You’ve probably heard that we’re in the middle of the Fur-Baby Boom where more people are adopting pets and treating them like family than ever before. The trend started while people were looking for companionship during the covid 19 pandemic, but the boom is far from over. People have found a new appreciation for their pets and won’t easily forget the comfort they have provided!
If you’re thinking of adding a dose of uplifting puppy love to your family, integrative veterinarian Dr. Carol has a few tips to make sure you find the perfect puppy for you and your lifestyle.
5 Steps to Find Your Perfect Puppy:
- First Create Your Perfect Pet Profile– Be honest with yourself about what more you can take on and be ready to care for them for the next 10-15+ years.
- Who all is living with the pet (how many people and what ages)?
- Do you have other pets?
- Will they live inside or outside?
- How much space do you have?
- How active are you? How active should they be?
- Do they need to be a watchdog or service animal?
- How much care and grooming are you expecting?
- Does anyone have allergies?
- What climate do you live in…etc.
- Profile Your family: Consider personality, lifestyle, and the physical environment.
- Personality: Temperament is important especially if you have children. Large Breeds like Labs are great family dogs. Collies are good with quiet kids. Small Breeds like pugs are good with kids and low maintenance. Terriers are great with energetic young boys and love digging up gardens. Dog shows are a great place to see multiple breeds in person!
- Lifestyle: Consider how your pet will fit into your lifestyle. For example, how often you are home, do you travel a lot, how much exercise and playtime will the dog need, etc.
- Environment: Some pets are better for certain environments. Think of the weather, hot & humid, cool, waterfront, and amount of outdoor space. Your neighbors & neighborhood (loud/ quiet). Does anyone in the house have allergies?
- Get Practical and Plan Ahead for your New Puppy!
- Decide who will do what chores before the pup arrives.
- Plan how to cover the costs of pet parenthood (food, medical care, grooming, bed, and toys). Generally, the larger the breed, the higher the costs.
- Puppy-proof your home and plan to bring them home when it’s calm and quiet (NOT a holiday or a birthday).
- Puppy Buyers Beware- Avoid Online Puppy Mills & Pet Stores.
- Avoid pet shops and online puppy mills. Shelters have a selection of mixed breeds; professional breeders are best for pure breeds. Dog shows are great places to see different breeds.
- Get a written guarantee of their return policy and the puppy’s AKC registration papers.
- Ask questions! Are they spayed/ neutered? Did they get their shots? Are the parents healthy?
- The Final Day-Puppy Picking Tips
- “Take to your heart the puppy who takes you to theirs.”
- Don’t pick the shy or aggressive puppy. Watch which one reacts positively to you.
- Perform a visual inspection of teeth, ears, gait, fur, etc.
- Take your new pet to the vet within the first 3 days to be sure your new pup is healthy so you’ll have a best new friend for many years to come.