Almost every American family has had a family dog (or dream of raising one) at some point in life. For many people here, the ideal family comprises of parents, children, and a dog. This is what many people here call the ‘American Dream’ ‘).
Despite many people trying to raise a family dog, very few do succeed in keeping the dog healthy and happy. Many dogs die even before they get to their first birthday, with some ending up in the streets, neglected. For some, the idea of having a dog doesn’t always work as anticipated. Others choose not to keep the dog in the long run due to ‘bad behavior’ among other reasons.
You however don’t have to go through this sort of nightmare with your dog according to Westchester Puppies and Kittens. The first step to having the best family dog starts with choosing the right puppy for your family. Take into consideration the reason why you need the dog, what breeds you would prefer, among other factors. Outlined below Westchester Puppies and Kittens provided us with a few tips, tricks, and factors to consider when buying a family dog.
Choose A Dog That Fits Your Lifestyle
Always consider your lifestyle first before choosing an animal. If you are an indoors person with very little to no space for walking your dog, it wouldn’t be sensible to go for a sizeable lively dog. One of the reasons is because such dogs need to be walked almost every day and need plenty of exercises outdoors. The same applies to someone with a large farm; you shouldn’t go for the little toy-sized dogs either.
According to Westchester Puppies and Kittens talking to someone with experience with dogs can help you find a dog that fits well with your lifestyle. A vet, for example, can help you identify the right dog.
This, of course, is after the vet listening to your ideologies and what you are looking for in a dog. The vet might also offer pre-puppy consultation to help get you started on your journey with the new man’s ‘best friend.’ There are also plenty of online questionnaires that requires you to answer a series of questions (about your lifestyle) to help you find the right dog to go for.
These questionnaires will also offer recommendations on a specific pedigree breed or a crossbred dog based on how you answered the questions.
Decide Between Cross-Bred and Pedigree Puppies
For many people, a pedigree breed would be the ideal puppy for the family. One of the reasons for this is because you have an idea of how the adult dog will turn out. This is mostly part of the appeal for most dog lovers. Choosing a pedigree breed however comes at a cost, with most costing £1000 or even more. Their status-enhancing role in the family could also be the reason some people prefer pedigree dogs – which is understandable.
Choosing a pedigree dog however, comes with some disadvantages. For instance, insurance rates on these breeds is considerably higher when compared to crossbred dogs.
The rates can be even higher when you need the dog covered for veterinary fees. In addition to this, pedigree dogs will probably require frequent visits to the veterinary clinic than a cross-bred. If looking for a dog that will love for long enough, you might then want to consider a carefully chosen mixed-bred. Some breeds are cross-bred to produce the desired version of a dog capable of withstanding issues a pedigree wouldn’t usually do.
According to Westchester Puppies and Kittens, cross-breeds do not however apply to ‘designer dogs.’ If looking for the trending made-up breeds such as Puggles and Maltipoos, you might then want to reconsider. It is, however, worth noting that, carefully chosen mixed-bred dogs have better characteristics and somewhat healthier than full pedigree dogs.
Kennel Club Registered or Not
You might have heard of, or seen adverts on Kennel Club Registered puppies. Kennel Club Registered pups simply mean they are genuine members of the specific breed. This, however, doesn’t mean they will be healthier than others; it only means they go back several generations. As long as the pups are bred from Kennel Club registered parents, the puppy farmer can have his/her puppies registered from the particular Kennel Club.
The Kennel Clubs invest heavily in improving the pedigree dog’s health. If looking for a reliable/trusted breeder to buy a pedigree pup from, you could then start with the Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme. Although the scheme might not be perfect, the principles behind breeding pups are sound. It is for this reason you are more likely to get a pure breed for your children from an assured breeder.
It would be advisable to ask for a contract of sale when choosing to buy a puppy from a breeder. This is crucial whether looking to buy a cross-bred or a pedigree dog. You can download most of these contracts online from the comfort of your home or office. Be sure to talk to the breeder (on the phone) about the contract before visiting them in person.
Consider a Rescue Puppy
Getting a rescue dog is one of the viable options you should exploit. More and more people are considering getting rescue dogs for their pets. While most rescue dogs make excellent pets, identifying/picking the best one out of the population can be quite a challenge. In addition to this, the larger population of these dogs are older, hence might not make the perfect family dog for your kids. Although there might not be as many unwanted puppies today as there were a few years ago, you should consider getting a rescue puppy before contacting a private seller.
Once sure of the specific type of dog you would want, meeting the pup’s parents should be your next agenda. As you might have guessed, most puppies turn out just like their parents (just like humans), one of the reasons you need to meet the parents. If the parents are good-natured and healthy, then chances are the puppies will turn out the same. If shopping for a pedigree breed, you can dig a little deeper by asking what ailments the breed is prone to. You can obtain such information from the Kennel Club. Check to ensure the parents had all the appropriate pre-breeding tests done too.
Physical health is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a puppy, suggest the experts at Westchester Puppies and Kittens You are required to consider this after narrowing down on the litter of puppies you are interested in. To be safe, pick a puppy with a glossy coat.
Avoid pups showing signs of itchiness and scurfy skin. Look for puppies with bright eyes, interested/aware of their surroundings, and most importantly, an alert puppy. Don’t pick a puppy simply because they seem weak and sad-looking out of pity.
The primary goal should be to choose the healthiest and most active puppy you can find from the litter. Avoid any pup that seems unhappy or malnourished.
Spare a bit of your time to spend with the puppy’s parents to see what their temper is like. As mentioned earlier, puppies are more likely to pick their parent’s behavior and temperament, which is why you need to look for good-natured, calm, and gentle parents.
Puppies that socialize well with other pups and their parents will most likely turn out well. The breeder should also allow the pups to be exposed to humans to improve their social behavior. The ideal puppy should be able to cope well with a busy home with people moving out and about.
While a lively pup may be recommended, it would be advisable to avoid those that seem hyper. Such puppies have lots of energy making them quite hard for your children to keep up with them.
A calm, friendly dog would be ideal for your kids. Like humans, dogs have a personality. The only way to identify a character you can live with would be by spending some time with different members of the litter. Identify a personality you can handle before making the final decision.
Book An Early Appointment With The Vet
The next step after choosing a healthy puppy would be to make an early appointment with your local veterinary officer. It is important that the vet runs checks on the puppy to ensure it is not only healthy but also doesn’t have any physical issues at all. Only a certified vet can detect some of these issues.
Some of the problems the veterinary officer will look out for include dental problems, hernia, and heart murmurs. If the pup is diagnosed with a severe condition, the vet will recommend returning the pup to the breeder.
One thing about taking the pup to the vet first thing after buying it is that he/she will only give a clean bill of health if the dog is indeed healthy. The vet will also take you through a checklist to help the puppy settle in your home well. This includes nutrition, parasite control, vaccination, and recommended exercises for the pup.