How to Know When, Where, and How to Choose your Dog?
Deciding to add a furry family member is a big step for anyone, it’s added responsibility and time to your daily life. After all, you’re committing to a long term relationship that is time extensive, money draining, and can be somewhat constraining on your lifestyle. It’s another life that you have responsibility for and too. On the positive side it does bring joy, fun, unconditional love, a family bond over this new entity in your environment, and a life full of wonder and learning for everyone. 63.4 million American households have at least one dog as a family member. The sheer volume of dogs in this nation is staggering. The choices are endless and often complicated. With all the details, faces, wagging tails, and heart tugging stories, how do people decide what breed or dog is for them?
Here are a few “Quick Tips” before you Shop
There are many different ways, reasons and paths to dog ownership. There is no perfect science and all the pre-work in the world can be derailed by a dog that simply is NOT what you thought they would be. However, you can minimize the chances of choosing Mr. or Ms. Rightdog by following a simple list of qualifications before you jump into a years long relationship.
Consider These Things Before Pulling the Leash on a New Dog
YOUR Preferences or Needs
Don’t get caught up in the “latest” fads in dogs
Research before you reach a choice
Purebred vs a Mixed Breed
Be SURE you have a reputable breeder
Rescue with Confidence but with Research
Picking a puppy/dog/companion/breed should not be a “New York Minute” decision. Do you pick a car in an instant? How about buying a house? I bet you spend a considerable amount of time picking out a new TV or gym membership? Why would you do less research on something that you are committing to love, raise and care for in a relationship that can last well over a decade?
Dogs are not “throw away” or “return if they are not the right size”. The emotional trauma on a dog that is “sent back” is immediate and long lasting… some never recover from it. Fur kids bond from the moment you invest your love and life into them. To rip them for a routine of normal, and force them back to the noise and loneliness of a life at a shelter or rescue is awful… especially when YOU hold the responsibility, in advance, to assure you are making the right choice for EVERYONE involved.
3.1 million dogs are in shelters across the country. Between 400,000 and a million dogs are euthanized every year. The average per shelter of euthanized after intake is 2,700 per US shelter location (that’s nearly 74 a day). The most common breeds in shelters are Pit Bull Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Boxers, Beagles, Border Collies, and a variety of the Shepherd breeds. What do all these breeds have in common… breed specific traits, quirks and needs. How can you blame the dog, if the person turning the dog in did not simply DO THEIR HOMEWORK before bringing that dog into their household? Shame on people for being impulsive when another life is involved.
If you find yourself buying a dog for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special event, on a knee-jerk whim… if you are buying a gift of a dog for someone without their knowledge or approval… if you are bringing a dog into your home because your kids agreed to “always take care of it”… STOP AND THINK FIRST. Do your research and make sure it’s the right time, right fit, right breed before you pull the trigger on a dog. You might determine it’s still the greatest idea in the world and the numbers show dogs need homes, so that is awesome. But you also might find out that the idea of the dog is a “not right now” or “put off till tomorrow” venture. Better to know before than after, for everyone’s sake.
The moral of this story and the ask of all potential owners is simple; Knowledge is Power and Planning is King. Both of these things are in the hands of the potential new owners. Don’t shirk your duty to dog and family… take time to make the right call. Then… ENJOY the addition to your life.
We hope that shed some light on the dog selection process. Freddie want’s EVERYONE to have a dog, maybe an entire pack of dogs… the more the merrier. However, he wants them to be the most loved, most well adjusted, faithful family member that there can be. Taking the right steps, doing your homework, and test driving the dog on the lot (whenever possible) are all keys to responsible, positive, life-long, and happy dog living.
Well, that’s another Dog Blog in the books. With the Memorial Day Holiday coming at us fast and hard, Freddie also reminds pet parents to assure;
- Yards and dog enclosures are secure, safe and in good repair
- No plants, mushrooms or bad weeds (like Foxtails) are present in your dogs immediate space
- Memorial Day Holiday guests know the rules of your dog and the dogs home (The dog was there first and it is HIS Place)
- Walks at parks, beaches, or other populated places are safe for your dog, with leash/harness/collar checks before you venture out
- If fireworks are scheduled, HAVE A PLAN to assure your dog is secured and comfortable before the show, away from the noise
- Wild predators (birds, wolves, coyotes, snakes… ect.) are back with spring and summer. Be aware what is out in nature in your area, or places you intend to travel with your fur kids
All of these precautions are to assure you don’t have worries on this fun, family weekend.
From all of us at #FreddieSez, have a wonderful and pet friendly week ahead. Hug your fur kids today, and everyday!
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