purchase from breeders producing many litters a year with no concern for the health and wellbeing of their dogs. These puppies are more likely to have strong health concerns due to neglect. When chosen for the right reasons, ownership of a dog can be rewarding and very satisfying.