Choosing a Family Dog

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Choosing a Family Dog

by Chris Suckow

Choosing a family dog is an exciting time for your family. Many people put no thought into picking a family dog, but if you keep some simple things in mind, you can find a great family dog.

When choosing a family dog, there are many places to find available dogs. Breeders, pounds, neighbors, and pet stores all provide dogs for sale. Each of these places has its pluses and minuses.

Dog breeders often provide the highest quality of dog that you can find and they come with a pedigree. The downside of choosing a family dog from a breeder is that you pay for what you get, and that means a high quality expensive dog, most likely several thousands of dollars.

Pounds on the other hand provide dogs that are cheap, and sometimes they even offer free dog adoptions. At dog pounds you can find some good dogs looking for great homes. But the downside of choosing a family dog from a pound is that the previous owner has often had to give them up for a reason. Often times that means that dog has had behavioral problems, like barking, biting, or chewing.

Neighbors can also be a source for choosing a family dog or puppy. Sometimes they no longer want their dog, or their dog had puppies and they are giving the puppies away. You can find a good cheap dog this way, but be sure the puppy is old enough to be weaned or already weaned when you adopt them.

Pet stores are really hit or miss when it comes to quality dogs. Sometimes they buy these dogs from puppy mills which are not a good source for a quality dog. Also, a pet store is a prime location for dogs to get sick. I have seen people buying them and taking them to the veterinarian the same week to be put on IV fluids and antibiotics for a respiratory or gastrointestinal problem. These aren?t just some small time pet stores. Working in Los Angeles I have seen people spend hundreds to thousand of dollars on a puppy at some Beverly hills pet stores, only to be terribly sick and needing even more veterinary care. So when choosing a family dog, location isn't everything!

It is important when picking a family dog to have some ideas in your mind of the type of dog you want before you go out looking for dogs. By having a good picture of the type of dog you want you will be less likely to fall in love with the first dog you find.

If you live in a small apartment, or have small children, a smaller breed of dog like a pug would be a better choice than buying a greyhound, obviously.

If you want a dog that will provide some protection or intimidation than of course you will need a larger dog, maybe even a rottweiler. By keeping a picture in your mind of your perfect canine companion, choosing a family dog will be easy.

Chris Suckow, DVM, lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Also visit his website at ASK A VET.

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