Buy a pup, and your money will buy love unflinching. – Rudyard Kipling

Observed each year on March 23rd, National Puppy Day was established in 2006 by Colleen Paige, a pet lifestyle expert, animal behaviorist, and author. National Puppy Day celebrates the magic of unconditional love that puppies bring.  This day also spreads awareness about the necessity in matters of care for puppies. This includes providing homes for orphaned pups as well as educating people about the awfulness of puppy mills.

At Shop LC, we all love our furry friends! But have you ever considered what it takes when picking the best puppy or dog for your family? For help, we consulted Dr. Alex Avery of Our Pets Health. Dr. Alex is a veterinary surgeon with over a decade of experience in caring for animals.

Which Puppy Is Perfect for You?

Puppies require attention and care and some breeds more than others. To know what suits your family, schedule, and environment, you need to find the right breed. There are a few parameters you should consider while making this decision – size, energy level, and breed health.

Seven different breeds of puppies.

Size matters as larger breeds are more expensive to maintain in terms of their food and vaccinations. Also, you need to carry them if they are sick, so ask yourself if you are up for it.

Dr. Alex Avery of Our Pet’s Health tells us, “A lot of behavioral problems are a result of dogs becoming bored and having a lot of pent up energy through being left alone for hours on end with no stimulation or regular daily exercise.”

Matching your pup’s energy levels with your lifestyle is of utmost importance. Pick an energetic breed if you have kids who can play with them or if you can take them for long walks and runs at least five days a week. If you aren’t available for extended periods due to work commitments, an energetic pup may start developing disruptive behavior.

When selecting which furry friend is going to be a part of your family, it is important to know about the kind of care they need at present and also any health issues they may be prone to in future. For example, Labradors and German shepherds are more likely to develop arthritis with age.

“Know the different health problems your breed of choice is prone to. While they may not suffer from them, you should still have a plan to cope with their treatment should they become affected. That could be a savings account or insurance, for example,” Dr. Alex tells Shop LC.

Where to Buy Your Puppy?

Once you have set your heart on a particular breed, the next step of the buying decision is to decide where to buy from; ensuring that you buy a healthy pup whose unknown medical conditions do not pose a problem later. There are generally four options to consider – professional or regular breeder, private home, rescue center, or pet shop.

Only Bills for Puppy Mills – Beware

Be wary of buying a puppy through newspaper or internet advertisements as these often turn out to be puppy mills. These are so named because of their treatment of dogs as breeding machines.

Dogs here are kept and bred for the sole purpose of selling them. Certain breeds are worth a lot of money which causes many of these puppy mills to operate under cruel conditions. Once the dogs are unable to produce any more puppies, they are either euthanized or dumped on the streets.

Consider buying a pup from a pet shop as your final option. Some may turn out to be associated with these puppy mills. Always do your homework to ensure that your pet shop purchase is from a reputable breeder.

German Shepard puppy frolicking in green grass.

Adopt Don’t Shop!

Consider adopting your puppy from a shelter or rescue center.  Strays and orphans often feel abandoned through no fault of their own. Reasons like moving homes or a new baby might be understandable for us, but not for our pets. Finding them a new family and giving them a second chance vastly improves their health and happiness, and its just the right thing to do!

 

For more pet tips for dogs and cats, visit Dr. Alex Avery at Our Pets Health.

Learn more about the mission of National Puppy Day.

 

So how are you celebrating National Puppy Day this year? Share your puppy and dog photos (or any pet photos!) with us on social media using #FurryFriday. Each week, we feature one of your pets! Will you be next?