Anytime you are considering buying a new pet, the selection process should include some research and preparation for the new arrival. This can help prevent some surprises and behavioral problems with the pet. Prior consultation with knowledgeable pet owners will help you select the best pet for your household, but also provide information on how to prepare in advance. Impulse buying or adopting a pet suddenly, without preparation, is never a good idea.
The primary reason that pet owners might one day need to relinquish their pet is because of the unrealistic expectations that they had when they first entered into pet ownership. Therefore, before getting started, be certain that you understand the time, commitment and expense that you will be undertaking over the next 15 to 20 years. While pet ownership has innumerable benefits, it also comes with tremendous responsibilities!
Don’t think unrealistically! Keep in mind, all kittens have claws and all puppies have needle sharp teeth. Pets can be very destructive and can certainly challenge your patience. Although house-breaking can be difficult enough, it is not all there is to raising a new puppy!
Where do you start? That all depends on whether or not you have owned a pet previously. How well were you pleased with your previous pet? It depends on what purpose you wish the pet to serve. Also, it depends on the household, whether there are children, or if the pet is going to be primarily indoors or outdoors. Some people already know if they would prefer a dog or a cat.
Dogs require a level of training, exercise, housebreaking and outdoor activities that are not required by most cats. However, dogs may present a greater challenge for supervision and preventing household damage. In general, cats require less attention when it comes to taking care of them such as feeding and exercise.
Also, consider your support system during times of illness or vacation to ensure that you will have sufficient care for your pet. Seek guidance from your veterinarian about obtaining a pet suitable for your home, family and lifestyle, and about how to prepare your home for the arrival of your new pet.
Once you decide upon the species (dog or cat), the next decision is whether to obtain a purebred or a mixed breed. With a mixed breed, some of the genetic problems associated with inbreeding may be avoided and the initial cost to acquire the pet will be considerably lower. However, the best way to predict the behavioral and physical attributes of an adult dog or cat is to obtain a purebred from known parentage. Unless the parents are known, it is difficult to predict the size, health or behavior likely to emerge as the pet grows up. However, not all purebred pets are what they seem.
Although there are plenty reputable breeders, there are also plenty substandard and unacceptable breeders. It is always a good idea to gain as much information about the breeder as you can. You should always visit the breeder’s home or kennel to determine how well kept the pets are.
A common problem is when a breeder does not provide written proof of vaccinations or registration papers. Sometimes breeders will tell you that the puppy or kitten has had all of their vaccinations. Even if they have received some vaccinations, the normal adoptable age of pets is around 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Puppies and kittens should continue to receive vaccinations until they are 16 weeks old to be properly protected. If a puppy is not vaccinated properly, it may become sick with parvo and other deadly viruses. Also, you should be skeptical when a breeder tells you that they will mail you the proper documentation at a later time.
Customarily, most pets have already been vaccinated and de-wormed at least once by the breeder before adoption. Ideally, any adoptable pet should be accompanied by written proof of vaccinations as well as proof of veterinary examination. In conclusion, you should always research and prepare for a new pet to get the right puppy or kitten for your home. Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice to ensure your new pet lives a long, healthy and happy life.