Look for a dog who happily blends into your current lifestyle. For example, perhaps you enjoy spending time at home, relaxing on the couch while you read or catch some television shows. A small, mild-mannered dog would love to warm your feet, and he’d also appreciate a belly rub.
However, maybe you’re a fitness fiend who simply can’t get enough outdoor exercise. A high-energy sporting or working dog would probably make an ideal workout partner. If you choose this route, though, realize that you must provide these canine athletes with plenty of mental and physical exercise. After all, you don’t want your dog to shift his energy into destroying your home.
If you’re leaning toward a purebred dog, realize that each breed comes with established health and behavioral issues that will probably arise at some point. For a mixed-breed dog, look at the predominant breed’s characteristics. View the American Kennel Club website for helpful breed profile details.
A well-groomed pooch will be a happier pooch; and conversely, a poorly-cared-for coat will help decrease your dog’s quality of life. While you love that perfectly manicured dog from the show ring, realize that this high-maintenance pooch needs intensive brushing and frequent (and pricey) grooming sessions. If you don’t have the time – and financial resources – for this commitment, consider a lower-maintenance pooch.
Next, decide where you’ll find your new canine companion. Don’t choose a pet store puppy, or a puppy bred in the owner’s home; these dogs are frequently susceptible to parasites and contagious diseases.
If you’re looking for a purebred dog, consider contacting a regional breed rescue group. These groups often have adoptable purebred dogs just waiting for a loving owner. Finally, remember that rescue groups and animal shelters have thousands of charming adoptable dogs available – and adopting a spayed or neutered dog means you’re helping to solve the pet overpopulation problem.
After you select your new dog, visit your Poughkeepsie vet for that “welcome aboard” exam. Remember, your vet can help you resolve your dog’s diet, medical, and behavioral challenges when they arise.
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