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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Picking A New Pet

People choose a new pet for many reasons, most of them valid. Some want a companion, some want a family pet, and some want something cute or cool-looking. However, it often happens that people don't really look carefully enough at the kind of pet they will be getting. They make decisions for apparently good reasons, and then are surprised when the pet doesn't turn out quite like they expected. So here are a few tips and hints for the next time you're looking at getting something new. And it's all summarized in one word....RESEARCH.

Before you get a new pet, please be sure to look into several things. What kind of specialized care do they need? This is especially important with exotic pets such as birds and reptiles who need special diets and housing. Do you have the money and resources to take care of them properly? What kind of behavior will the pet have? Will that puppy be easily trained, or will she need some extra handling? How good will he be around children or other pets? A pet's behavior is important to consider. Many birds and reptiles don't like much handling. Many dogs have a tendency for aggression or nervousness. Consider these things in your choice. What kind of health concerns will your pet have? Did you know that iguanas are prone to metabolic bone disease and what you can do to prevent it? Did you know that cocker spaniels are prone to ear infections, Westhighland white terriers are prone to skin disease, and boxers are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy? If you know common health issues ahead of time, you can perhaps prevent them, or at least not be surprised when they happen.

I see a lot of pet owners who pick a pet because of its looks, and never consider other issues. This leads to frustration and disappointment as the dog or cat behaves poorly, or develops a chronic condition common for the breed. Do your research ahead of time, and be properly prepared. By doing so, you can have a stronger and healthier bond with your pet.