A new puppy is an exciting time for any household and he or she is certain to turn life upside down for a few weeks! The decision to live with a dog is not one to enter into lightly and I am sure you will have considered it for some time.
Regardless of the breed of dog from Great Danes to Chihuahuas, they will all have some basic requirements especially with respect to the amount of time and attention you can devote to them. Most dogs will require two good walks a day of approximately one hour and will need two good meals a day.
Insurance – In addition to the cost of food, kennels, beds, treats, bowls etc. please do not forget the expense of health care. It is estimated that 40% of the cost of owning a dog is its health care. This will include areas of preventative health care such as vaccinations, neutering, flea treatments and worming treatments. There is also the health care that is not preventative and usually requires a trip to the Vet. illness and injury can be very expensive to investigate and treat properly and therefore most people will have insurance to cover these unexpected costs.
Meet the parents – When looking for a new puppy I would advise that you meet the Bitch (Mum) and, if possible, the Dog (Dad). There are many very respectable breeders especially in the Kennel club but do take care, buying a pedigree dog from a registered breeder is absolutely no guarantee of health or temperament.
Small family breeders - These can be a very good source of puppies especially if you know the family and Mum or Dad.
Pet Shops – I would not advise anyone to buy a puppy on impulse from a pet shop. It is a life long commitment and it is easy to get carried away with the spur of the moment. All pet shops do not look after their animals in the same way and there are shops who take dogs from puppy farms where the dogs are kept in terrible conditions. Please think about this carefully and if you are looking to buy a dog, I am only too happy to give you some advice
Rescue homes such as Battersea Dogs Home, The Dogs Trust and RSPCA may have the perfect dog for you. There are usually stringent rules put in place by the re-homing centre over where their dogs can go. Although many of these dogs are no longer puppies there are great dogs of all shapes and sizes in desperate need of a loving home which might make a perfect addition to your family. Rescue Remedies is a brilliant online rescue charity set up and run by Lynne. Please see the link in a news feed for more information.
The internet is a great tool for searching for pups for sale. If you are undecided on which breed you want, there are a couple of places you can go for more information, in addition to contacting me for independent impartial advice. Please however, be careful that the pups you are getting are not from a puppy farm, any many people have been missled buying pups in this way. Speak to owners of dogs you like the look of in the park; contact the local breed society of the breed you think you want; or go to see all the breeds of dog under one roof at Olympia! Discover Dogs is an annual show held in the Autumn where you can meet the very best of the breed and their breeders.
I am always happy to do a free initial puppy check at whatever age you get your puppy. I will give him or her a good examination and make sure that they are healthy. At the same time, we can discuss any aspect of their health, from nutrition to neutering and parasites to play time!
I am also always happy to hear from anyone considering getting a new puppy or for any aspect of advice.