A press release dated Oct. 8, 2013, by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides potential pet owners with tips on how to pick a the perfect dog. With October tagged as Adopt-A-Dog Month and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the AVMA reminds pet owners to "carefully consider your family, home and lifestyle before bringing a new canine companion into your home."
"Adopting a dog is a fun and heartwarming experience that can transform your life for the better, but it's also a very serious decision that shouldn't be taken lightly," says Dr. Clark K. Fobian, president of the AVMA.
"The primary reason dogs are given up to animal shelters is unfulfilled expectations, so before you even consider bringing a dog into your life it is crucial to take time, involve your family, and give careful consideration to your expectations and the needs of the dog to be sure it's a good match. Your local veterinarian is an excellent resource for answers to your questions."
So, what questions should you ask before adopting a dog?
- What kind of activity level are you seeking from your new pet?
- What kind of special needs can dogs have (consider the breed)?
- What are the long-term costs of purchasing or adopting a dog?
- Where should you adopt the dog (e.g., shelter, purebred rescue group, reputable breeder)?
- How can you be sure a dog is healthy before you adopt it?
As you prepare to welcome a furry new family member, you'll need the perfect name, pet insurance, a travel plan (if you're not adopting locally) a few supplies and reasonable expectations for the adjustment period. In no time at all, you'll wonder what you ever did without your new best friend.
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