I don’t want to see any dog have to live in a puppy mill or shelter but being adopted by the wrong humans could mean that they get abandoned and end up back in a shelter or worse.
For those thinking of getting a dog, I hope you will think about a few things first. For starters, what kind of dog do you want? The most popular dogs in the US today are Labrador Retrievers (I’m part Lab), German Sheppards, Beagles and Golden Retrievers. All of these are great breeds and have certain characteristics that make them special.
Let’s say you want to get a Lab because we are good with young children. Do you know we Labs are high energy dogs so we need lots of exercise and we’re also high strung so we need good consistent training? We’re also very smart so we need lots of mental as well as physical stimulation. We also tend to like to eat so without a lot of exercise, we get obese. Like humans, obese dogs tend to have many more health problems like diabetes and hip, knee and joint problems.
When choosing a dog please remember that a dog is not a status symbol, fashion statement or a lawn ornament. A dog is a living being that needs love and attention. If you want to buy a pure bred German Sheppard for example, you could pay anywhere from $3,000 to $24,000. A Pharaoh Hound $2,500 to $6,500 and a Bearded Collie is a steal at $1,000 to $5,000. The average shelter charges from around $300 to $575. And shelter dogs often come with all of their shots, spayed/neutered and with a micro chip!
Having a dog is expensive. I’m not only talking about how much it costs to buy a dog, I’m talking about how much it costs to keep a dog. The first year, the cost to have a dog in your household averages between $1,300 for a small dog and $1,800 for a big dog. After the first year it averages between $580 and $875 a year. If your dog gets extra special treats like I do, the cost will be more.
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. If you are considering getting a dog, please check your local shelters or rescue service and choose a dog that fits your life style. Consider adopting an older dog if you don’t have lots of time for training. Many dogs in shelters already know the basics, like knowing to go outside to pee.
You don’t have to go to a big name college to get a great education and you don’t need to pay a ton of money to get a great dog. I didn’t come from a high cost breeder but from a really small rescue organization and I am the perfect dog for my family.
Your Adopted Friend,
P.S. Shameless self promotion. Your dog doesn't need lots of blue ribbons to deserve one of our Best In Show gift baskets. (shown above)