Breeders, shelters and the internet. Where to find a puppy or kitten that suits your family dynamic?
Let’s face it, we are all very unique people and what I might think of as the perfect pet, someone else would not even look twice at!!! Finding the right pet to suit your family is an important decision and one that hopefully you will research and take the time to figure out.
It is important to find out if that beautiful husky face and the mounds of hair that come with it is an ideal companion for your new 600sqt condo. Or the Visla, whose gorgeous red coat ripples with energy when it bounds towards you might not be the best fit for your 75 yr old grandmother. There are people who love to run daily, and there are lots of dogs out there who love to work and keep busy, like the border collie, a bundle of energy wrapped up around a non-stop thinking brain!!
Take the time to research and be realistic about what you as a family can really manage. A good breeder can help you here. Good breeders will not allow you to take one of their babies without giving you the opportunity to really think about it, to explore the many scenarios that this particular breed of dog may challenge you with. When breeders ask you to complete purchase questionnaires, it is as much to protect you as it is to protect the dog or cat. There is no worse feeling in the world than having to return a dog to a breeder or shelter because you have discovered that you cannot manage the commitment and maintenance that a dog requires. Not only that, it can be devastating for dogs especially.
It is always a good recommendation to meet both or at least one of the parents. If you are able to go to the kennel or home of the breeder to meet mum and dad and see the puppies all together, this is ideal. You have the opportunity to assess temperament and health of the whole family and to see the environment that the puppies have been raised in. This really is the best way to choose your new family member.
Of course, there are many dogs and cats in shelters across the country, just waiting to find their forever homes. In a world where everyone seems to be breeding pets, whether they should be or not, it is such a travesty to know that these dogs are sitting in kennels just because they are not designed to look a certain way. They have so much to give, and the shelter staff know them fairly well so can give lots of good information into their personalities and fit for your family. They are often already spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, major additional costs to consider when you purchase a puppy or kitten.
Never meet someone in a random location to purchase an animal, it could be stolen or from a puppy mill. This is not the right path to finding your new best friend. Take the time, be patient and the right one will come along. Follow your instincts and walk away from any situation that does not seem professional or above board.
Call us once you have found a new pet, we can help to guide you and to advise of the next steps on the way to a healthy, happy new family member.
Written by: North Hill Animal Hospital