Tips on selecting a new pet
When selecting a new pet for your family, the most important thing to remember is that an animal requires a lot of care and responsibility. They rely on us to take care of them, including feeding, exercising, and cleaning up after. With today’s improved diets and veterinary care, many pets are living into their teens, and sometimes twenties. Therefore, we should keep this in mind when looking for a new addition to our family.
Wherever your new pet comes from, whether it’s a cat or dog, or something else, there are a few things to look for. The first thing to look for is that the animal is active, playful, and willing to interact with you. Check the animal for a cough, sneezing, and/or discharge from the nose and eyes, especially yellow or green, also for evidence of diarrhea. These may indicate an infection requiring treatment. Ask the owner/representative about the animal’s appetite and interaction with other animals and caregivers. In the final moment, choose a new pet that appears healthy, is willing to interact (but not too pushy), has a good appetite, and gets along well with other animals and people.
If, while wandering through the mall, you stop at the pet store and see the perfect little fuzz ball, take a moment to consider before just buying. I recommend going to the local book store in the mall and research the breed characteristics of the cute little fuzz ball. This will educate you about the breed, as well as give you time to consider if it is the right one for you and your family. Some things to consider about a breed are the adult size, temperament, energy level, grooming requirements, and activity requirements. Then go back and visit the anticipated pet again. If you still like the pet, and understand what it will be like as an adult then consider the purchase. If you would like to research the right breed of dog for your requirements, I recommend the Purina breed selector at www.purinaone.com/dogcare_breed_selector.asp.
If you are looking for an older pet, the same basic health issues apply as stated above.
In addition try to find out some history, if available, regarding medical problems, behavior problems, and reason for adoption. If the information is not available, base your decision on what is available, and on the general behavior/interaction of the animal while you are visiting.