You have done your research and you are prepared to make the commitment for the entire life of your new pet. So where do you find that perfect pet? For the purpose of keeping it simple, let's focus on dogs.
PUPPY OR DOG
Do you want a puppy or would you rather skip the puppy phase and get a dog that's older? There's no right answer that fits everyone. We'll start with where to find a puppy. It goes without saying that you are going to want to bring home a puppy that is healthy and has a good temperament. The best way to make sure this happens, it is ideal to meet the puppy's mom. If she and the other puppies are healthy and she is well-mannered, then there is a very good chance your puppy will be too. The old saying, “The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree” really does apply.
Meeting the mom, the young pups, and the breeder also allows you to see their living conditions and their general environment. Ask yourself:
- Is it clean or is it rundown?
- Is the breeder knowledgeable?
- Are they only motivated by the sales profit?
- Are they asking you questions to be sure you know what you are getting into and that you know the breed?
- Will the breeder take the dog back, if the unforeseen happens and you cannot keep the dog? Personally, I have yet to meet a good breeder that doesn't truly care about where their puppies end up. You want a healthy puppy and they want their puppy to find a good home – a perfect match.
THE ADOPTION OPTION
How about adopting a dog? We all know there are pets out there looking for homes. I have met many people that have adopted a dog and are so happy with their new family member. Adopting a dog means you can skip the puppy phase and bring home a dog that is older – by a little or a lot. Adoption is not for everyone but the one great advantage is you are able to immediately experience the dog's more developed character. Puppies can grow and develop temperament issues, just like a dog that you adopt may have issues – in both cases, proper training can help to eliminate or minimize them.
Don't believe for one minute, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." This is simply not true. Puppies, just like an adopted dog can develop and/or have health issues. However, adopting dogs also saves their lives – and many times they know you have saved them.
To find a dog, cat, rabbit, or any other pet for adoption, check your local animal shelter or visit PetFinder.com online. Whether you choose to bring home a puppy from a breeder, adopt a dog, cat, or another animal, please remember it's a lifetime commitment – be prepared to accept your choice.
Train, love, and care for your pet and you will end up with a new best friend and family member. •
Rob Goddard has been working to save pets since 2002 when he started fundraising to help pets in need. He has served as President of Helping Homeless Pets, an association of pet rescues in Canada, since 2007. Rob began to help lost pets to get back home in 2010 when his software company launched a National Lost / Found Pet Registry called Helping Lost Pets. The website is used across North America.
Rob has two miniature dachshunds named Milo and Layla and the three are often seen at various pet events with the Woofjocks.
His dogs have competed in agility and have made many visits to seniors homes. Their list of TV credits include TVO Kids, Breakfast TV, Animal House Calls, The Surreal Gourmet, Wedding SOS, Zoink’d and Rogers Daytime.
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