To Buy Or Adopt A Dog - That Is The Question

By: David Amos

You're happy at home, but there just seems to be something missing. Ah, it's a dog. Remember when you were a child, the fun you had with your dog.

Whilst you can't recapture your youth, you can fill the void. And for those of you who have children they will get to enjoy the love and attention of their very own dog. It will also help teach them 'some' responsibility. Hey, every kid will commit to taking the dog for walks before you get one, but when the chips are down! Teaching a love for animals and responsibility are only small side benefits of owning a dog.

So the first question you ask yourself - do you buy or to adopt a new dog. Both methods have their pros and cons. Most people head out to the breeders and pick up a purebred dog - sometimes paying large sums of money. That's fine if you're going to dog shows and competitions but some of the nicest and best tempered dogs can be found at the pound, or in foster care. It's a much cheaper route and it gives a dog a much needed home.

But beware! You need to decide what type of dog, its age and size before you head out the door and then stick to it! Once you're at the pound meeting the dogs you'll see so many cute dogs that your heart can run away with you. So make a decision and stick to it, no matter how much pressure your children place on you!. Talk to your local rescue groups, go and see the fostered dogs. This is a great way to find a dog that suits your needs because you can ask the foster family about the dog before you commit, as well as seeing him in a family surrounding.

Consider an older dog, not just a puppy. While puppies are really cute and fun, once a dog reaches 3 or 4 its temperament and behavior is pretty well set. It's also probably been spayed or neutered and it will be full grown. You will know exactly what you're getting and be able to provide a loving home for a long time to come.

When you get your dog home there will be a period of adjustment. Depending on the dog's circumstances it may have been in a foster home, it may have been abused and it will have spent some time in the cages at the pound. This is a difficult time for your dog so extra understanding is needed. Your dog may bark, chew, scratch and even have 'accidents' while trying to adjust to a new life. It's stressful so make a safe haven for your dog and give him some space and time to adjust.

Exercise is important so take your dog out and give it all the exercise it needs as soon as you can after taking it home. This will give you a good indication of how much exercise your dog requires and how well behaved it is. Training is important, no matter what the history of the dog is. This will give you valuable insights into your dogs behavior, (as well as your own!), and it's great bonding time too. Make sure that you're consistent so that your dog learns how to behave correctly.
Follow this simple advice and you'll have a happy, healthy, loving, well behaved dog for you and your family to enjoy for a long time to come.

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