Choosing the Puppy or Dog for You

Dogs are man’s best friends, as the saying goes, and there are many types—pet, performance, or working dog. Whether you choose a purebred or a mixed breed, your best friend needs special care and lifestyle adjustments. Let’s talk about some of the choices available to you:

  • Small or large—Smaller dogs are better house and traveling pets and tend to live longer; larger dogs are often better working dogs and their size offers greater protection, but the larger the dog, the shorter its lifespan.
  • Purebred or mixed breed—If you are showing or want a performance dog, you will certainly look into purebred animals, but often mixed breed dogs make the best pets; be sure to consult your vet about known medical conditions associated with certain purebred animals.
  • Puppies or older dogs—Many people believe an older dog comes with irreversible behaviors and problems, but most older dogs are quite trainable, often already housebroken, and have grown out of the destructive puppy behaviors such as chewing and crying all night.

Whatever you choose, your new pet should be examined by a veterinarian to be certain there are no apparent diseases or disorders and your animal is reasonably healthy. Adopting an older animal may mean your new pet needs extra care at first, possibly due to neglect or abuse, and you will want to know what is needed before you decide to take the animal home. Choosing an animal that is active, friendly, and alert with no obvious aggressive behaviors is the first step. If possible, take a look at the parents for some indicators as to size, socialization, and overall temperament.

Bringing Home a Puppy

There are a few considerations when bringing home your puppy. First, make certain your new puppy is weaned and able to eat solid food. Ask the breeder for a few days’ sample of the food they have been feeding for a smooth transition to your home. Next, find out if the pup has been crate trained. Many puppies like the security of a crate, so talk with the breeder about crate training your pup. Last, ask for any initial veterinary documents and a vaccination schedule. Bring these documents with you when you see us for your first puppy checkup.

Some Puppy Tips

  • Choose a puppy with physical and behavioral characteristics that suit your personality and lifestyle.
  • Seven to nine weeks of age is the best time to bring home your new puppy.
  • Spay or neuter your new pet for a healthier dog and a happier household.
  • Introduce your new puppy to other pets in a safe, controlled manner.
  • Never give your puppy string, ribbon, shoelaces, or other homemade toys that may cause choking or intestinal blockage. Buy only safety-tested toys from a reputable dealer.
  • Basic training for your pup begins on day 1—consult with us for tips on how to start the lifelong process of behavioral training.

Learn about long life and wellness for your pet on our Wellness page. Visit our Vaccination page for information on appropriate and necessary vaccines for your new pet. And find out the facts about pet dental care on our Pet Dental Care page.

Getting ready to spay or neuter? Visit our Pet Surgery page for answers to all your questions on this subject. And, as your pet ages, we offer information and guidance in senior pet care. For more information about dogs, visit these informative websites:

Store Accessories Store Accessories

Our in-house retail area carries a variety of products, tools, and accessories for the convenience of our Sullivan Veterinary Clinic customers. View our retail area for product information and ordering options, and enjoy the ease of our online shopping service.

Rx Refills Rx Refills

Convenient veterinary prescriptions, refills from our full-service pharmacy, and a variety of payment options—Sullivan Veterinary Clinic has pharmaceutical services to meet the needs of every large or small animal owner. Learn more about accessing our veterinary pharmacy.

Pet Gallery Pet Gallery

Visit our Pet Gallery to view photos of happy, healthy Sullivan patients. Add your favorite animal companion to our Picture Gallery, and check out the Pet of the Month for a profile of a special Sullivan pet.

“(I have) the BEST vet in the whole world! Chris Sullivan is so good to my family and my babies!!! Bless his heart, he’s constantly treating my animals via telephone while I’m all over this country!!”~ submitted by Sullivan client Shannon Gwin

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