How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

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How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

Thinking of buying a pet? Your decision can alter your routine as pets require time and need to be fed and maintained.  So which one is right for you?

Dogs and cats are the most popular pets. Puppies and kittens require a lot of time and care. So if you are out of the house a lot or have small children, it’s not a great idea to buy such a pet.

However, a fully-grown cat or dog requires less time and attention. While dogs need to be walked, cats are relatively maintenance-free if you don’t consider the damage they do to your furniture (they need to condition their claws regularly). Flat dwellers prefer cats to dogs, because they are clean and independent. A cat or dog means additional expenses such as toys, food, beds and other accessories.

It is not unusual for someone to wander into a pet shop, and drive home with a parrot that thoroughly charmed them with a hello. Birds have long life spans, and they can be expensive to care for. They need time and grooming too. Research well before you decide on a particular breed of bird.

Rabbits need at least 3 hours of your time each day, and a big enough space to hop around. They multiply quickly, and it is best not to keep a male and female together, for obvious reasons.

Other popular pets to buy are hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, mice and small furries, more suited for children who are old enough to take care of them independently.

What’s the Best Dog Breed For You?
Instead of just buying a popular breed, choose one that fits best into your household in terms of how much pet time you can devote, the cost of upkeep, veterinary bills, presence of babies, where you live and how often you travel. Here’s some information on the most popular breeds today.

  • German Shepherds make great family dogs as well as show dogs. They require regular exercise and grooming.
  • Labrador Retrievers are one of the most intelligent breeds, due to which they are great with children, the blind, and with seniors as companion dogs. Their water-resistant coats need regular maintenance and they love exercise.
  • Yorkshire Terriers are small in size, but have great personalities. Their size makes them great travel companions. They don’t need too much physical exercise, but love company. Their long luxurious coats require regular grooming.
  • Golden Retrievers are friendly, energetic, highly intelligent and eager to please. Like Labrador Retrievers, they have water-resistant coats that need maintenance.
  • Beagles are popular family dogs and have fun personalities. They have a short, easy-to-groom coat and love company.
  • Boxers are athletic, intelligent and great with children. Their short coats are easy to maintain. They require a lot of exercise.
  • Dachshunds, with their distinctive sausage-shaped bodies, are fearless, playful and great as family pets. They require moderate exercise and a moderate amount of grooming.
  • Poodles are beautiful to look at and make excellent companion dogs. They are easy to train, but may need a bit of coat maintenance.
  • Bulldogs look big and muscular, but they can be extremely gentle and protective with children. They require minimal grooming.

Owning a pet requires a lot of commitment and time. Be wary of unscrupulous breeders who take advantage of the fact that pedigree breeds fetch high prices. Do your homework well, and you are sure to be rewarded with a happy, healthy pet that is just right for you!

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