How to make sure you choose a healthy, happy puppy
A recent article in the Telegraph described how our culture of immediate gratification is fuelling puppy farms, indicating a lack of awareness when it comes to making companion animal decisions. Are you thinking of sharing your life with a puppy or an adult dog? Then there are many things to consider. Perhaps your very first consideration is the breed or the size, or maybe whether you are taking in a rescue dog or a pedigree pup. These are difficult choices to make and there are different answers for everyone of course. Whether you are considering the plunge yourself, or trying to advice someone else, these simple points should help you make a conscious and well-informed decision:
A companion animal is for life
Taking care of a companion animal is a truly amazing experience, filing your heart and home with joy and warmth. However, ensuring they are happy, healthy and entertained is also a great responsibility. Invest time in calculating how much time you spend at home or at the office and determine whether you would need to organise a sitter. Then also take a look at your house and neighbourhood through the eyes of an animal: is there space for running around and are there plenty of green spaces to enjoy? Always keep in mind that taking care of a companion animal is one of the greatest and most rewarding pleasures you’ll experience, but that it’s even a greater responsibility.
Take your time making that decision
The internet makes it easy for people to buy a puppy online and get it delivered all the way to their doorsteps. Not only should getting a companion animal be a fun experience, an experience to last a while, it is also an opportunity to see the environment your pup grew up in and to learn more about the type of breeder you’re supporting. If a breeder doesn’t want you to see the breeding facility, it is safe to assume they might be hiding something. Despite Lucy’s law, a movement demanding a crack-down on third party dealers, the online environment represents the ideal loophole for rogue breeders. The Kennel Club, a leading charity recently put out a warning after publishing a scathing study:
“The government’s plans to ban the third-party sale of puppies, through pet shops and the like, is hugely welcome but puppy buyers shouldn’t become complacent. Rogue dog breeders selling directly to puppy buyers can still be masking terrible conditions and the yawning gap in puppy buyer awareness about how to identify a good breeder leaves people – and dogs – very vulnerable.”
- Read the full study by The Kennel Club here.
Know about the risks involved buying from rogue breeders
Apart from supporting a horrible industry, it’s important to know about the risks involved for the health of your puppy. According to the study by the Kennel club, one in three puppies who were bought online suffered from serious diseases or died in the first year. Others suffered from gastro-intestinal diseases, skin problems, pneumonia, kennel cough or deadly parvovirus.
Enjoy the process
Meet different puppies and different breeders. Make sure you can see the animals, taking notice how they interact with each other and yourself. Keep in mind that your companion animal will share your home and your community. They will become a part of your family and it’s important to find the right fit for both yourself and the animal. If there is a certain click, you might be able to form a bond from the onset. An opportunity to make the most out of by meeting and seeing the animal.
All of the above is an important part towards responsible ownership and paves the way for more responsible breeding. We would call it having respect for the animal and its nature. Respecting animals, and respecting their nature is integral to the way Almo Nature/Fondazione Capellino work. Please use the following links to keep on reading about our solidarity projects and our products.