So, You Want to Buy a Dog? Beware of the Pitfalls of Buying a Dog

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First and foremost , before you actually get a dog, think about your home, the grounds, the ages of your children if any and the time and money needed to maintain a pet.

If you have a good sized, fenced in back yard and are willing to pooper scoop, or if you are willing to walk a dog several times a day that’s one point in your favor. Are your children going to be responsible for any of the care or are you or your spouse or you alone going to handle that responsibility? Make sure you understand the limitations if you live in a condo or apartment. Keep in mind many condominiums do not allow pets. Also, consider the possibility you may need to move and wherever you are going a dog might be against the rules.

Do you travel, will you want to go on a vacation. What will you do with the dog? Board him? That’s an expense.Travel with him. What will that involve? Flying with a dog depends on the size of the dog. Are you willing to put him in the hold? Will you keep him in the cabin with you and pay the fee, usually around $85 each way? Will you hire someone to come in and care for him.? If you take him with you will you find a dog friendly hotel, motel? We’ve flown withour dogs as well as taken them on vacations. We stay in pet friendly Bed  amp; Breakfasts.

Why are you getting a dog? Don’t ever get a dog just because your child indicates they want one. This rarely, if ever, works out.

Are you willing to deal with doggie accidents in your house. If your home is a show case you might want to rethink a furry family member. Dogs get upset stomachs, dogs puke. Dogs cane be destructive if not trained properly.

I had a marvelous Doberman that I rescued as a pup. I trained him and he was a lovely member of the family for almost a decade. During the time I had him he jumped a fence and incurred several hundred dollars worth of medical bills. He broke a leg, that was several thousand dollars worth of medical care. When he got old he started having accidents in the house and chewing everything. I had a “C ” shaped sofa that he whittled down to an “L” then down to an “I”. He ate every blanket and pair of pj’s he could get a hold of. Very unpleasant but we loved him dearly and he was part of the family. We just endured this until he passed. And believe me, we missed him sorely, when he was gone.

We have a Chihuahua that the old owner tried to kidnap back. This became a $15,000 law suit. These are not your usual situations but like a said a dog is a reponsibility and you become emotionally attached to them. There are very difficult choices to be made if you have to spend money on them. WHen you see a dog advertised as free to good home keep imn mind. They aren’t free.

Cost: animals can be VERY expensive. Unexpected vet visits, general veterinary care and the basic equipment you’ll need. You need,leashes, dog bowls, dog coats for weather issues, a dog bed, perhaps a dog crate, dog toys, dog food, dog treats, flea and tic treatment, heartworm treatment, collars and more.

If you’re older who will get the dog if something happens to you? Having just lost a relative with a cat it was something I had to deal with. Placing the cat became a really big issue. Her 80 year old brother took the cat then was burned out of his apartment. The cat ended up in a shelter and we then rescued it and had it flown down to Florida to another relative.

Once you’ve thought all this out if you still need, want a dog it’s time to chose the breed. There are herding,sporting, hunting, terrier, working guarding, lap and non sporting. Each breed has its distinctive size and personality traits. You dont want a Jack Russell, a high energy dog if you live in a little apartment and are away most of the time. You don’t want a toy or teacup dog around small chlidren, dangerous for the dog. If you don’t like barking , stay away from herding dogs. Toys are very social and need their person around, not gone. If you choose a rescue Greyhound they are couch potatoes but do need exercise and can run like the devil. You must make sure to leash them always. I don’t believe in off leash dogs.

Consider allergies. There are hairless dogs and dogs with hair rather than fur, Poodles, Bichons, Portuguese Water Dogs.

Before you go out and spend a fortune I highly advise against pet shops, these are usually puppy mill dogs at high prices. If you must have a special breed try the breed rescue organization for that breed i.e. Dobe Rescue, Chihuahua Rescue, Greyhound Rescue and give a needy dog a good home. Also many Shelters will have purebreeds if you feel pure is a must. Don’t get taken in by the mixed breed high priced new doggy chic Labradoodle, Pugapoo, Puggle, Cockapoo and other mixed breeds that are now being touted as special and sold for ridiculous prices. It’s a gimmick.

A reputable breeder can sell you a good dog but check out the breeders credentials. Not all “breeders” are reputable. avoid “back yard breeders”.

I also heard recently there is an on line scam. Dogs supposedly needing a home because their owner had to go back to Africa. This is a scam. They offer to send you the dog once you pay. A dog you haven’t seen. Do not send money orders or pay up front to anyone for a dog without seeing the dog and preferably getting a written contract as well. If you can see the parents that’s a plus as well.. Sites that ask for payment through money order should raise a red flag. I would want to see the future family member in person, not online.

It is also advisable to choose or pick a dog that is easy to train. This means that it is better to adapt a dog that comes from smart breeds of dog. This will give you convenience when taking good care of your pet. Barx buddy training device will help you teach your dog effectively.

I have had dogs for several decades all from Shelters or rescue organizations. When you adopt a dog from a Shelter you pay a minimal adoption fee and the dog will be healthy and have all shots and be spayed. Usually it will also be chipped, very important. Most shelters will give you medical after care as well. This is the first route I’d take, after doing some reading and soul searching. Good luck.

James Deakin lives in California USA. He is an author of two famous novels, Rage of Angels and When Tomorrow comes. He is also the founder of