When Pom-pom was still a puppy, taken 2 years ago. He’s my Pomeranian spitz.

Sure, you saw that cute, little furry thing on TV, or one of your friends has a big, friendly, giant dog breed and you imagine yourself buying one. That’s the easiest part; but have you thought of other more important things to consider when getting a dog / puppy?

 If you want a dog, ask yourself this question: are you ready, really ready to take care of a puppy? Puppies are like babies. They need attention – lots of it. They can have accidents around the house and will chew anything they can get their sharp canines on. You need to have the commitment to be able to train them (housebreaking) and yelling doesn’t help much.

 Cost of dog ownership – spending money in buying a puppy doesn’t end there. You also have to think of vet care; puppy vaccines, booster shots, anti rabies shots, neutering or spaying, etc. The dog food – puppy food cost more than adult dog foods. Planning to get a big breed? They have BIG appetites too. What about chew toys? What about grooming? If you plan to have a dog breed with fur that continuously grows, be prepared to have funds for the pet groomers!

 Consider other people / pets in the household – Do you have children in the house? Do you have other people with fur allergies living with you? Do you have other pets, let’s say a cat? There are certain dog breeds that do not tolerate children, some are good with them. Some dog breeds have hypoallergenic fur, which is fairly safe for people with fur allergies. I had a cat before my dad brought home a four month old Dalmatian – they hated each other at first, then they learned to ignore each other after a few years. They have learned to mind their own business. I’m not saying that this will eventually happen if you have a cat and suddenly brought home a puppy, but be sure to consider everyone else living in your house before buying a puppy.

 Research about the breed – not researching about the breed firsthand often results in regret in the end. I know someone who bought a Chow-chow, Japanese spitz cross breed and later spilled all the things she didn’t like about her dog. She said she didn’t expect the dog to grow big like that (yes, her dog grew up almost as big as a Chow-chow) and that she didn’t think it would be ‘that’ aggressive. Hello! With a Chow’s temperament and a Spitz’s character, what were you expecting?! That’s two personalities in one dog!

 Size of dog – if you’ve got a small space, let’s say you’re renting an apartment then don’t get a Great Dane or an Irish wolfhound! These dogs need all the space they can get to run around. Also, the bigger the dog, the more it will eat – another thing to consider.

 Activity / energy level – Some dogs have high energy levels and they need to use / release that energy or else you might end up with dog problems such as excessive barking. If you’re the type who loves outdoors then it’s okay for you to get a an active breed of dog that you can take running, jogging and hiking.

 Temperament – dogs are like humans, some have short fuse, aggressive and some just really, really have long patience with anything and everything. If you plan to take care of a dog for the first time, it’s better to get a dog that’s on the ‘mellow’ side – ones that have agreeable temperament and not the ones who assert their way and take over as the leader of the pack. Remember, if you plan to get a dog, you will be the pack leader, not the other way around.

 Physical maintenance / grooming – Are you ready for the cost of taking your dog to the groomers? Or if you are feeling adventurous, are you brave enough to do the styling on your pet? Trim its nails? Clean its ears? All those will definitely take a lot of energy, time, effort and commitment.

 Pure breed or cross bred dogs – Pure breds are more famous than cross bred dogs, but they say a pure bred has more health problems than cross bred ones. I have two Pomeranian spitz’s and they turned out fine – intelligent like a Pom and loyal like a Spitz.

 Where to get your dog? – Personally, I prefer my vet’s referrals when I want to buy a puppy or close friends whose dogs are healthy. I don’t buy from pet shops or online ads, because honestly, I don’t have any idea if the parents of the puppy they’re selling are top of the line and without genetic problems. How can I be sure that they are not doing ‘inbreeding’ with their dogs?

 I always think that dogs are like humans too. They need the same amount of care we do, the only difference is that dogs live shorter and well, obviously, they can’t talk. So again, consider some of the pointers I wrote before getting a dog. If you have other things to add, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments. I will gladly appreciate it.

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