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Guidelines for Choosing Your Canine Best Friend

August 1 2015

You’re about to join the ranks of happy dog owners. You can’t wait to buy your new companion a custom bed and an entire bin of toys. You’re excited about taking this lucky pooch on neighborhood walks and dog park visits. Before you run to the animal shelter, though, formulate a picture of your ideal canine housemate. Your Myrtle Beach, SC veterinarian can provide expert advice as you consider this life-changing decision.

Lifestyle-Friendly Companion

You’re happy with your current lifestyle, so select a dog who will enjoy it with you. If you thrive on vigorous exercise, choose a high-energy sporting or working dog. Perhaps you savor your time at home, reading a book or watching your favorite shows. A smaller, more settled dog might make an ideal companion. Don’t take this decision lightly, as your (and your dog’s) quality of life depends on choosing a suitable partner.

Important Health Considerations

If purebred dogs are on your short list, realize that each breed has documented health and behavioral issues. For a mixed-breed pooch, study the predominant breed’s characteristics. View the American Kennel Club website for helpful snapshots of popular (and lesser known) purebred canines. Your vet can also provide expert advice.

Regular Grooming Needs

If your dog is clean and well groomed, he’ll enjoy a better quality of life. Labrador retrievers and other short-coated breeds probably won’t need much more than a regular bath and nail trim. However, if you’re hooked on a perfectly coiffed golden retriever, expect considerable brushing time and regular grooming appointments. If you allow your pooch’s coat to become unkempt and matted, he’ll be miserable and you’ll pay extra grooming fees.

Breeder-Raised or Adopted?

You’ve identified the dog who will enjoy the cushiest lifestyle in town. Now, decide where you’ll find him. If you’re searching for a puppy, avoid pet store dogs and puppies bred in owners’ homes. These unfortunate animals are frequently prone to parasites and contagious diseases. Although breeder-raised canines are available, animal shelters and rescue groups accept thousands of adoptable dogs every year. If you’re seeking a purebred pooch, you might find the perfect match through a breed rescue organization. After your canine companion arrives, your Myrtle Beach, SC veterinarian will give him a new patient exam and prescribe a nutritious diet. To give your dog an excellent start, contact us for an appointment.

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