Puppy Purchase – Delight or Nightmare

A puppy purchase can be a wonderful experience or a nightmare. There are many steps that can be taken to ensure that your experience is pleasant. Dog’s can live from 8 years, for a giant breed, to nearly 20 years for smaller dogs. Over the course of these years the costs involved in caring for your dog are substantial.

Like the purchase of other expensive household item some thought should go into your choice. The cute as pie, fluff pup in the local pet shop is so appealing but is it the “right” dog for you?

Before even looking at various dogs consider the answers to the following questions. Do you live in a flat or a house? How big is your yard and how secure is it? Male or female, short or long coated? Is the dog to be allowed inside the house? What time do you have available for grooming, exercise and interacting with your dog? Will the dog have to tolerate children – yours, the neighbors or relations? What type of temperament would you prefer: active or laid-back? What can you afford to pay both initially and on-going?

Research the type of dog best matching these criteria. The internet, pet shops, television programs, dog shows and obedience clubs are excellent sources of information. For cross-bred dogs consider the attributes of each of the breeds involved.

Internet sites include:
Dogs NSW (dogsnsw.org.au),
selectapet (petnet.com.au/selectadog.asp)
Dogs Victoria (vca.org.au)
Queensland Canine Council (cccq.org.au)
Animals and More Links Page (animalsandmore.homestead.com/links.html)
Dogzonline(dogzonline.com.au)

Two or three breeds will be of interest. Use a search engine (http://www.google.com/) to find additional information. Many dog breeders and dog clubs in Australia have excellent web sites. Life style programs on TV also have web sites that can be viewed. It is important to view Australian sites as the information must be applicable to your situation. Follow the links on various sites to obtain alternative points of view. Research in depth the breed/s that interests you. Considering what they were initially bred for will provide keys to their temperament, exercise and grooming needs. What diseases might be present in these breeds that you need to ensure the breeder is screening the parents for. Common diseases seen in Australia include: hip dysplasia, epilepsy, auto-immune disorder, skin and gastric allergies.

Pet shops can be excellent sources, but only if they carefully select the puppies they sell. They must ensure that the parents were suitable for breeding and the puppies and mother were given optimum care in the first critical 7 weeks of life. Shops that are accredited with the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) are preferable to other shops. These shops trade under a higher code of ethics and are more likely to be able to suggest a puppy that will best suit your situation. If the shop is unable to answer all your questions on age, health status and breed of parents then you are advised not to purchase a puppy from them no matter how cute, fluffy and adorable they might be. Any purchase should be based on logic, not emotion. At this stage in your purchase you should be still looking at options available and costs.

Local animal welfare and canine shelters should also be visited. These are excellent sources of many cross-bred dogs. Resist the impulse to purchase a dog from here that doesn’t fit your criteria just because it is on “death row”. Pay particular attention to the temperament of dogs in shelters as unstable dogs are often surrendered. The first visit, as with pet shops, is to assess what is available, at what cost and to view types of dogs.

Dog shows, Obedience Clubs and Pet Expos are good places to view dogs and find out breed information. Take the opportunity to see dogs presented in peak condition. Talk to breeders about the care involved in owning their breed of dog, the temperament to expect, health issues to consider and costs involved.

After months of careful consideration the time has come to purchase. During your search you would have identified excellent breeders, pet shops or shelters. Now is the time to look at specific dogs, within the breed/s you have chosen as suitable. Take your written list of the attributes identified to remind you of the perfect pup for you. When looking at pups within a litter one will often chose you or appeal more. Slightly older dogs may also suit your situation better.

In NSW it is illegal to sell a dog that is not micro-chipped, vaccinated and aged at least 8 weeks. The pups and its mother must be wormed regularly. Pups should have been wormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. Both parents must be free of the health issues identified in the breed. Dogs must to be registered with your local council by the time they are 6 months of age which is an important cost to remember. It is also essential that the cost of de-sexing is factored into your purchase cost.

Congratulations your new puppy is home. The first night wasn’t too traumatic as you chose from a breeder or pet shop that prepared your pup for its new home. Next step is puppy training, feeding and grooming. If it is a kitten you were looking for this procedure also works well and ensures you end up with a healthy, happy cat suited to your needs.

Happy puppy hunting -remember a pet is for life.

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Posted on January 7, 2009, in Dog Training, Pet Care Businesses, Pet Guardians, Puppies, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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