How To Find The Right Puppy For You, Not Just A "Puppy For Sale"

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Finding the right dog or puppy for you can be a challenging task, but armed with the right knowledge, you will be happy with your new pet for years to come.

Dogs are a loving, caring and even healing animal. They are fun, friendly and always great companions. They are always ready to run, jump and play or even relax on a lazy day or go for a walk in your favorite spot. There's nothing better than coming home to a face that's always happy to see you and ready for your attention.

Owning a dog can also be a big responsibility. Not everything about your new puppy is going to be as fun as the activities listed above. There will be times when you don't feel like playing or having to give attention. Your dog is not a disposable item that can be thrown out when you don't have time for it. Owning a dog is a long term commitment and can bring you a life full of joy and companionship, but to have a great companion you need to know what it takes to be a good dog owner.

One thing to consider is the adult size of the dog you want. As we all know, that cute tiny puppy doesn't always stay tiny for long. The amount of space you have to accommodate your new puppy and some day adult dog need to be taken into consideration as well. If you are planning on living in an apartment for many years to come, you should consider a smaller breed that won't feel as confined in such a small space. Size is more important than you might think. When looking for a new puppy keep the following sizes in mind to determine the size of dog you will be able to handle. Relay this information to the breeder, friend or shelter that you receive your puppy from.

* Miniature (Considered a Teacup or Toy)
* Small (Under 30 lbs. and less than 13" tall)
* Medium (13-20" tall and 30-60lbs.)
* Med-Large (21-26" tall adn 60-90lbs.)
* Large (Over 26" and 90lbs. and over)

As we briefly went over above, your lifestyle is greatly important and should be considered top priority. You will be the puppy's primary care giver and the person he/she relies upon for everything. It is your responsibility to ensure the environment and lifestyle your puppy will be subjected to is appropriate for a dog. A few important questions to ask yourself would be:
How often is someone home and able to care for a dog?
Do you (or will you) be living in a house or apartment?
What type of climate do you live in?
Is any season extreme?
Would you like your dog to be able to travel with you?
Does a barking dog greatly disturb you?

A new puppy as well as an adult dog can require a great deal of maintenance as well. That is certainly not to say that if you would like a low maintenance dog, you are out of luck. Many breeds require less attention to certain matters. The dogs coat can require a lot or minimal maintenance which can be seen as a low maintenance dog. Evaluate yourself and the level of maintenance you would be able to provide due to your schedule as well. If you are working long days, your dog will be very limited on exercise. Are you an a physically active person? What level of patience do you have? How much time would you actually be able to spend with your dog or puppy?

Just as you would choose a mate based on compatibility, you should also choose your dog based on the same basic criteria. If you have a family, you should think about the puppies compatibility with the entire family, not just yourself. Having a small child (under the age of 2 especially) can become an even more trying task with a dog in the house. Would you like a dog to be strictly inside, outside or both? Most dog breeds have certain suitable characteristics. If you have a specific purpose in mind for your dog, make sure the breed is suitable for the tasks at hand. Some dogs are simply great companions, while others are best for guarding, working or competing. You should never get a dog because you are bored or lonely. Those feelings can pass, but the responsibility of your dog does not.

Last, but certainly not least, your commitment level. Only you know how committed you are to being a good dog owner. Are you really willing to take on the time necessary to take care of a dog? Commitment can be more than simply being available and loving to your dog. Dogs and new puppies especially can get costly. You need to make sure your budget has room for expenses such as food, veterinary visits, fencing (if needed), toys, etc. These are simply basic items for your puppy. If you are already living on a tight or limited budget, you should wait until you are in a better financial position before buying a puppy.

Above all, think about the life you would like to give a puppy. The biggest key in ensuring a happy and healthy life for your dog is you. Be a responsible pet owner, follow the guidelines above and you'll be on your way to enjoying a happy, healthy and long life with your new puppy.
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