How to avoid problems
The secret of this is to do as much research as possible and then ask the right questions before you actually acquire your dog. The Kennel Club, Breed societies, individual breeders, charities and your veterinarian will all have a wealth of information. Do not be afraid to ask for advice.
Do you actually want a dog?
Get your dog for the right reasons and avoid impulse buys. Caring for a dog is a big commitment requiring time, energy and money. Think carefully about your personal circumstances and assure yourself that having a dog in the home will fit with this. If your dog does not allow you to follow your other hopes and aspirations, it is likely that frustrations will result and the bond between you and your dog will be adversely affected.
What type of dog best fits your own life style?
There are over 200 different breeds of pedigree dogs, each with their own characteristics. As with people, certain characteristics may be an advantage in some situations but problematic (or at least a challenge) in others. Get first hand information by visiting Discover Dogs, an annual event organised by the Kennel Club which showcases nearly every dog breed. Are there any anticipated changes to your family that might influence your decision?
Events such as pregnancy and having a new baby are not reasons to avoid getting a dog. Indeed dogs are good for child development. However, the change of life style may influence the most suitable choice of dog.
The questions you should ask relate to your own lifestyle as well as the differing characteristics of the dogs themselves. Follow the links to the choosing a dog section to find out more:
Can I be guaranteed about the future health of my dog?
Is there anything I should definitely avoid?
Should I believe advertisements?
Problems with the dog you have purchased?
How do I introduce my new dog into my home?
How can I best educate my family?
When should I register with a veterinarian?
As soon as possible – perhaps even before you acquire your dog as they can give you a lot of useful information.
Not all veterinary practices are the same, and some may offer a different range of services. So it is important you find a practice that you find best suits your needs and that you can build a long term relationship with.