If you are thinking of adding a dog to your household, you will find many puppies and adult dogs in need of good homes through shelters and reputable breeders.
With so many dogs available, how do you know which one to choose? Making the right choice is an important pet decision. If you find the dog who best matches your home and lifestyle, you are sure to lead a healthy and happy life together.
To narrow down your selection, begin by asking yourself these questions:
Puppy vs. Adult?
Everyone loves puppies, but if you want a puppy you will need to spend time training and socializing him. Puppies also need constant supervision and should not be left alone for more than four hours. Does your schedule allow for this? If you can devote yourself to a new puppy, by all means start looking for a cute, healthy one with a great temperament.
If you opt for an adult dog, chances are you will not have to spend time and effort house training him, although he may need some lessons in good manners. Unlike a puppy who might not mature with the type of coat or size you expected, an adult dog’s coat is permanent and, depending on his exact age, he has most likely reached his maximum height.
Purebred vs. Rescue
Although animal rescues or shelters sometimes offer puppies for adoption, usually purebred puppies must be sourced from reputable breeders. Avoid choosing any dog from a photo on the internet and getting it shipped to you without seeing it first. You won’t know beforehand if that dog is healthy or possesses the personality you want, or even if the dog you receive is the same dog whose photo you fell in love with.
If you want to rescue an adult dog, visit your local shelters and rescue groups.
Look for these qualities in an adopted pooch:
- Eager to greet you when you approach – this is a good sign if you do not want to deal with a shy or skittish dog.
- Healthy and already sprayed or neutered, as this saves veterinary expenses.
- Size, personality, and coat-type you are comfortable with.
- Child-friendly if you live with children.
Want a dog with predictable looks, personality, and health? If so, contact reputable purebred breeders or purebred rescues. Breeders usually sell puppies, but occasionally have adult dogs in need of good homes, too.
Healthy or Special Needs
Unless you want to care for a dog with special health needs, look for these signs of good health:
- A clean, shiny, smooth coat without any skin rashes or eruptions.
- Bright, clear, open eyes without any discharges or bloodshot.
- No vomiting or watery, bloody diarrhea.
- No gagging or coughing.
- Sturdy legs and feet, with no signs of a limp.
- Playful, happy and eager to greet you – not off in the corner all the time, weak or lethargic.
- A healthy weight.
Some people prefer only male or female dogs. That’s OK. Often, there is little difference in personality between the two. It is the dog’s size and activity level that seems to matter the most to owners. If your home is small, a 100-pound dog who needs a lot of exercise presents challenges. Choose a dog that best fits your space and the activities you enjoy.
While a long and luxurious coat draws plenty of oohs and aahs, it also requires hours of grooming. If you do not have the time to maintain your dog’s crowning glory and do not want to take your dog to a groomer, then look for a short-coated breed requiring minimal upkeep.
Make a wise choice up front and the puppy or dog you buy or adopt will enjoy a long and happy life with you.
LovePets is pro-rescue, so please consider adopting first.