How Much Does A Puppy Cost?
This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you'll want to make a wise investment.
Can You Afford A Puppy?
The purchase price of your puppy is not the only cost you have to consider. Be aware that the puppy you bring home will need proper care, such as health care (a dog needs annual shots) and food. Your puppy will also need little things like a collar with identification, a bowl, and a leash. Evaluate your budget; ask yourself if you really can afford a dog. Dog Ownership = Responsibility. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan available in 50 states, can help you budget sensibly and responsibly for the lifelong healthcare needs of your dog.
Take the time to ask yourself these questions and to make an educated decision. You and your dog will be happier for it. There is no doubt that a puppy is a cuddly bundle of joy, but it is also a huge responsibility.
Caring For Your Dog
All dogs must be cared for daily. This means proper diet, exercise, grooming and veterinary attention. There are many excellent guides on all facets of dog care. AKC's own books, The Complete Dog Book and Dog Care and Training, contain information on proper dog care. We recommend you have these or some other authoritative reference source available. Do not attempt to be your own veterinarian! All dogs should be regularly examined by a veterinarian and inoculated against the major infectious canine diseases. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help you to provide this essential care.
Your Dog and Your Neighbors
All dog owners must be aware of their responsibilities to their neighbors, both those who live in the area immediately around their residence and their neighbors in the broader sense of the community as a whole. Dogs, for all the pleasure they are, can be a nuisance to your neighbors if not trained. Remember, excessive barking can be annoying. And, always keep your dog on a leash or inside a fenced yard when exercising. Remember to pick up after your dog. Forestall problems for yourself and your dog and all dog lovers by being a good neighbor.
Obedience Training For Everyone
One way to make your dog a good neighbor is through obedience training. A poorly behaved dog is a problem for everyone. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to corral a dog that will not "come" when you call. A well-trained dog is not only a pleasure to own, he is a goodwill ambassador for the entire canine community. A well-behaved dog is the result of the dog's owner being willing to work with the dog regularly in a systematic manner. Obedience classes are available in most communities. Time spent training your dog is time well spent.
Helpful Tips When Purchasing a Puppy
Whether you go to a breeder or a rescue group, you should be prepared to ask a lot of questions about the puppy or dog you hope to acquire. Here are some questions to ask:
- What possible health problems might this dog develop?
- How big will the dog get?
- How old will he be before he acts like an adult dog?
- How protective will the dog be?
- How often will the dog need to be groomed?
- How does he get along with other animals?
- How long can he be left alone at home?
- How much exercise does the dog need?
- What are the best training methods for this dog?
Your contact should be willing to answer all of your questions fully. He or she should also ask questions about you, your lifestyle, and your family. If a contact doesn't respond to your inquiries, or doesn't show any interest in the life the dog will lead after it leaves his or her premises, you may want to look elsewhere. A responsible breeder or dedicated rescue group member is committed to making a good match between prospective owners and the dogs in their care; that's the kind of person you want on your side as you make the journey into dog ownership.