I'm aware this myTake is a little bit of a weird topic to post on here.. But I think it deserves a spot because I deem it important.
Too many people are buying dogs. This has always been a problem, but lately, with all the instagram posts and not to mention "puppy fever season", it's been brought to my attention that too many people are either buying the wrong dogs, or dogs from the wrong place. So here's things to consider when adding a new member to your family.
A dog is a family member
Yes, a dog is an animal. So are we. Even though I disagree with people that replace their need for children with a dog, it's still basically a child. If you see dogs (or any animal, for that matter) as just pets, don't adopt one. Because that dog could've been part of someone else's family, and actually taken good care of. If you aren't planning on treating a dog as a family member, it shouldn't be in your hands. A dog (especially puppies) take a lot of time to raise and can be as smart as a young toddler.
A dog takes time and effort
If you are planning on adopting a dog, but you work a 9-5 job and can't take more than a couple weeks of work, don't get a puppy, or a dog with abandonment issues. Puppies should be with you 24/7 for at least a month, often times longer before you can even think about working half days again. Then there's training, potty training and obedience take a while to teach. What I'm saying is, don't get a dog when you don't have the time for the dog, or are unwilling to put in the effort.
Picking the right dog
A lot of people want a puppy. And I get that, they're cute and like children, minds are most influenced when young.
But, as stated before, puppies take time. A lot of time. I'm not saying any adult dog won't, you'll still have to flip around your entire schedule for them, but they don't need you to be home for at least a month, a week or two will often do. Older dogs are generally easier to adopt too, since what you see is what you get. A puppy that was very energetic and social can easily turn into a lazy mess. An adult dog already had its personality formed, so you know exactly if it's a snug fit.
Picking a breed is also hard. Do I want a smaller dog? Medium? Large? Mutt? Most people go wrong here. Once you've figured out if you have the time for a pup or would rather get a golden oldie (or just a regular adult), it's time to start looking at breeds. Many people tend to go just for looks. And while looks are important- you'll want to be happy every time you see your pup's appearance- character matters most.
Take labs for example. A lot of people get Labradors because they're seen as 'family dogs'. Why? I have no clue. Labradors are retriever dogs, meaning they're working dogs. A lot of families don't have time to walk the dog for two to three hours a day or do retrieving work with it. So, it gets fat, and lazy. I've never seen a healthy lab with a family before. None of them let the dog work. Just like border collies, labs need to work. If their tummy is a straight line, and it's difficult to feel their ribs, they are too fat.
Then there's always the option of shelter dogs. Advantages of shelter dogs are: They're often mixed breeds, which have less hereditary diseases as pedigrees. German shephards, for instance, have been bred so that their butt is positioned too low, and often get hipdysplasia.
Also, as I said before, there's a lot of adult shelter dogs, and you can see the personality. Most shelter dogs will be 'grateful'. You will feel better saving a shelter dog too, since you've just saved a life from possible death.
Getting an actual dog
If you've still decided shelter dogs aren't your thing, for whatever reason, beware of puppy mills. These are bad breeders that are just in it for the money. Recognizing puppy mills: will often have more than two breeds of dogs to be breeding with. Two is a max, above that makes it difficult for the breeder to actually be invested in the breed.
You cannot see the puppies before actually buying one, or will be given a puppy when you walk in. This makes it very hard for someone not to buy one.
The puppies aren't being raised in home, but are in a shed or room instead. (Being in a room is fine when they are very, very little, but not once they've opened their eyes) pups need to be socialized, so if they aren't used to humans or homely noises you will tell. They get shy or hide etc.
With smaller breeds, there are more than two-five pups per litter. Small dogs don't get that many pups, so some of those puppies are from another litter.
The mother dog isn't there, or is 'gone atm' and you can't wait until she returns. This is a clear sign of puppy mill. No responsible breeder will keep mommy away when you have scheduled an appointment.
The parents or pups haven't been tested for hereditary diseases, de wormed or given their first shots.
Also, don't buy a puppy at some sort of 'market' where cages are stacked on top of each other.
Costs of a dog
Dogs are expensive. Buying a fog can cost you from €50 to €20000 or even more. The average annual cost is high too. Food, vet trips, etc etc.
The first year (on average)
dog bed: €50
leash and collar: €30
vet: €300 (checkup, vaccination and chipping)
total cost: €710
and this is just MY costs. Don't have me started on bigger pooches.
In conclusion, don't get a dog if you can't live up to the standards. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, whether personal or about this take, feel free to ask in the comments below.