Time For A New Puppy? Where To Start?

March 22, 2010 3:22 pm

As is shown every year in the Westminster dog show, there are hundreds of different dog breeds out there, so how does one determine which breed will make the perfect pet?

I guess the first place I would look is online as there is literally thousands of articles and tips for knowing if you're reading to take home a new cat or dog. Most people actually have a favorite type of dog already and it's just a matter of finding that right breed. Me, for example – have a very big soft spot for beagles and Labrador retrievers, my girlfriend however is a big German Shepherd lover and wants one of those. The idea is to have the right mix and make sure that the animal you're going to adopt is going to be right for your family and living situation.

Both cats and dogs have benefits and drawbacks as far as ownership goes and you really have to be sure that you want one before you go out and purchase. Here are a few tips to remember when thinking about a new pet:

WHY IT'S GOOD A dog will play with you and love you more than any pet we mention here.
WHY IT'S BAD It takes a lot of time and energy to care for one. Dogs bark. Some people are allergic.
NEEDS Dogs, especially large ones, need room to run around. Every day you'll need to: feed your dog twice, walk it at least once, and let it outside four or five times to poop or pee. Long-haired breeds need to be brushed regularly, and most dogs must be bathed every month or so. If you take a trip, you'll have to bring your dog along or board it at a kennel.
COST There's a wide price range, from a free mutt at an animal shelter to more than $500 for a purebred dog. You'll also need to buy a license, collar and leash, and take the dog to a vet for shots and spaying or neutering, so it can't have puppies. Annual cost: $225 to $1,150, depending on how much food it eats.
BOTTOM LINE If you're energetic, this may be the pet for you. But puppies need a lot of attention.

WHY IT'S GOOD A cat can keep you company while you read or watch TV. Many even prove quite playful, plus they purr when they're happy.
WHY IT'S BAD Nearly all cats are more aloof than dogs. That means they don't always come when you call them or play with you when you want. Some people are allergic.
NEEDS Cats must be fed daily. You don't need to let them outside to poop, since they use a litter box. But you do need to scoop the litter box out daily and clean it weekly. Longhaired cats need to be brushed regularly. You'll probably need help clipping your cat's nails. If you must travel, your cat can look after itself for a couple of days, as long as it has plenty of food and water. Don't forget spaying or neutering.
COST From free, for a shelter cat, to $75 to $500 for a purebred; annual cost: $300 to $400, depending on types of food and litter.
BOTTOM LINE Not as much work as a dog but still a furry buddy who can curl up on your lap.

Then of course there are rodents, reptiles and birds you could have as a pet but that's beyond the scope of my article here.

Certainly let me know if you would like any assistance in figuring out which pet would be the best fit for you.

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