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What You Should Know.......

Before you buy a pet, and especially a puppy, ask yourself:

Why do I want this puppy? A puppy is not a status symbol, it is not an educational tool to teach children the facts of life, it is not a stuffed animal that can be tossed aside on those days the family is too busy.

How much time do I have for this puppy? Puppies need lots of training to make them responsible household members. Compare them to the two year old child who does not know good manners, needs potty training, cannot prepare his own food and water and may not always sleep through the night. Puppies should not be left alone for long hours and then be expected to learn all these things in a timely fashion. If you work all day, look for that gold fish � and then be sure you remember to feed him/her.

How old are my children? If you have a child younger than four, you already have your hands full! It is difficult to potty train a puppy and a child at the same time.  Besides, little kids adore stuffed animals and the puppy looks the same to them. So if they poke his eyes and pull his tail, they cannot perceive his pain. However he WILL feel pain and may retaliate by biting. This is not aggressive behavior, it is his defense mechanism to say "I did not like what you did".

Is my yard fenced? A puppy can be incredibly fast when he sees a ball in the street, another animal to play with or when he is being chased by a child. It is heartbreaking for a family to lose a pet to a speeding car. An electric fence is not the answer for small breeds. The electric fence cannot keep larger animals out because it only works for the dog wearing the collar. Larger dogs that roam free often attack smaller dogs. There are also "dognappers" that capture cute dogs for resale and other purposes. A yard does not have to be completely fenced. A small area nearest the exit that will serve to take the puppy outside to do his business works well. If you have a secure deck (meaning with a gate and no large escape holes), this may work well for you. This is essential to successful housetraining. It must be close and the puppy must be promptly carried to the area as soon as he awakens and/or as soon as you return home from running errands. Having an area nearby is definitely a human need on those rainy days when you prefer to put the pup outside while you remain inside and dry! Tying a dog out with a stake is inhumane, unsafe and may create an aggressive dog!

Am I committed to lifelong care? Having a pet is a commitment to his care for his entire life. For a puppy, this can mean as long as 12-16 years!

This means through sickness, old age and any infirmities that may come with age. A living creature cannot just be tossed aside when it is inconvenient to provide the care. Veterinary treatment can be quite expensive and the annual exam, shots and teeth cleaning has cost to it. If you are looking for a pet for your child, who will provide pet care when your child grows up and leaves for college? Who will maintain the coat and feed him? Who will soothe aches and take him to the vet on a regular schedule? These have to be considered.

When considering purchasing a pet, please make sure you do the proper research needed! They are loyal loving companions, but depend on you for their needs & happiness.   Please make sure that you do the proper research needed to make sure you are NOT buying from puppy mills or caged breeders or supporting them in any way !

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