A guide to buying puppies and dogs
If you’re thinking about buying a puppy or a dog you’ll need to do some solid research before you leap into it; owning puppies and dogs is a massive commitment for anyone, they truly do become a member of the family – they’re like babies only they never grow up, so make sure you’re ready for it.
When choosing your puppy or dog you have two options; buy one from a registered breeder or adopt one from a rescue centre, there are positive and negative aspects to both options so you and your family will need to decide what’s best for you.
Before you do anything you need to decide what type of dog you’re after; if you have an active lifestyle and like to spend lots of time outside then you might suit a larger dog as they require more exercise than little dogs and will be able to join in with your active lifestyle.
If you live in a small home with not much outside space and can only allow a thirty minute walk everyday then you will want to be looking at a small dog.
All pedigree dogs have different personality traits by nature; Pugs for example are very needy – they will follow you around everywhere, even to the toilet if you let them, so if you’re the kind of owner that prefers some alone time then don’t get a Pug! Daschunds are quite ‘diggy’ by nature as they have terrier genes in them so you’ll need to allow for a digging patch in your garden.
First of all is the option to buy a puppy or dog from a private breeder; although unpleasant to think about, puppy farms do still exist and it is essential that you avoid them at all costs. Not only will you be funding their continuation if you buy a dog from there but many puppies from puppy farms are poorly and have infections and illnesses – some even die prematurely.
The best way to go about buying a pedigree puppy from a registered breeder is to check out the Kennel Club website – this is a nationally accredited institution of dog and puppy breeders, you can find out all sorts of information on the website such as how many litters they breed a year (it shouldn’t be more than two or three for large dogs and small dogs definitely no more than two). You can also select breeders by their location for someone more local to you.
The downside about buying a pedigree dog or puppy from a registered breeder is that it can be very expensive; most pedigree dogs cost 600GBP and upwards – which is a lot of money. Also, pedigree puppies and dogs are more susceptible to genetic diseases – Dalmatians for example are inherently deaf, and Sausage dogs often suffer with back ache.
So if you’ve decided that a pedigree pup from a registered breeder isn’t for you then you can consider adopting your pooch from a rescue centre. The NCDL and the RSPCA are reputable dog homes and have plenty of puppies and older dogs available for re-homing. These dogs are a lot cheaper – usually around 90GBP to adopt, but again there is a downside to adopting a rescue dog.
Firstly; you don’t get a huge amount of choice as to the breed – and many of them are mixed breed so you may never know the exact type of dog that you have. As many dogs available for re-homing are in that situation because they’ve been abandoned or mistreated this can bring about its own issues. Some of these dogs will require more intense training and socialisation – it is also a known fact that rescue dogs tend to suffer with skin problems, the stress of their early life often manifests in physical conditions such as eczema and allergies.
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