Stolley Park
Veterinary Hospital

3020 W. Stolley Park Road  Grand Island, Nebraska  68801  
Phone:  308-384-6272   Fax:  308-384-0984

April Newsletter

Selecting a Puppy

Before deciding to go out and buy a puppy, itís a good idea to do a little research. The first item of importance is to determine what kind of dog will best suit your household. Do you like small lapdogs or large working dogs to run or exercise with? Do you prefer easy to groom short hair or dogs which might need daily brushing or in some cases, regular trips to the groomer? There are many breeds to choose from with many different traits. To prevent a bad match, contact your veterinarian, breeders or dog trainers for advice. Remember that dog breeds featured in the movies are not always as they seem on the screen. Be prepared to know the health risks, and personality quirks of breeds youíre interested in.

Once youíve decided what you want, ask your veterinarian, local kennel club, dog trainers or humane society for names of reputable local breeders. If there are none nearby that you are personally referred to, start checking into national breed clubs, researching dog magazines or websites. Ask questions about the pros and cons, there are always both with every breed or mixed breed. Knowing breed traits ahead of time and health issues can prevent later heartbreaks. When considering buying any dog, remember that many breeds can live from 12-15 years. Think about your future plans and make sure a dog fits into them. If you plan to travel extensively, move to a new city or an apartment that doesnít accept dogs, this could change your plan to acquire a dog until a later time.

Dogs are great listeners, keep your secrets and are loyal to a fault. Since they come in so many shapes, sizes and colors, itís pretty certain there is something for everyone. Another consideration is that sometimes you might not have the time or energy for a pup and an adult might suit your lifestyle better. Adoption or rescue is a great way to find a perfect companion and save a life in the process. Many times these are great choices for grandparents or elder adults rather than the chewing and high activity needs of young puppies.

by trainer Lucy Kerby