A PUPPY — NOT THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE FAMILY WITH EVERYTHING!
With Christmas only a few short weeks away, parents are racking their brains for gift ideas. Everyone wants to make this holiday season especially memorable. While shopping, it is easy to be tempted by the cages of cute puppies. The image of one of these lively little balls of fur, red ribbon around the neck, under the Christmas tree, will quickly come to mind. The next scene will be one of the kids running joyfully, as the puppy scampers to meet them. What could be a better holiday gift?
Now is the time to wake up. That lively little puppy will require a considerable investment in time and energy on your part. You, the parent, must be ready to care for the new pet. Don’t fool yourself that your kids will do the work. You know how kids are, one day they are prepared to spend the rest of their lives training a dog to be the next canine star of stage and screen. The next day, puppy forgotten in the yard, your children will be staring at the newest-latest video game. You must be ready to spend the time training the new puppy.
A very young puppy might require up to five meals a day. You can’t just leave out a dish of food. Puppies should quickly get into the habit of having regular meals. Remember, what goes in one end will come out the other! If the pup eats on and off, whenever the mood strikes him or her, the pup will also defecate with no discipline. Someone must be home during the day to make sure that the little guy eats and is taken out on a schedule. The most important time to get the dog out is first thing in the morning. This means that you must jump out of bed, quickly get dressed, and take the puppy out. If you stop to put on the coffee, you will probably be too late. Dogs are creatures of habit – you decide if you want to start the puppy on the right track or not.
A young dog, six to eight months old, only needs to be fed twice a day. With proper use of a crate, dogs are extremely easy to train at this age. Crate training will be discussed at greater length in future articles.
Silvia Valles’s, Tabatha, A Two Years Old Poodle Mix, Rescued From A Shelter When She Was Only Eight Weeks Old.
If you are still set on getting a puppy, why not wait until a few weeks after Christmas? Right after the holidays, the animal shelters are deluged with puppies from people who purchased without thinking. The friendly little soul, that wanted only to love and be loved, now sits forlorn, with nothing better than a lonely death for a prospect. If you earnestly want to have a dog for a companion for the next fifteen to twenty years, will two or three weeks make that much of a difference? Animals may be adopted from shelters for a nominal donation. In the shopping frenzy of the holidays, before Christmas be prepared to pay up to eight hundred dollars for a puppy!
Would you ever believe what a used car salesman tells you? If you insist on buying a puppy, remember the salesperson is just that. His or her job is to talk you into buying that puppy. One local pet shop pays its clerks minimum wage, plus a sliding scale of commissions on livestock sales. If the salesperson manages to sell the puppy at the asking price, they receive ONE THIRD of the sales price as a commission. The management sets a lowest price for every animal – at this price no commission is paid. You see it is in the sales-help’s best interest to tell you anything to get you to spend your money. The customer is always told that the puppy is housebroken. A young puppy is never housebroken. Again, the customer is told that the puppy has had all its shots. The puppy probably will need another set of shots in a few weeks Most of these holiday workers are college kids. They probably will never be working in that store again. They might never be in the state again! They certainly are not concerned about any problems you might have with your new pet in the weeks and months to come.
When purchasing a puppy in the Garden State, the store is obliged by law to inform you of the State of New Jersey regulations covering dog sales. The law gives the pet buyer specific guarantees and legal remedies, if the puppy is ill – either afflicted with a genetic disorder or infected with a disease. If the puppy has health problems, the law requires that you be offered a refund or an exchange. The store quite possibly might offer other guarantees. Be sure to get them in writing. Find out what the laws of your state are before buying.
Immediately after you pay for your puppy, take your new friend to a local animal hospital for an examination. Bring the health documentation from the store with you. This will tell the veterinarian what shots are needed. Ignore it when the store tells you to save your money, since the pup was checked over by their vet. Their vet is quite possibly biased in favor of the store. Your local practitioner will be impartial and thus in a better position to give a true picture of the puppy’s health.
If the veterinarian tells you to return the puppy, do it! Don’t make the mistake of feeling sorry for the baby. It is the store’s responsibility to nurse a sick puppy back to health, not yours.
If you want to get a puppy from a private breeder, all well and good. Check out the breeders knowledge of dogs and motivations. Many so-called private breeders, simply out to make a fast dollar, breed poor quality dogs. If you buy a sick dog from a private breeder, it may be more difficult to receive any compensation.
A dog can be one of the best friends you ever have. But, as in any relationship, you only take out what you are prepared to put in.