Picking a puppy can be an exciting experience. However, learning how to choose the right puppy can be difficult when confronted with several cute, little critters to choose from. You have probably heard that it is never wise to settle on the first puppy you come across. So, just how do you decide on one? The following useful tips can show you how to choose the right puppy for your home.
Evaluate the Pup’s Behavior
The first step involved in learning how to pick the right puppy for your home is to evaluate the pup’s behavior. Watch the puppy as it plays with its litter mates. Typically, youngsters who overpower other pups in the litter and growl during play turn out to be aggressive adults. They are often difficult to train and may not be the best picks for young children.
At the other end of the spectrum are the puppies that allow their litter mates to overpower them. They often get “beat up” and may even have bite marks on their bodies. They cry out during play and cower when you reach out to touch them. Fearful puppies will not respond to harsh training methods, and they prefer to be by themselves.
The best pups to choose are those that play with their litter mates but are not overly aggressive. They are curious about their surroundings and are not afraid to go to you and sniff your hand. After sniffing your hand, they will wag their tails and may even “kiss” you. They are not afraid of being held or stroked.
Evaluate the Pup’s Health
The next step involved in learning how to choose the right puppy for your home is evaluating the pup’s health. While only a qualified veterinarian can say for sure whether or not a puppy is completely healthy, the following health checklist can help you choose the healthiest prospect in the litter.
- The eyes should be bright and without any redness, discharge or swelling.
- The ears should not be inflamed, have excessive wax buildup or have a foul odor.
- Heavy infestations of fleas can lead to such health issues as tapeworms, anemia, flea bite allergy and even death.
- Scooting, swollen abdomens and rice-like deposits that are stuck to the pup’s hindquarters are warning signs of worm infestations.
- Tick infestations can result in many serious health issues including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, anemia and death.
- Puppies that appear too weak to lift their heads or stand may be suffering from such illnesses as severe anemia, parvovirus or hypoglycemia.
- The skin should be soft, without scaling or rashes and should spring back quickly when gently pulled up. Skin that falls back slowly is often a sign of dehydration.
Learning how to pick the right puppy for your home is not difficult if you take the time to evaluate its behavior and health. Nobody wants to choose a puppy that is going to end up needing extensive veterinary care upon bringing it home. Fortunately, when you use the tips described above, you can be sure that you will choose the perfect puppy for you and your family.