How To Pick The Best Puppy
All dogs are cute. So, whether you go through an animal shelter, rescue organization, or a breeder to find a puppy, there are some things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right puppy for you. Here’s how to pick the best puppy for your family and lifestyle.
Why it’s Important To Pick The Best Puppy
Not all dogs are created equally. They’re their individuals. Every puppy has their temperament and personality. Some will work better with your family than others.
For instance, even though each breed has a particular temperament they’re known for, some pups may be the odd one out.
Sometimes, dogs considered an “aggressive” breed can be the sweetest, gentlest pups.
Their personality will also depend on how they’re treated and raised.
The bottom line is that you want to have a puppy that will fit in well with your family. For example, you don’t want to be stressed out all the time, worried that your pup may lash out at your children.
On the other hand, you don’t want the puppy to be uncomfortable or unhappy in its own home. If you hike a lot, choose an active and energetic breed rather than a dog that prefers to be a couch potato.
But how can we tell which is the best pup for us?
Things To Consider When You Pick The Best Puppy For Your And Your Family
It’s not enough to see a litter of puppies. Choose the “cutest” one, or let the puppy choose you. There are many other factors involved.
First, what are you able to handle? Depending on the dog breed, owning a dog can vary from $500 per year to about $1,000 a year.
During the first year, you can expect to spend anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. This cost doesn’t include the cost of the puppy, which can vary greatly.
The first year will be the most expensive because, in addition to the puppy, you need to buy the following:
- Vet bills (for vaccinations and general physical and developmental examinations)
- Dog license
- Bed and crate
- Leash and harness
- Cleaning supplies (for those puppy accidents)
- Grooming supplies
- Service costs (such as grooming appointments, training classes, doggy daycare, dog walking, etc.)
For every year after that, it’ll be less. So, for example, you’ll need to replenish the dog food each month, but once you have a crate, you don’t need to buy another.
Plan For The Unexpected
Pet insurance can be another added monthly cost if you decide to get it. It’s a good idea to have pet insurance if something happens to your pup. If they get sick or injured, the vet bills will be easier to manage.
Even if you figure out the yearly budget for your pup, you’ll still want to set aside some extra money because anything can happen.
For example, your dog may get sick, or they may chew up their bed, and you need to buy another.
Examine The Puppies To Ensure They’re Healthy
Another factor is the pups’ health. When visiting a litter from a breeder, make sure that you’re buying a healthy puppy from them, so you don’t have any surprise vet visits and bills down the road.
For instance, here are some things you can do.
Talk To The Breeder
An ethical breeder will only breed two healthy dogs together, producing a healthy bloodline of puppies. A good breeder will also be honest with you.
So, ask them some questions, such as:
- Were there any complications during birth?
- How well do the puppies eat?
- Have any puppies been treated for any diseases lately or had their vaccinations?
- Has any of the puppies been sick recently or lethargic?
- Do the puppies get along well with one another and behave typically?
If the breeder can’t answer these questions, you don’t want to adopt from them. Otherwise, if they can easily answer these questions and sound like they know what they’re talking about, the puppies are healthy.
Look At The Puppies’ Overall Appearance
In addition to talking to the breeder, keep an eye on the puppies for yourself.
First, observe the litter together. Are the puppies getting along? Do they know how to play with each other? Is a puppy more mouthy than others?
Watch how they move, as well. Are any of them limping? Are they extra clumsy or put more weight on one side rather than distributing it evenly?
Finally, take in their overall appearance.
How do their coats look? Are they shining or dull? Do they have red sores or matted fur?
Also, the puppies’ eyes should be clear, their ears clean with no odor or discharge, and their nose should be clear or colored discharge.
They should all be breathing well and properly.
Observe Their Behavior And Overall Temperament
You can ask the breeder what the parents are like. If you’re looking at little or purebred puppies or crossbreeds, the puppies will most likely take traits from their parents.
However, one puppy may be gentle like its mother and bark like its father. On the other hand, another puppy may bark a lot and be a bit more aggressive like its father and take little traits from its mother.
Genetics is a toss-up, and that goes for their personalities.
So, watch the puppies. Are they engaging inappropriate play behavior? Do they come up to you and sniff you or nudge you? Do they roll over for you to pet them? Or do they seem stand-offish around strangers?
At this point, the breeder should have observed the puppies enough to tell some personality traits from the puppies.
Pick The Best Puppy – Don’t Feel Bad Walking Away
It seems rare, but there are cases when none of the puppies is the right choice for you and your family.
If that’s the case, then that’s okay. However, you’ll do yourself (and the puppies) a favor by walking away.
The puppies will still be able to find their forever home with someone else. Your puppy will come along as well, but maybe through a different litter or a different breeder.
Take Your Pick
Overall, choose what’s best for you and your family. Take into account your lifestyle and home life and the puppy’s personality, breed traits, and size. You can now pick the best puppy.