There are many places to buy a dog; pet stores, breeders, as well as the humane societies. But for those of you who don’t know much about choosing a puppy, here are a few clues:
1. Examine the dog carefully. He should be cheerful and lively, have a shiny coat and a cold nose. If the nose is runny, he may just have a cold. By waiting a couple of days before buying him, you will be able to tell if it is just a cold or a symptom of a more serious illness.
2. If there is a crusty deposit around the nostrils, beware; he is sick.
Puppies are one of the biggest impulse-buy items. Before investing in this living creature, remember, a puppy means work. You’ll have to housebreak him, and if he is an indoor pet, you’ll need to walk him every three to four hours.
You’ll also have to train him; puppies go through stages just like children. They can develop bad habits quickly such as chewing, jumping, mouthing, getting into the garbage, and begging for food.
On the other hand, you may want to consider buying an older dog who is already past the chewing and nipping puppy stages. He may also have been obedience-trained, but if he isn’t, he may learn more quickly than a puppy because his attention span is longer. He will also be a little easier to housebreak. There can be problems with buying an older dog, however. If he has bad habits, you will have to take the time to break them.
Whether you choose a puppy or an older dog, it is very important to take him to the veterinarian within the first 7-10 days. Make sure you get him dewormed and all the vaccines that he will need.
Remember, buy a dog that will be good for you. If you make the right choice, a pet will bring you happiness for many years to come. It takes lots of planning, and even more time to find the dog which is healthy, free of behavioral problems, and fits into your environment and lifestyle.