When you make the decision to buy/adopt a dog, you will have your hands full trying to decide which type of dog to get, learning how to take care of a dog, and knowing where exactly to look for the dog of your choice. A dog is an investment, and it's very important that you don't make any rash or poor decisions. Before you run over to your local pet store with your checkbook in tow, familiarize yourself with the following three things to watch out for when buying a dog.
1. Look for signs of health problems.
Unfortunately there are many breeders and pet stores out there trying to sell sick dogs to unknowing owners, and it's important that you know how to tell a sick dog from a healthy dog. The first thing you need to do is examine the nose. A healthy dog will have a cool and moist nose, so if your dog's nose is hot and dry, it could be a sign of an illness or disease. You should also look for signs of nasal discharge, as this is another sign of sick puppy. If the dog tends to be sneezing a lot too, it's a sign to move on.
After you look at the nose, you want to look in the dog's mouth. Make sure that the dog's gums are pink and healthy looking, and make sure the dog's teeth are intact and healthy.
You also want to make sure the eyes are clear and bright and that the dog's ears are clean and soft. If anything seems off-putting about the dog's health, it's safe to assume the dog is unhealthy.
2. Only buy/adopt a dog from credible businesses/individuals.
Before you buy/adopt a dog, it's important to do your research on the pet stores, shelters and breeders. Ask your friends and family members for recommendations and do a thorough check on the names you're given. If you find a breeder with bad marks against them or horror stories from certain pet stores, it's a good idea to choose to get your dog from a different location.
It's also a good idea to avoid buying your dog from an online ad site. You never know whom you are dealing with when you use these sites, and you never know what type of home this dog is coming from. The dog could have suffered from a serious injury or the dog could have a fatal disease. There's a good chance that you'll end up taking a dog that needs far too much medical care or even a dog that ends up dying shortly thereafter.
3. Look for signs of a shady deal.
No matter where you are buying your dog, it's important to trust your gut and look for signs of a shady deal. For example, if the pet store claims that the lost the dog's medical records, move on. You always want valid proof of where the dog came from and what type of care he or she has received. You should also be able to contact the vet personally to verify the medical records you're receiving are accurate.
If you are buying a dog from a breeder, it's important that you also look for signs of a shady breeder. For example, you should always be able to visit the breeder's location and check it out for yourself. You should also be able to interact with the dog. If the breeder is constantly asking to meet at a neutral location or is hesitant to let you interact with the dog before you fork over some money, it's a bad idea. In these cases, it's best to move on.
Buying a dog is a major investment, so it's important you take your time to ensure you are buying a healthy and happy dog.
Dr. Susan Wright, DVM shares her love of dogs through freelance writing on topics that teach owners how to be better caregivers and friends to their loyal companions.
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