When choosing a dog : The Spaw
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When choosing a dog

by Gayle Caston on 09/26/17

As a mobile dog groomer in Stuart, Fla., for the past several years, if you are considering bringing in a new four-legged family into your pack, think about these important considerations.

Everybody falls in love with the dog with the cute pug nose or the long flowing mane. But one thing most families don't consider when adopting or buying a new pup is the possible grooming needs for their dog.

Do the research. Study the characteristics and needs of the breed before you commit. If the potential new arrival is a mixed breed, then realize you are adopting the attributes of all breeds in the mix.

For example, if the dog is a "doodle," then that means they have poodle in their genes and that means a dog with high grooming needs and regular maintenance.

Consider how much the breed tends to shed. Don't be misled, even short hair dogs shed. They might just shed shorter hairs, but it could be in copious amounts, so regular grooming visits might be advisable.

All breeds require some home care. There are no maintenance-free dogs.

But don't worry. Don't let shedding dissuade you from choosing a breed or dog you love. With regular brushing, you can prevent loose hair from filling up your house.

Find a place outside for regular brushing. If you need to be inside, then just cover the floor with something to catch all the loose hair.

If you pick a dog with high grooming needs, be aware that as the owner of the dog, you will have to contribute to the grooming as well. That means a regular or even daily brushing to keep the fur from becoming entangled and matted. A well-brushed coat means an easier time for the dog when its grooming time.

Be sure to not just brush the back, but also the belly, under the ears, under the chin, legs, feet and rear end. Don't worry about embarrassing your pet about where you brush them, they’re not shy.

Another thing I recommend for new dog owners is to take them immediately to the veterinarian. The vet can check on their health in general and make sure they are up-to-date on vaccines.

It's also a good idea to chip them with an identification chip.

The vet will also check for fleas or other pests. If you need to take the dog home first, give them a thorough once-over. You want to catch any pests before you bring the dog into your home.  Check all the way down to the skin, not just the fur. Look for signs of mange or other skin conditions as well.

Perhaps the dog already has a chip that the vet can check. The vet can also help to determine the age of the pet.

Sure, you can't wait to bring your new furry friend home. But for your piece of mind, when you adopt a pet, do your research first and visit a vet. Those steps will give your new pooch the best start possible in their new home.