Puppy Care – Selecting a Puppy to Fit Your Lifestyle

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,480
    Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, American Animal Hospital Association spokesperson, discusses how to select the right puppy for your lifestyle.

    Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro: Hi! I'm Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro with AAHA. Today we're learning about how to care for a puppy. In this segment, we're going to choose a puppy to fit your lifestyle. So, think about bringing a puppy home; just because a puppy looks adorable on the cover of a magazine might not be the right choice for you depending on what your family is like.

    So, first, I recommend looking at an illustrated book of dogs or choosing a breed online thinking about your time commitment as well as your activity level, the activity level of the breed itself and what other things in your lifestyle might make it suitable for you.

    For example, if you're an active hiker or an outdoor enthusiast, you might not want to get a small breed that may not be able to keep up with an avid hike or a long hike at high altitude, or if you're pretty sedentary, you might want to get a smaller dog that might suit your lifestyle, because they could sit along with you and learn how to live in a smaller environment, such as an apartment.

    Similarly, think about your area and where you live. Do you have land that is fenced in to allow your puppy to run around or are you confined to leash walking only in an apartment complex or condo unit? Depending on the breed that you choose, there maybe restrictions in your city or your county restricting those breeds from living with you.

    So I'd investigate those things before you go out and just adopt a puppy at a moment's notice. Some other things to consider is whether the breed that you choose may have underlying health conditions that they maybe predisposed to that may require medical care or surgery in excess of typical spaying or neutering.

    For example, my favorite, the Pug, has brachycephalic airway disease and may require surgery to enlarge their nostrils or shorten their soft palate or the roof of their mouth at the time that they are puppies. That might exceed my family's budget. So that might be taken into consideration and I might not choose one of those breeds in favor of some other breed.

    There is always the Heinz 57 or going to your local animal shelter to pick the puppy or the breed of dog that is a mixture of everything, but still a friendlier dog to love and take home.

    So think about that when selecting a puppy, and next, we'll talk about preparing your home for that puppy.