Always, Look into shelter adoption first. There are some many wonderful dogs that need homes and the amazing work of shelters is to be commended. Consider fostering a dog to see if you are ready to become a dog owner.
Don’t be an impulse buyer. A puppy might look cute, but once you take them home you could end up with a lot more than you bargained for. Do your research to see exactly what breed and type of dog suits your situation best. It might take some time to find the dog you want from a reputable breeder, you might have to wait for a puppy to be born or to grow old enough to leave its mother, but health guarantees are worth it.
Puppy farms are selling a lot of dogs online. You must be vigilant and complete due diligence to ensure you are buying a dog from a reputable source. It’s all about supply and demand, but these are living creatures were dealing with, to stop Puppy Farms please research exactly where your dog is coming from and try to avoid buying off Puppy Farms at all costs.
If you make the decision to go with a purebred, try to stay local. Make sure to check the background and get references from the breeder, visit the home where the mother dog and her puppies live so you can be sure it is an ethical breeder. Meeting people at garages etc to collect dogs is to be avoided completely. You must do your due diligence. Contact the Irish Kennel Club and they can point you in the right direction.
Consider an older dog as they have so much to give and the benefits are endless, less chewing and toilet training generally, All dogs need a little help to settle in the beginning but its half the work with a more mature dog.
Do not put your dog in a position to get themselves into trouble, clean up after them when you’re out walking, keep them on a lead, don’t let dogs run free unless it’s safe to do so, provide adequate training for your dog, and follow all guidelines and regulations for your dog breed. If your dog bites someone you and your dog will be in a world of trouble, do not put your dog in this position. You are responsible for them. Always monitor dogs around children, strangers and new situations. Dogs can be unpredictable, protect your dog & yourself.
Watch out for behavioural problems and health issues that have come about due to overbreeding etc. Do your research and choose a dog that is suitable for your situation.
Take advice from your local veterinary clinic on how to manage the health of your new puppy or dog and other best practices, they can also confirm the correct age that puppies can be taken away from their mother to ensure they have been given ample time to be fully weaned and establish their own feeding regime. Always be happy with the temperament of the Mother dog and be sure to see the puppies in their home environment. Reputable dog breeders will provide you with further information on how to care for different dog breeds and there is lots of information available online. Dogs need to be vaccinated, wormed and require flee prevention regularly as well as many other procedures and checks. Dogs are expensive and insurance should always be considered. Ask Questions, Do Your Research!
Speak out! Warn you friends, family and social networks about buying dogs from unethical sources. Education is the best solution to this probelm. If you come across puppy farms or dogs kept in bad conditions report it to local authorities. Support and recommend legislation that regulates the breeding and selling of animals. We have to be the voice for dogs as they can't speak for themselves.
The world already has enough dogs, too many in fact, We really don’t need any more dogs in the world right now, until such time where all the dog shelters are completely empty and all the dogs that are here already are properly cared for. We have a responsibility to dogs as we domesticated them. Please consider neutering or spaying your dogs.
Never ever dump a dog, if for some reason you cannot keep your dog due to extreme circumstances beyond your control. Take advice from your local vet or dog shelter on how best to rehome them and under no circumstances have them put down or dump them there are plenty of organisations and supports available to help you rehome your dog if necessary.
Theft of dogs has become increasing popular as the prices achieved for dogs have increased during the lockdown etc. Dogs are generally stolen for one of two things: To sell or to use as practice for dog fighting rings etc. Ensure your dog is kept in securely so they cannot be easily taken from your home. Do your due diligence to ensure your dog is coming from a reputable source always.
Where you keep your dog is very important, obviously dogs are happiest living in our homes as they are pack animals, some dogs live outside, if you are going to keep your dog outside its very important to ensure they have adequate warmth, shelter, nutrition, security, space and attention.
Select a dog that is the right fit for you, your family and your living situation, they are a lot of work, Do your research. Consider fostering to see if you are ready to have a dog.
All dogs are a lifetime commitment 0-20 years or more in some cases, Puppy’s get old, Dogs get sick and have accidents, Your life circumstances change. Are you financially ready to commit to a dog? If the answer is no wait until you are ready.
Support organizations and movements that act as watchdogs over breeders. This can either be with your money, time (volunteering for shelters and rescue groups) or talents (writing letters, organizing events etc) Use your position as a voter to insist on legislation that ensures that dogs – and all animals – be born and raised in healthy environments.
Report incidences of an unethical or abusive breeders or puppy farm operators in your area, tell your local animal law enforcement agency. Follow up if necessary.
Travelling and your dog, We all tend to travel nowadays, think about this before you get a dog and make plans for how they are cared for in your absence.
We don’t like to think about our own mortality, but you need to make plans for the care of your dog in the event of your death or incapacitation, we need to ensure that they are protected in our absence. Include arrangements for your dog in your will.
Dogs are not fashion accessories, one minute you can have a cute trendy expensive purebred dog and they next minute they can have an accident and end up missing a leg or an eye and are no longer as cute as you want them to be. Dogs hair will grey, they may develop medical issues which can be expensive, their eyes will fade as they grow older but their hearts get bigger and their capacity to love multiplies with age. Dogs are a lifetime commitment.
Dealing with the death of a dog or having to put a dog down due to unavoidable health conditions that are causing them to suffer is unimaginably painful. But unfortunately its part of owning a dog. Our animal companions provide us with love, support, and loyalty. When we are faced with the devastating decision to euthanise our pets, it is the end of a very important relationship and can be just as painful as losing a human loved one.
The Irish Kennel Club, your local Vet’s, Dog Shelters & the Internet have some fantastic resources and information on their websites – Do your research before buying a dog and always consider adoption.