Owning a dog has many benefits, but it is also very important to remember that it is long-term commitment and responsibility. Dogs are not toys that can be put away in a cupboard when you are bored with them. If you are considering taking on a puppy, perhaps you should ask yourself these questions first: COST
Owning a dog can be very expensive and this should be taken into account before buying a puppy. Costs to consider are the weekly food bill, bedding, toys and other equipment, veterinary care, boarding kennel fees, enrollment fees for training classes, grooming/clipping fees. TIME
Dogs demand a lot of time and attention, particularly as puppies. You will need to take your puppy outside hourly. Puppies have very weak bladder control and will need to relieve themselves at least twelve times throughout the day. There is a fairly set pattern. YOUR LIFESTYLE
Choose a breed that will suit you and your lifestyle. The average lifespan of a dog is thirteen years. Are your current circumstances likely to change? If so, will owning a dog be a problem, such as starting a
family or going to another country?
Will you be able to devote a lot of time to your puppy for the first few weeks when he arrives home? Are you going to be away from home for long hours during the day? If so, it may be unwise to buy a puppy. Do you go away frequently? If so, will you be able to take the dog with you? Will you have time to attend training classes? Will you be able to take him for at least one good walk a day? BREED
The next step is to consider what type of breed will suit you, think about your lifestyle, size of home, facilities for exercise and time available. Does your tenancy or leasehold agreement allow pets? Ask about different breeds at your local vet or dog training club. Ask other owners of the breed that you are considering, for their advice and opinions. Meet dogs of all ages and both sexes of your chosen breed. This will give you an idea of what to expect. Research the breed by reading books and gain as much information as possible. When you have made your choice of breed, contact the breed club secretary through your local Kennel Club. Insist on seeing the mother and if possible the father with the puppies. You should have easy access to the puppies and be able to handle them. Request a written agreement that the purchase is subject to a satisfactory examination by your veterinary surgeon within 48 hours of purchase. If you are unsure about buying the right puppy, make inquires with the local vet to see if he is willing to attend the viewing to check the puppy for visible health -- problems this could save money and heartache in the long-term.
As quoted by the RSPCA and National Canine Defense League "Never buy a dog from a pet shop or any retail outlet. Never take one from street markets, or from any place where you cannot see the mother."