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Best Choices for a Parakeet Food

December 18, 2019 | Post | No Comments

Birds are an interesting kind of pet. They seem to be fragile and require someone who can be gentle enough to keep them safe. But with the uplifting spirit that birds give as they soar on wings and chirp as they do. Most of them have bright feathers which make them quite attractive. If you own birds, like parakeets, you need to make sure to provide them the proper care to keep them healthy and happy. One of your concerns that would be related to this is finding the best choices for a parakeet food.

Parakeet Food

Parakeets as Pets

Parakeets’ remarkable chatter and vivid colors are sure to appeal to any prospective owner. Children and adults alike adore these charming birds. They are also quite sociable, and when taught properly can even talk. A bird with a rather small feature, the parakeet is quite easy to care for. That does not mean that it should be left to fend for itself, though. You will still need to make sure that the bird is provided with the proper care that it needs to ensure that it will remain active and well while under your care. That includes providing the right foods for your bird.

The term “Parakeet” is a general term used to describe a variety of small and medium-sized parrot species. The budgerigar or budgie is the most popular of this kind. These birds, that are native to Australia, have an average lifespan of about five to eight years. However, these fragile creatures may live longer if provided with the right care. The overall quality of health of these small birds includes a variety of diet with fresh food and fruits. They love finely chopped leafy greens. They do enjoy best wild bird food as well, but they should not be offered to them as their primary diet.

Best Choices for Parakeet Food

These active chattery birds need a good balanced healthy diet like any other pets. And it makes them all happy and satisfied if you provide these remarkable birds a variety of diet that would include fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. These food choices will make up a great parakeet diet.

Your little feathered friend parakeet will also enjoy sharing all of the variety of fruits with you. Offer them apples, mandarins and pears. For sure they will give you those affectionate looks and loving nibbles. You can simply place a small slice of fruit inside the bird’s cage. A little later, you will find it enjoying it’s meal for the moment. You can also turn the feeding session with your parakeet into a bonding moment so you can earn more trust from your pet bird while having some fun at the same time. Place the feed on your hand and offer it to your pet. You can even offer some green feeds to your bird even while it is taking a splash and cleaning its self up.

Greens for Parakeets

Parakeets also enjoy a variety of greens for its diet. If you offer your parakeet finely chopped kelp, mustard leaves, cabbage leaves, dandelion leaves, broccoli leaves, cauliflower leaves, or even Bokchoi, it will surely be a hit for your parakeet. Note, however, that not all greens will be good for your bird. Ask a local veterinarian for any of these vegetables that may cause health problems, such as liver problems and even calcium deficiency. (more…)

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 Healthy Ways to Feed Your Guinea Pigs

April 13, 2019 | Post | No Comments

Like any other living things, guinea pigs also enjoy eating but it is also important to watch their food intake to make sure that they will remain healthy. If your guinea pig is not given adequate diet, you will notice changes in your pet brought about by Vitamin C deficiency that usually occurs two weeks after the deficiency starts. If this happens, you will notice that your guinea pig will become weak and lethargic and they will begin to eat less causing them to lose weight and have enlarged joints. They will also develop rough hair coat and have diarrhoea and their nose and eyes will produce discharge. In about three or four weeks, your guinea pig may bid farewell to you. Avoid this tragic thing from happening and start feeding your pet the right type of food.

Guinea Pigs

More than giving them guinea pig pellets that you can get from your vet, it is also important to add green leafy vegetables on their diet since they need a high fibre diet. You can them with a combination of high-quality guinea pig pellet and guinea pig hay to ensure that they get the proper nutrients they need. (more…)

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Build a Hedgehog House

December 10, 2018 | Post | No Comments

Hedgehogs are mostly in need of houses in which they can easily hibernate, breed or even sleep. These factors are rather necessary for the survival and good health of the hedgehog. However, such a site is very necessary are better if ventilated, warm and waterproof. They should also be made safe from predators as well as being disrupted by mankind. There are various places that the hedgehogs are used to but these places rarely available in the modern world. This makes it suitable to have a house for the hedgehogs. This article will look into hedgehog houses.

hedgehog house indoor

There are those places that hedgehogs are used to. Such places include the derelict buildings, fallen trees as well as hedgerows. It has been discovered that for a very long time, a large number of hedgehogs end up being injured by fire, forks, mowers and trimmers. This is because these animals are known to always seek refuge in long grass, compost heaps and thickets. Moreover, it has been discovered that the survival rate of hedgehogs during winter is very low with 28% of these animals dying during this period of time. When the weather gets severe, more of the hedgehogs tend to die because the weather becomes less suitable for their survival. The weight of these animals results in their degree of survival. Those that have more weight tend to survive much longer than those that have less weight. (more…)

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Welcoming Your Dog

August 7, 2006 | Post | No Comments

Before you bring home your new addition you will want to have some essentials ready. These include but are not limited to:

Food and water bowls
The breeder or shelter will usually give you some of whatever they feed so you can get them used to what you have chosen gradually. Don’t go changing food on your puppy all the time. That can upset some dogs’ stomachs. And talk woth your breeder or rescue person about the food they feed and why. The right food is very important. Shelters often have limited resources and consequently feed whatever they can get as donations. Also, when bringing home a shelter dog, be prepared for some digestive problems as a result of poor diet and constantly changing food. In this case, ask someone with experience with your breed of dog or a similar breed for advice on what to feed.
Something soft to sleep with, and squeaky toys are usually a big hit. You might also invest in something more durable as well. Another important note: don’t leave bones or other brittle dog toys in crates or otherwise unattended. Dogs may choke on the fragments.
Noisy wind up alarm clock
This is for puppies. Wrap it in a towel and the “tick, tock” will sound like mom and siblings’ heart beat, helps for the first few nights. But don’t let the puppy get dependent upon it! Take it away after a few nights.
A dog crate
You will want to get one that will be big enough when the puppy is an adult. A dog crate is a perfect way to keep the puppy safe and secure while you are asleep or at work. It is imperative that you do not use their crates as a punishment. Dogs should like going into their crate on occasion, otherwise they won’t sleep in them. You can, however, use a crate as a quiet-time place for the dog to stay if you feel you want some time away from dealing with him for short periods of time. You wouldn’t try that with a child!! (grin)
Collar and leash
Basic obedience classes
Socialization is imperative for dogs, and this is most easily done in puppy kindergarten and basic obedience classes. While you don’t want to overwhelm a very young puppy, you can start training them even before starting classes. If they do something you like, give it a name and praise him. For example: if he comes and sits in front of you, as soon as his butt hits the floor tell him “Good sit” Keep it short, simple and very positive. This works for bad things as well ie: NO bite. Short and simple. Your tone of voice is also important. Happy and up for good things. Firm for bad things. If your puppy nips or bites, tell them no bite. Be consistent. Don’t let them chew on you. Tell them no and give them something they can chew. Never call your dog to you and spank him – that will just teach him that coming to you is a bad thing. And when you praise him, make sure your praise is effective; if he’s not wagging his tail, you need to do something different – maybe pull out a favorite toy when he does something good. Remember that while they are cute when they are small and some of the things they do are just adorable, they are going to grow up and it won’t be so cute. When a five-pound puppy jumps on people it’s cute, but you’ll be on your butt if he’s still doing it when he grows up to be a hundred pound dog. Never start or allow a behavior you will have to change.
Baby Gates
These are especially handy with puppies and potty training, but are very useful for older dogs who don’t know the rules of your house yet. You will want to limit the areas the puppy is allowed in even with supervision until you have figured out some of his behaviors. You want him to succeed in your house, so don’t turn him loose and then get upset if he goes potty where you can’t see him. Pick up the water bowl around 7PM so he can’t fill up before bed. Most puppies will not soil where they sleep so make sure you give him frequent potty breaks. Remember as fast as it goes in it usually comes out.
Lots of newspapers
Line the area where you keep the puppy to aid with potty training.
Another good idea is to have a tracking microchip implanted in your dog so that if he ever gets lost, even if he loses his collar there will be a record of ownership and care for the dog. These usually cost less than $30 and are available at most veterinary clinics and animal shelters. These same places have scanners that can detect the information stored on the microchip – your contact information as well as instructions for immediate care.
Puppy Papers
When you enter into an agreement with a breeder, rescue organization, or animal shelter, expect to sign a few papers and recieve a few more in return. Here are some papers to expect from a breeder:

An application for AKC registration (sometimes refered to as puppy papers)
Or if the dog was registered already, you’ll get the actual AKC registration papers.
A sales contract spelling out guarantees and criteria for owning this dog (such as possibly the “no open-bed pickups” clause stated earlier), whether the dog is “show quality” or “pet quality” (this is just a term to describe how well a dog conforms to the AKC standard and says nothing of the health or personality of the dog) and limited registration information if the puppy is sold on a limited registration.
Three-generation pedigree providing evidence that the dog is pure-bred and a quick way to check for genetic problems if the need arises.
You’ll get plenty more paperwork from classes and from vets, so have a folder or two in your filing cabinet ready to go.
Your Dog’s “Maintenance Schedule”
Your dog’s health is important, so be ready to make a few trips to the veterinarian’s office when you first bring them home. The most common of these are outlined below, along with the long-term health requirements of your dog:

Puppy Checkup
As soon as you bring your puppy home you need to take him to the vet. Most puppies actually come with a short period of time where you can return them for your money back if there is a health issue, but you need to take them to the vet for a new puppy visit. The vet will do an overall exam on your puppy to make sure it is in good health and will set you up on a vaccination schedule. Puppies get a series of three vaccinations in the first few months of their lives. Usually the breeder will have started these and give you information on the type used and what week they are at. The vet will also check your puppy for worms. Again the breeder will have wormed the entire litter and should give you this information when you buy your puppy. Along with setting up the puppy series of vaccinations, the vet will let you know when the puppy will be old enough to have it’s rabies vaccination. Fecal checks, rabies shots and most vaccinations are done annually.
Unless you are a serious breeder, committed to improving your breed, doing the health testing, using stock that conforms to the breed standard, you will want to spay or neuter your pet. If you rescued a dog from a shelter or rescue organization, you’re most often required to fix the animal you adopt. There are too many puppies and especially adult dogs sitting in shelters and rescue groups nationwide because someone thought they could make a quick buck and breed puppies, or simply save a couple bucks by not fixing their animal. There are so many things involved in breeding dogs if you are doing it right that most breeders are lucky if they break even. And if something goes wrong and the bitch needs a C-Section to deliver the pups, the whole process can be very expensive, both financially and emotionally.
Fixing your dog will do a number or things:
Reduce dogs’ tendency to jump fences and go find their “significant others”
Less territorialism (i.e. marking)
Reduced likelihood of humping of visitors’ legs

No messy heat cycle
No pregnancy
No pyrometra (a life-threatening infection of the uterus)
Reduced risk of mammary cancer

No testicular cancer
Reduced risk of prostatitis
Tooth care
Learn to brush their teeth at least once a week. Dentals are very expensive, dog toothpaste and brush are relatively cheap. Even if you feed a hard food and give them bones to chew on they need their teeth brushed. Your vet can show you how.
All dogs need to be brushed, even the ones with short, flat coats. Depending on the length of hair is how often this should happen. Weekly for dogs with a coat like a doberman or lab. Couple times a week for medium length like Springer Spaniels and pointers, setters. Daily for the long hairs like the Lhasa’s, maltese, Great Pyrenees. At the very least you need to brush out the areas that mat the most, around the ears, the belly, wherever it is the most dense. Mat breaking is very hard on the dog and most times end up being cut off leaving a very strange looking dog. You need to keep the hair between the pads on their feet trimmed, especially in the winter time. Snow and mud can ball up in there and cause the dog pain. Nails should be done once a week. Don’t forget the dew claws when trimming nails. If ignored they will curl into the dogs foot. You can use human nail trimmers, dog nail clippers are available and will probably work a lot better. Your puppy will probably not enjoy having this happen to them, so start them off gradually. Put them on their backs and just hold them there until they calm down, then let them go. Once they’re used to that, then you can start trimming nails.
Fleas & Ticks
If you take your dog for runs in open fields, the woods or go hiking, be sure to go over your dog when you get home. Grass seeds can work their way into the coat and into the dogs skin causing them great pain and risk for abcess. Ticks can also cause your dog illness. You will want to remove them or have them removed immediatly. Talk with your vet about Flea and tick preparations that are available now. They have improved greatly over the years.
We wish you many happy years with your new dog! Thanks for reading the advice we have to offer you. And please never forget that you can always contact us for further guidance.

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Consider Adopting a Foster or Shelter Animal

August 6, 2006 | Post | No Comments

Breed Rescues
Unless you want to compete in conformation and breed your dog (Breeding is not even an option for you if you aren’t an experienced dog handler.), you don’t need a registered AKC dog. If you’re simply looking for a good family pet/companion, agility dog or obedience dog, rescue might be an option. Most purebred breeds have a rescue group affiliated with them. These are groups who specialize in finding dogs of a specific breed (and often mixed-breeds containing some of that breed’s geneaology) who are in need of a home and rescuing them from shelters and possible euthanasia by finding permanent homes for them.

Rescues come from a number of places. People who can’t keep their dogs due to divorce, moving and even a death in the family. There is usually a range of ages available. All of these dogs are fostered out after having been health tested and treated for any problems. The foster homes test their temperaments – are they good with kids, other dogs, cats, men, women, etc. These animals can make wonderful pets and have a lot to offer.

Often rescues have a number of dogs to choose from that have their AKC registrations, however, the papers do not come with the dog and all of the animals will be neutered or spayed – rescues are trying to reduce the numbers of dogs that need their services. You will have an adoption form to fill out and will often be questioned even more than by a breeder. Some of these dogs have had hard lives and are looking for some love and a warm bed.

Don’t have the time and energy to deal with a puppy? Rescue may be perfect for you. You can help rescue an older dog, which usually means they’ll be a bit more mellow, and possibly come with some basic obedience training. It’s can be a really great way to get your first dog – or all of your dogs, for that matter.

You can locate rescue organizations by going to the breed’s Parent Club. A Parent Club is a National Club that most breeders belong to. There is one for each breed ie: The Doberman Club of America, The Chinese Crested Club of America, etc. If you search for your breed on the internet, the Parent Club will most often be one of the first hits, you can also find breed rescue organizations at the AKC website.

Local Shelters
And what’s wrong with simply going to your local shelter or Humane Society? Absolutely nothing. There, you’ll likely find lots of animals that need a good loving home. You can find pure-breds (without AKC registration papers) and mixed-breeds alike. Mixed-breeds often make great companions and there’s almost no reason not to adopt one, but realize that you won’t be able to compete in AKC agility, obedience, or any other AKC events. Even with mixed-breeds, though, you should be careful to research the breeds mixed in the dog you adopt, so you can get some idea of the dog’s behaviors before adoption. If you get a dog that you think is a pure-bred, you can apply to the AKC for an Indefinite Listing Priviledge (ILP), which will allow you to compete in most AKC events.

In Pocatello, your animal shelter is in Ross Park near the south edge of town. Take the Ross Park entrance on 5th Avenue (it’s your last right turn before I-15 as you go south) and go up the hill & around the bend. The Pocatello Animal Shelter is on the right (east) side of the road.

So now you’ve selected a dog with whom you’re ready to settle down. You probably have a few days, or maybe a week or two, before your new pal can come home with you. In the meantime, there’s a lot of preparations to make.

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Choosing the Right Breeder

August 4, 2006 | Post | No Comments

Part of being a responsible dog owner is acquiring a dog from a responsible breeder who has taken strides to be sure the dogs they are whelping are of sound body and mind. A breeder’s responsibilities include providing all of the appropriate health tests to the parents, not breeding too often, and finding responsible owners for their pups. Furthermore, reputable breeders should be interested in furthering their breed, not making money.

Just as important as finding a breeder that breeds responsibly is finding one that breeds for the traits you want. For example, if you settle on a Pointer and you want to take him hunting, you’ll probably be disappointed if you buy a dog from a breeder that is more interested in conformation (how well a dog conforms to the standards for appearance and structure set for the breed). The Pointer will most likely be interested in chasing birds, but not to the extent that a hunter would like. The principle concern of the PKC is responsible breeding, though, and that’s what the remainder of this section will address.

As mentioned in the previous section, health problems are a real concern and soundness of the puppies must be assured by performing the proper tests. Reputable breeders often offer guarantees of this soundness in their sales contracts. Dogs bought at most pet stores and through newspaper ads usually offer no such guarantees.

Another trait of responsible breeders is the willingness to talk with you about their dogs and, given the opportunity, show people around the facilities used to house the dogs. Facilities should be kept clean and healthy, and dogs should have plenty of human interaction.

Meeting a Breeder

This can be a relatively stressful time, so we’ll try to do some explaining about what to expect from the breeder. They’ll be checking you out as much as you should be checking them out. Remember that they are responsible for finding good homes for their pups. Don’t be surprised if a breeder tries to talk you out of getting one of their dogs. This is usually to make sure you’ve done your homework and are prepared for their breed. A lot of the breeders we know say that they quiz prospective puppy owners harder than most people looking to adopt a baby. They have a great responsibility to place these puppies in safe and loving homes and they take that very seriously.

In some cases, especially with first-time dog owners, a breeder may not agree to sell you a puppy. Don’t take it personally. They’ve put a lot of time, money, effort, an love into the litter and may be very unwilling to part with their puppies. If you call a breeder and ask about puppies, and they say something like, “Sure I’ve got some! Really cute and lots of different colors to choose from. Come on by and pick one out,” be wary. This is often the mark of disreputable breeders trying to make a quick buck by keeping their bitches pregnant and, as literally as possible, mass-producing puppies. Not only is that bad for you and the dog; it’s bad for the breed, the good name of dog lovers, and all dogs. Yes; all dogs. The more puppies that are mass-produced for wholesale, the greater the surplus of dogs without homes.

Some of the things you should be asking the breeder include (but are not limited to):

  • Are the parents available to see/pet?
    Of course, the parents are often a good indicator of the puppy’s disposition and health. This is a chance for you to make sure that the dogs’ temperaments are similar to what you were expecting. Often the parents are unavailable, so don’t turn off a breeder for this reason.
  • What health testing do you do?
    Remember, this is where you should have done some homework and found out what kinds of problems this breed has and what tests can be done. If they tell you there are no problems in their lines, they are not being truthful. All dogs have something in their background.
  • How long do your dogs live?
    Are the grandparents, great-grandparents available? Again, do some homework before you go. What’s the average lifespan for this breed?
  • Will the breeder be willing to accept a return of the dog?
    In case you have to give up the dog, even 5 years down the road, breeders should be able to take him back. This will probably also be in the sales contract, including a clause that says you aren’t allowed to give up the dog to anyone but the breeder.

Often, breeders won’t have puppies ready for sale, but will promise puppies from their next litter to interested people. Be prepared for this, and be prepared to wait for a few months.

Paying for Puppy

You will pay more for a puppy from a responsible breeder, that is a given. But you get what you pay for. If you buy a puppy for cheap out of the paper, then you will probably not get any guarantees and possibly lots of heartache. A responsible breeder is going to do the health testing on the parents, regular vet visits, stud dog fees, whelping costs (especially if a vet is involved). All of these things add up and contribute to the cost of the puppy.

Well-respected, experienced breeders sometimes make some profit from their litters. But most breeders are simply looking to recover the costs listed above.

At the end of this stage, you have either selected a breeder or become quite frustrated. If you haven’t found a breeder with whom you’re satisfied, you can still rescue a dog. Otherwise, you’ve selected a breeder and are waiting for your pup. There are still a number of things for you to know before you bring your new dog home.

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How Do I Know What Dog is Right for Me?

July 8, 2006 | Post | No Comments

Whether you’re a “dog person” or not, this is not a trivial matter. Bringing a dog into your family involves a large responsibility – to your household and to the dog. They are living, breathing, feeling beings who need affection, interaction, and proper care. Once you adopt a dog, it will be part of your family and must not be forgotten. Choose the wrong breed and you may be in for years of confrontation. Choose the right dog, though, and you’ll be rewarded many times over. Be prepared to ask questions like, “Will this dog fit with my family?” and “Will he be a healthy dog?” Then be prepared to answer them in great detail. Also be prepared to start over when you rule out a breed. The most important advice we can give is: don’t rush. Some people take years to decide what kinds of dogs they want to share their lives.

As you might guess, we’ve got plenty of advice on this topic. And we’re supposed to – take a look at the final bullet in our mission statement on the homepage. So here is a table of contents to help you wade through it all. We advise that you peruse the whole thing once before beginning your quest. But then read each section carefully before moving on to that part of the process. For a pocket reference, the Weber Family have assembled a summary of the steps they took before settling on Romy, their Great Pyrenees. Most information there is the same as here and some is different, and that’s fine. You’ve got to decide what is right for you and your family.

 Lifestyles Health Issues Choosing a Breeder Consider Rescue Bringing Your Dog Home

Please note: If you have any questions or concerns about looking for dogs or about a specific breed, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Most likely, there will be someone in the PKC who is experienced with the breed you’re researching and will be willing to talk with you at length and possibly arrange a meeting for you and their dog. And please feel free to copy any part of this article as many times as you wish. Republication of any or all of this material is granted with the stipulation that the Pocatello Kennel Club is properly cited as the author.

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Researching Breeds for Health Problems

August 3, 2005 | Post | No Comments

Some of the most important information you can gain about your prospective breed is in regards to health problems. There isn’t a single dog out there that will be 100% healthy through their entire life, but everyone is working together to breed the healthiest dogs possible. Some health problems are serious; some are not, but most can be prevented or treated with a little care from the breeder and from the owner. And with most health issues, anticipation and early detection are the key. There is the possibility, however, that a breed in which you’re interested possesses the potential to have a serious health problem with which you do not wish to deal. So please read on.

There are several issues that are common in a number of breeds that you should be specially careful about. Potential breeding stock should be tested for these health problems and certified to be free of them before breeding and passing on of the unfavorable genes. There will be more on that topic in the next section, since this is largely the responsibility of breeders. However it’s imortant that owners know about common problems, work to prevent them from occurring, and can identify them in case they do occur.

There are too many specific health problems to list here. However you can talk to a veterinarian, breeders of the breeds in which you’re interested, or look online. Some good online places to look include the websites of the national clubs for the particular breed(s) that you’re researching as well as the AKC website.

Before approaching a breeder for pups, you should know what health problems are common in the breeds in which you’re interested so that you will know what kind of health testing the breeder should have done on the parents. There are many tests presently available and a responsible breeder should be testing their breeding stock before bringing more puppies into this world.

Once you’ve reviewed the health problems associated with your breeds, you may be ready to assess individual dogs for entry into your family. From here, you can either look at breeders or rescue a dog.

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Especially for first-time dog owners, this is probably the part of the search where you’ll spend the most time. There are over 150 breeds of dogs from which to choose. Where to begin? There are lots of online quizzes you can take that will rate a dog to your lifestyle. Most of these quizzes’ ratings are tenuous at best, and some PKC members recommend paying them no mind at all. Take them if you want, and use them only as a starting block, but don’t take their results as absolute truth. A better way to start would be to make an outline of your lifestyle. Address issues such as:

  • How much time do I have to spend with my dog?
    This is really a question you should have already asked yourself when you were considering getting a dog in the first place. If you haven’t enough time to exercise and train your dog, please think about getting a different, lower-maintenance pet.
  • How much energy do I have and how much should my dog have?
    Are you a couch potato? Or are you constantly on the go? Probably somewhere in between. There are lots of dogs who often match their intensity-level to their owners’, but most don’t. Look at this quality closely. A Bassett Hound wouldn’t be a very fun (or willing) jogging partner, and a Greyhound wouldn’t be a very happy camper in a home where no one went out to run him around.
  • How large of a dog do I have the strength to handle?
    Dogs are strong, and if you can’t control a dog, we guarantee that dog will learn to control you. Socialization and training is a necessity for any dog and will help greatly with this issue, but that takes a while so you’d better be able to use brute strength to control your dog in the meantime.
  • How large is my dwelling/yard?
    A large dog that likes to run will tear up a small yard or home in no time. The writer of this page knows all about that. Furthermore, most dogs are easier to have in a fenced yard. Many large breeds generally do just fine in apartments with the requisite amount of exercise, but some may not.
  • What type of vehicle do I have?
    This is a real safety concern. Transporting a dog can be very unsafe when the dog is not properly restrained. Transporting dogs in open-bed pickups is highly discouraged and often forbidden in adoption contracts. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum – imagine Marmaduke in a compact car. The safest way to transport dogs, while understandably not always possible, is to have a kennel (crate) in the car in which they can stay. This provides some degree of restraint in an accident and assures you that they aren’t getting into things they shouldn’t while you’re busy driving.
  • Do I have small children?
    Some dogs are absolutely great with kids. Others can’t tolerate them, and that consideration cannot be understated. This is not always split along breed lines either, so be extra cautious when examining this attribute. See how the parents are with this. And never get a dog in the hopes that he will “learn to get along with” your child. Also never ever leave any dog and a child together unsupervised. Even the gentlest dog can do a child harm during play or when he’s not paying attention.
  • How much shedding can I tolerate?
    Some dogs shed little coat if any, while other breeds can carpet your entire house. Some people are fine with this, and a lot aren’t
  • What will this dog’s function be?
    Most any dog will make a great pet for the right people, but will he also be a watchdog? How about a hunting partner? Do you have livestock to be herded? Most dogs will try doing the jobs for which they’ve been bred even if you don’t want them to, so if you don’t want your cows or sheep or goats to be herded by your dog, be careful not to choose a herding dog. Sighthounds like Greyhounds will often see a rabbit or squirrel and take off after it – that’s simply what they’ve been bred to do. If you want a hiking partner, think twice about one of these breeds or you may lose your dog. The same types of considerations can be made for other hounds and sporting dogs. Working dogs are bred to pull things, guard things, or herd things. Are you ready to be alerted by your dog every time someone comes to the door? Bear in mind that these are sweeping generalizations and that individual dogs in a certain breed may not display the characteristics outlined here, but these are more of the considerations to be made.

There are most likely lots more aspects of your life into which your dog will have to mesh – spouses, allergies, other pets, neighbors’ opinions . . . the list goes on. So please give your daily life some careful thought, and put things in perspective (“I can live with a dog that sheds if it means I can have a dog that’s gentle with my kids”). Be prepared to spend a month or two at this stage. The AKC Website may be a good place to start. There, you can read the breed descriptions they’ve got, and you can find clubs dealing with your breed(s) in your area as well as national breed clubs.

Before continuing in your quest to find the right dog for you, you should have your search narrowed down to three or four breeds. Once you have them chosen, it’s time to consider the most common health concerns in those breeds; and this may help you rule out one or two more breeds

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