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HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FAMILY DOG

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DDW BLOG Post #0006

There are many ways you can go about to acquire a new dog. After you have fully evaluated all the considerations, you can ensure a good match for the pup and your entire family.   Adoption, adoption through fostering, FB networking and a registered AKC breeder are all options leading to better choices as we become more aware of the puppy mill epidemic. Learn in detail how to make these resources work for you. 

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FIND THE RIGHT FAMILY DOG BLOG POSTAre you ready? First, ask yourself, do you have time for this baby?  Having time is one of the most important factors.  It is not fair for this social animal to be left home for many hours. Recommended crate times do not exceed 4 hours at a time.  Besides time, there are many considerations while choosing your breed that best fits their needs with your lifestyle with the help of AKC.org.

If you are choosing a breed according to your lifestyle, you must also consider their needs:  If you do not support their needs, expect to be dealing with major behavioral problems like destructive chewing, marking and anxiety; all symptoms of a dog that is not mentally healthy or living their best life. Lifestyle factors include the size of your dwelling. Does the breed require a lot of exercise?  Size determines how much food you will be buying.  Someone can be allergic to hypoallergenic dogs believe it or not, furthermore, does it matter if they have fur or hair? Will shedding drive you crazy? If so, get a dog with hair versus fur.  Will grooming be an expense you can do without? If so, choose a short-haired breed. While searching, it is also better to familiarize yourself with both the breeds temperament and common genetic health issues to prepare yourself.  You want to set several days aside for your new pup, they will be scared and will need a lot of attention while getting acclimated to their new family and routine.  

The following is a serious consideration if you have small children. Keep in mind while choosing a breed, that "accidents happen"; Please do not get a tiny dog if you have small children in the house.  Please do not risk it.  Also, do not allow any child to rough play with any size dog where the dog is left to feel unsafe and has to growl or run away in fear to communicate this. Rough play is NEVER OK.  Children should always be supervised, regardless. Children running wild, screaming and who have unpredictable behavior (which includes every child) can promote extreme anxiety and mental unwellness in the pup. They then are blamed and re-homed for showing signs of aggression to no fault of their own.

Avoid supporting puppy mills and never buy from a pet store! You are also likely to get a sickly dog from inbreeding.  There are scams out there, too, that involves a free vet check-up with a designated veterinarian.  This vet will not tell you the dog is sickly and will hope for your paid services following that appointment for as long as the pup lives.  This scenario comes from personal experience.  I decided to take my pup to a different vet who told me not even to bother with the wellness policy because the financial commitment would be for a year and the pup was not likely to survive.  My girl beat the odds, thankfully, but it was a big lesson years ago. To learn more about puppy mills please go to the following link, but be aware of sensitive, disturbing information and/or images: https://www.humanesociety.org/

Petfinder.com - Dog Seal of Approval

Adoption: Local shelters or vet offices are a great place to start.  You can leave word with a vet's office that you are looking and they may be able to connect you with someone.  Petfinder.com is also a great resource if you are seeking pets that need to be re-homed or rescued. These dogs include young full breeds. The adoption fee varies but is small if you have a limited budget. Adopting is not an easy or immediate process so you must have patience. Petfinder.com is a collection of rescue groups nationwide and each one has a different application process.  This is where it gets frustrating, so expect to fill out many applications if you intend to vigorously pursue a new pup.  In the end, it is worth it.  It is true when they say that these little souls know when they are being rescued and they have a loyalty like no other!!

If you adopt, you are not only saving one life, you are making room for another at a shelter.  **Statistics: According to the ASPCA, "Of the approximately 6.5 million companion animals who enter shelters nationwide every year, approximately 3.3 million are dogs...  Each year, approximately 1.5 million animals are euthanized" of that ... "670,00 {are} dogs".

 Foster then adopt: There are local shelters that look for foster parents because the shelters are overflowing and/or the pup has medical or special needs that require a lot of attention.  If you want to get a feel for a dog before you officially adopt, this can be a good alternative for you. You are not responsible for any vet bills until you officially adopt.  You may be expected to keep up with vet appointments during the fostering. This is a great way to help the enormous homeless population of pets.

Full Breed Rescue Groups: Another way if you would like to adopt a full breed is google that full breed's rescue groups near you.  For example, there are several "Yorkshire Terrier Rescue Groups". This is exactly what I would put in the search bar. You would want one located near you.  This is an option that also takes patience.  

FB Networking: You can join FB groups dedicated to dogs in general or specific breeds because many times people are looking to re-home their pup for a variety of reasons.  I would move forward with caution and never send money upfront.  Any money given should be able to be traced back to the seller, i.e. Paypal.  Please meet at a local police station or public area to be safe. Note that many dogs are being stolen across the country for profit and these same dogs may have been taken.  Hopefully, these babies are chipped to find their way back home, however, you would still be out your money if you have not paid securely. On the other hand, there are many genuinely good people looking for good homes for their pets.

AKC Registered Breeder: When it comes to buying a full-bred, it will serve you well to do your due diligence.  You can Google AKC registered breeders to find one. I suggest finding one local that you can visit on the premises and even request to see the sire and bitch of the litter. Knowing the breeder through reputation is ideal, but not always possible.  If you buy from an AKC registered breeder, it costs about the same as it would in a pet store and much more worth it.  (Personally, I would never transport from overseas because legal recourse is almost impossible if something goes wrong and is likely too long of a trip for a pup.) If the breeder is far away, you can get a lap nanny who flies with them or drives them to get pup safely to you for a reasonable price.  The breeder would help set that up.  I suggest finding one local that you can visit on the premises and even request to see the sire and bitch of the litter. 

Breeder CAUTION: A great breeder will focus on the structure and genetics of each litter. Until you do your research and meet the breeders and the litters, it is best to remain unemotional until you make your 'business decision' by choosing the best pup for your family. If you get emotional while making your decision, you may be missing out on red flags that may be waving at you during the visit or conversation.  I have even googled the breeder's personal information on one occasion and felt there were questionable ethical events that came up which prompted me to pass on the sale. A breeder should give you the name of the vet whom you can call to verify visits and vaccinations.  References of previous buyers should be made available to you. Remember if the price is low and it sounds too good to be true, it is!! The expense of breeding and raising a litter to maturity is great and they need to recoup these expenses.  Finally, if they are willing to ween the pup earlier than 8 weeks, this is very questionable.  It is not a healthy practice for the pup or the mother.   

First several days with puppy home: Observation of the puppy's behavior is critical. Parvo and hypoglycemia are not uncommon in puppies.  These are deadly conditions if not treated. Other concerns would be diarrhea, constipation and vomiting. The pup should be checked out by the vet if this is happening as it could be a symptom of a dangerous illness.

** Parvo is a highly contagious virus. It causes an infectious gastrointestinal (GI) illness in puppies and young dogs, and without treatment, it is potentially deadly. Part of what makes the virus so dangerous is the ease with which it is spread through the canine population. The virus spreads either by direct contact with an infected dog, or through feces, and an infected dog can begin shedding the virus four-to-five days after exposure — often before the dog starts exhibiting any clinical signs of infection. The dog will continue to shed the virus while he is sick and for up to 10 days after he has recovered. This means that accurate diagnosis and quarantine are essential for the health of your dog and of other dogs, as well. What Dogs Are Most at Risk for Parvo? Young dogs between six weeks and six months old, unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated dogs are most at risk for contracting parvo. German Shepherd DogsRottweilersDoberman PinschersEnglish Springer Spaniels, and American Staffordshire Terriers also have an increased risk of contracting the parvovirus, although scientists are not entirely sure why these dog breeds are at a higher risk than others. **https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/parvo-in-dogs/

Finally, tiny dogs are susceptible to hypoglycemia which is presented in the following signs: shaky, sweaty, dizzy, hungry, lethargic. They could even appear to be having a seizure. This is a very serious condition and it is good to have Nutri- Cal or honey on immediate hand to bring them out of this state.

Dogs love unconditionally and deserve good homes, understanding a dog's needs through research is a good start.  For amazing training tips, I love Cesar Millan and you can YouTube him; make it a family affair for the day in place of a movie.  You would be surprised how we unknowingly promote bad behavior in our pets.  It is best to learn as much as you can so your pet can live its best life with you. 

Please consider learning more about how to spot a healthy dog! **Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Coat, Weight and Bladder/Bowel Checklist for spotting a healthy doghttps://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/behavior-appearance/signs-of-good-puppy-health

Research and interview local vets; find a local emergency vet and have them on speed dial especially for after hours, etc. 

RESOURCES: Health Insurance: This is a "must" to implement right away in order to take the fullest advantage of it.
healthy paws pet insurance"Accidents happen" that is why they call them accidents When they are small and untrained, anything can happen.  Also, get coverage before "pre-existing conditions" become relevant.  It takes time for the policy to take effect. I recommended Healthy Paws and you can read the DDW BLOG post entitled  'Pet Insurance and Financing High Vet Bills'  to learn how I chose this carrier. If you prefer another, remember CAP is extremely important when choosing. Otherwise...what are you paying for?

blog pet insurance and financing high vet billsWellness Policy: As a humane pet owner, you are also expected to keep up with the wellness check and shots/vaccines. A regular vet visit could cost $75 and that would not include shots, vaccines, preventative medicines, testing needed, neuter/spay, anesthesia...the list goes on! A decent wellness plan is especially beneficial in the first year of your pet's life as everything needs to be done possibly including spay and neutering. Read more in the DDW BLOG post entitled  'Pet Insurance and Financing High Vet Bills' .

It is quite an exciting and memorable event to bring home a new family member of the furball genre!  The event itself can be quite overwhelming where we may forget to consider or just be unaware of all of the needs of the pup. DDW put a very reflective checklist together to utilize for your convenience which involves awareness, resources and amazing products. Please read "Bringing Home Puppy Checklist".

Good luck to you and your new furball baby! 

FINAL WORDS FROM DDW

Many dog experts say that a dog that is acting out or has bad habits is not the fault of the dog, but the owner.  Please educate yourself as a dog owner, in the long run, you will have a happy house and a well-adjusted dog always eager to please.

Finally, keep an eye on your dog while training just like you would a mischievous child.  This way you can be consistent with your training.  Give high praise when the pup is doing well and a firm NO when he/she isn't.  Please do not hit your pups, your dog should not fear you!

Remember CONSISTENCY and PERSISTENCE....Best of luck, Kimberly

  DDW

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