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Before You Buy a Dog

Owning a dog has many benefits, but it is also very important to remember that 
it is long-term commitment and responsibility. Dogs are not toys that can be put
away in a cupboard when you are bored with them. If you are considering taking
on a puppy, perhaps you should ask yourself these questions first:

COST

Owning a dog can be very expensive and this should be taken into account
before buying a puppy. Costs to consider are the weekly food bill, bedding, toys
and other equipment, veterinary care, boarding kennel fees, enrollment fees for
training classes, grooming/clipping fees.

TIME

Dogs demand a lot of time and attention, particularly as puppies. You will need 
to take your puppy outside hourly. Puppies have very weak bladder control and
will need to relieve themselves at least twelve time throughout the day. There is 
a fairly set pattern.

YOUR LIFESTYLE

Choose a breed that will suit you and your lifestyle. The lifespan of a dog is
thirteen years. Are your current circumstances likely to change ? If so, will
owning a dog be a problem, such as starting a family or going to another 
country ?

Will you be able to devote a lot of time to your puppy for the first few weeks 
when he arrives home ? Are you going to be away from home for long hours
during the day ? If so, it may be unwise to buy a puppy. Do you go away
frequently ? If so, will you be able to take the dog with you ?. Will you have 
time to attend training classes ? Will you be able to take him for at least one
good walk a day ?

BREED

The next step is to consider what type of breed will suit you, think about your
lifestyle, size of home, facilities for exercise and time available. Does your
tenancy or lease hold agreement allow pets ?. Ask about different breeds at 
your local vet or dog training club. As other owners of the breed that you are
considering, for their advice and opinions. Meet dogs of all ages and both sexes
of your chosen breed. This will give you an idea of what to expect. Research the
breed by reading books and gain as much information as possible. When you
have made your choice of breed, contact the breed club secretary through the
local Spanish Kennel Club (Tel 2290237 Manuel) Insist on seeing the mother 
and if possible the father with the puppies. You should have easy access to the
puppies and be able to handle them. Request a written agreement that the
purchase is subject to a satisfactory examination by your veterinary surgeon
within 48 hours of purchase. If you are unsure about buying the right puppy,
make enquires with the local vet to see if he is willing to attend the viewing to
check the puppy for visible health - problems this could save money and upset 
in the long-term.

As quoted by the RSPCA and National Canine Defence League " Never buy a
dog from a pet shop or any retail outlet . Never take one from street markets, or
from any place where you cannot see the mother." Visit your local Animal
Rescue Society for advice and to discuss the options of adopting a rescue dog 
or puppy. All Animal Rescue Shelters are obligated to furnish you with a signed
Veterinary Health Certificate.

Like humans, dogs need company, so do not leave him alone all day. Dogs that
become lonely and bored are more likely to bark and become destructive. If you
really care for your dog you will train him properly and learn that play is one of 
the most essential ingredients in a good owner.

In an ideal world every puppy would have a suitable home to go to and a caring
owner. Sadly this is not the case. Many thousands of unwanted and abandoned
puppies and dogs are destroyed each year. Neutering in the only guaranteed 
way of preventing unplanned puppies being born, if you consider the horrific
alternative methods of population control for dogs, it really is the kindest cut.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.


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