When you're shopping for a new pet, it's tempting to impulse buy any dog.
"Every puppy at some point is very small and very cute, but it can go from being small to 80 pounds and in an apartment, which may not be the best fit for them," said Matt Boos, manager at Petsmart.
But before you consider a new dog or cat, there are a few things the experts say you need to know. Picking a pet requires a lot of time researching and planning.
"Find out which group fits your lifestyle and pick a dog from that specific group," said Cindy Rarrat, owner and operator of the Siouxland Animal Adoption and Rescue Center.
While there are a number of viable places to adopt, animal shelters have a special place for Kelly Erie.
"To have a family that understands the means of taking care of and also the means of giving that animal a second chance at life," said Erie, assistant shelter manager at the Siouxland Humane Society.
Then, there are retail stores, like Petsmart. Boos says it's important to be patient while training any new dog.
"The only difference between a three-month-old puppy and a three year old is just repetitions. It's all about repetitions for a dog. So, if you're willing to do the leg work, whether it's at three months or three years, they can learn it," said Boos.
And then there are puppy mills. Rarrat says to be very careful with these.
"A lot of times they will breed dogs that have genetic defects and continue that in their line of breeding," said Rarrat.
Rarrat says it's important to meet with the owners and learn about how they've cared for the animals.
"Find out maybe if they've had their hips or elbows x-rayed and what they've done to prevent that genetic defect," said Rarrat.
Rarrat says when you're committing to a dog, it's important first to meet its family.
"If at all possible, with any breed of dog, if you can meet the parents first, that gives you an idea of how that puppy is going to grow up," said Rarrat.
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