When choosing your new puppy or kitten, there are many different factors to consider. Welcoming a new pet into your home can be very exciting, but it’s also important to ensure you are both well suited to one another.
What breed should they be?
The breed can be very important when choosing a pet. As a general rule, specific breeds have different behaviours – although of course all animals are individuals, the breed tells you what to expect. Some breeds are more energetic than others and will need more exercise and attention in order to prevent potential misbehaviour.
Some breeds are also predisposed to certain diseases and health conditions. If you decide to purchase what may be considered a ‘higher risk breed’, such as a very short-nosed dog or cat, you need to take into consideration the price of vet bills and the life expectancy of the pet. If you want to find out more or have a chat with one of our team, you can contact us by clicking here!
Physical characteristics are also a responsible consideration to make when welcoming a new pet into your home. For example, certain breeds will shed their coat (moult), whereas others will not moult at all so are a perfect hypoallergenic option! If you or any member of your family suffers from allergies, non-moulting breeds may be preferable. The pet’s adult size will also generally depend on the breed. Think about the size of your house. Would a larger dog be able to move freely in the area or would they be knocking things over?
There may also be legal issues to consider. There are legal restrictions on some dogs breeds (e.g. Pitbulls) for numerous reasons, and some cat breeds (e.g. Savannah’s) need to be kept indoors at all times.
How old should they be?
Animals develop different skills at different times. Puppies go through an awareness period from 21-28 days. They should then socialise with other dogs from the age of 21-49 days as this allows them to learn from each other. Between 7 and 12 weeks, it is key to form a bond with your dog, as this is when your puppy is most sensitive to human socialisation and will therefore be the most effective time to train your puppy.
We are thrilled to offer Puppy Parties which are free and are held between 7-8pm. Please note your puppy must have had its first vaccination. They are a great opportunity to socialise your new puppy and also cover:
- The foundations of training and socialisation.
- Advice on worming, flea treatment, exercise, nutrition, feeding and any other questions you may have
- Any veterinary topics the class wishes to cover
- Help with house training and play biting
- Lots of time for puppies to play and for you to ask questions.
If an animal is mistreated before 12 weeks old, there is a chance this behaviour could affect the animal for the rest of its life. We recommend training starting at 8-10 weeks old in order for it to be effective. However, dogs and cats continue learning through life, so adopting an older dog isn’t a problem even if you want to teach them lots of new tricks!
You should consider how long the pet will live for. If they are likely to live longer than their new owner, it is sensible and responsible to have a plan should this scenario occur such as a new home at the ready. Smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs.
How much do you want to pay?
Pedigree breeds tend to be more costly. If you know the exact breed or age of puppy or kitten that you would like, then you will probably need to pay more. Some breeds are much more expensive than others so do your research first to see what a normal price is.
Rescue pets are normally free, other than maybe a donation or adoption fee, which will support the charity and enable them to carry on their amazing work.
Do you want to rescue an animal?
Many pets need forever homes. They are just as friendly and loving and can make amazing pets! They are often less expensive than pets bought from breeders and often need a home in order to save their lives.
That said, buying from a breeder means you have the potential to gain more information regarding your pet’s history and genetics.
How much free time do you have to exercise your pet?
Every pet needs exercise but in general larger pets will need more. If your dog is not walked frequently enough or at a high enough intensity, the excess energy may lead to your pet misbehaving. We recommend walking dogs 3 times a day if possible; however you will get to know your own pet and their needs. Toy breeds need much less walking than working dogs so you can select the breed of dog that will best suit your lifestyle.
Do you have enough time to give attention to your young pet?
Young pets require more attention than older pets. They need to be handled regularly in order to get used to human touch. They need to be toilet trained – this takes lots of time and persistence.
As they grow older, they will still need daily attention, daily food and water. You need to be committed to your new pet.
Do you want your pet to live indoors or outdoors?
Some cats are ‘indoors cats’ and cannot be left to live outdoors. Dogs need time outside whether that is spent in the garden or outdoors walking. It is up to you whether you choose to house them indoors or outdoors but their home needs to be sufficient for their wellbeing
Do your research
There is lots of information online for each breed so do your research before committing to a new pet.
You should ask about the parents of the animal you plan on purchasing – their age, breed, disease history. Never, every buy a puppy or kitten without seeing their parents; and be very cautious of internet adverts, except through an official breed society or rescue charity. If a breeder has lots of different puppies or kittens for sale, it is likely that they are a “puppy farmer” or “kitten farmer”, raising animals in poor conditions. These puppies and kittens are likely to have medical and behavioural problems – we do not recommend buying from such a place as it supports the trade and encourages the owners to keep breeding in these conditions.
Welcoming a new pet into your home can be a wonderful experience and we are on hand to help you make an educated decision. So if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!