The Right Puppy
We are a young family with two small children. We feel that the time is right for our children to grow up with a new puppy. Could you give us some advice about the right puppy to look for?
Dogs and children do seem to go together. It is a relationship that can be a mutual benefit for both. It has been said that “pets make a house a home”. They certainly become an important “family member” to most of us.
You did not say how old your children are. If they are pre-school children, you should first explain to them that this puppy is not just a toy, but a living individual with feelings and emotions, just like them. Dogs feel pain, joy, happiness, hunger, and get sick just like people do. It is important that they treat the puppy with respect, like they would like to be treated.
As parents, it is your responsibility to care for the new puppy as you would any family member. That includes proper nutrition, veterinary care, and preventative medicine. Your new dog will require some continual expense and loving attention, just as your children do.
When purchasing a new puppy, be sure to look at the general health condition of the animal. Is it clean, not underweight, active, and has no signs of illness? Has it had any vaccinations or be been dewormed? Observe the cleanliness of the facility where you purchase the puppy.
The type of dog is strictly a personal preference. You will need to decide what size dog you prefer, and if you want a long or short-haired dog. Each breed has positives and negatives. Some dogs need regular and continual grooming. Some shed hair more than others. All of these factors must be considered by you before purchasing a puppy. Also, mixed breed dogs will possess a combination of these factors.
Most of all, many people don’t think about the personality of the dog. It is most important. Dogs have different personalities, even puppies in the same litter. Always look for the puppy that comes to you, and wants to play and be held. Be wary of the pups that appear shy and are reluctant to be touched or who show aggressiveness to people.
When you get your new puppy, take it to your veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination, vaccinations, nutrition, and proper health care advice. This will start a healthy, loving relationship with a new family member that should last for a long time.