Pets are so good for us. They keep us company. They give us unconditional love. They make us laugh.

Some folks look at puppies and think “How cute. I want one.” (Not me – I hear the theme song from JAWS every time I see a puppy.) People will go out and purchase a pet on an impulse without considering what that puppy is going to grow into. ome folks will get a pet based on what they had as a child even though their living circumstances are different.

I think most pets are happy in a multitude of places. We, as humans, just have to consider how each breed can be different and the general needs that they have.

I won’t bore you with an in-depth dissertation of each breed. That’s the point. There is lots of information out there. It is up to the person to research the breed. One must consider the good and bad points before you go out and bring an animal into your household.

The best place to start is with your veterinarian. He has a lot of information at his fingertips and can be a wealth of knowledge. The website www.akc.org has a wonderful page called “Buying a Puppy.” ou can take those questions and apply them to any circumstance. They also have a list of breed rescues that you can look at. Most animal people love to answer questions about the particular breed they are interested in.

Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself:

1. Am I the type of person that cannot stand even a strand of dog hair in my house?
If you are person that cannot stand even a drop of dog fur in your house, then you need to consider this before getting a dog that will grow up and shed. There are many ways to cut down on shedding but it will never be completely gone. If you know this ahead of time about yourself you will save a lot of heartache for yourself, your family and your pet. Some people think that when dogs have short hair that they do not shed. That is not true. They just shed shorter hair.

2. Am I the type of person that likes to leave things out on a coffee table that might get pushed off by a big tail?
Are you willing to move these expensive items to another place? If not, consider the size of the pet you will get.

3. Do my kids leave their toys all over and would I be upset if my dog ate my child’s teddy bear?
Some toys are dangerous for pets. Your dog does not know the difference between his toys and your children’s toys. Is this going to be an issue?

4. Am I willing to go to a basic obedience class with my dog?
Obedience class can help you create the language that you use to communicate with your pet. Sit, stay, down, heal, come, could also save your pet’s life. Simple obedience training will take care of this but are you willing to spend the time and effort?

5. Do I want a couch potato or a running buddy?
If you want one that will lie around the house and watch TV with you, then a puppy might not be what you are looking for. If you want a marathon buddy, then a senior pet will not fit the bill. Think about how you want this new pet to fit into your family.

Here in Florida we have many places to go and inquire about pets: Animal controls, shelters, breed rescues, humane societies. All these folks are equally committed to helping you choose the right pet for your family.

So go and enjoy!


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