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Many animal lovers happily see adopting a pet as a smart investment; others tend to be more practical. Seeing the use of the term “investment” in purely financial terms, they note that dogs are money pits. It costs serious money to raise and take care of one. While the average dog costs as much as $1,200 a year in food, grooming and healthcare costs, some animals turn out to be even more high-maintenance.
The itemizers who focus on the financial angle simply do not see what the fuss over pets is about. This isn’t usually because they are incapable of being deeply moved by a relationship with a pet, though; they simply haven’t been able to find the right pet for their personality, and experience all that is possible in such a relationship. Ending up with a pet that doesn’t work for your needs can spell the difference between being giddily in love and being fussy while fretting about all the expenses involved. The kind of outlook you end up with depends entirely on how you approach your search.
Where do you find the best dogs?
Any town has a number of places that you could try for a new pet — rescue shelters, pet stores, breeders and individual dog owners whose pets have had puppies. Blundering your way through all these choices can be not unlike the way the dating scene worked before the Internet. You have no way of knowing what you want, or how to find the right personality match.
Looking for a puppy on a puppy finder website
When it comes to bringing sellers and buyers of puppies together, eBay is one of the most popular services in the country. The site, though, offers no vetting for quality. If you need assistance and a guarantee of reputation, you should look at a new variety of specialized solutions called pet finder services.
The American Kennel Club: If this is your first time looking online for a puppy, the AKC should be your first stop. The name has been synonymous with dog adoptions since the 1800s, and has been associated with high-quality dog breeder certifications for decades. Puppies that you find through the AKC’s website are by registered breeders, and are usually of prize-winning level.
ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is one of the best-respected names in pet rescue and adoption. Each pet on offer comes with its own web page filled with detailed information. You get to read about the animal’s character, behavioral preferences and other important tips to help you see where the best choices lie.
Maddie’s Fund: This puppy-finder website is run by the organization behind Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, the world-famous pet adoption event. It features hundreds of rescue dogs with detailed breed information.
Hearts United for Animals: Run by a nationally represented chain of pet shelters, this website offers a constantly updated, quality user experience. It features a database that is searchable by breed, size, age, gender and other popular search factors. To make sure that each dog on its database has the best chance possible at being adopted, Hearts United for Animals lists them with a well-written back story, plenty of photos and all the information that you could need to make an informed decision.
NextDayPets: This international pet finding agency is one of the best in the world. With a vast database of pets and a beautifully designed search system, it helps you easily find the right pet with excellent accuracy by breed, price, age and location. These puppies can cost hundreds.
A number of other high-quality pet-finder services exist online, too.
Information is wealth
The traditional pet buying process tends to be terribly inefficient. Whether you try a professional breeder or a local dog owner with puppies, detailed information about each puppy tends to be surprisingly hard to come by. When you do have information, it can be hard to organize it in a form that’s easy to compare. Short of working with a personal puppy shopper service, it can be hard to come by the information that you need in a way that you can use. Puppy buying websites and adoption websites, though, bring pet shopping into the Internet age. The process is now as easy as shopping for a TV, a car or a travel package.
You should still take care to stay away from the puppy mills
In general, businesses involved in commodifying or mass-producing anything tend to let expensive indulgences such as worker welfare or animal welfare fall by the wayside. Trusting mass-production businesses such as pet shops to treat helpless little puppies well until they reach you makes little sense. These businesses are built for extreme cost-efficiency, and not to ensure the well-being of animals.
Since pet stores and their suppliers aren’t set up to breed animals with care, they often end up producing animals with serious genetic defects. Not only are you likely to receive a traumatized animal, then, you are likely to end up with an unhealthy, high-maintenance creature that costs you thousands in healthcare expenses over the time that you keep it.
Where do you find the best puppies then?
The purchase of a pet is unlike any other purchase — in a way, you need to be able to find love and a close personal bond. You need to approach the shopping process with extra care — much the way you would go about finding a romantic partner. You need to go wherever you find the most information. In-depth information is the only way that you will find the healthiest, happiest puppies that are a close match to your personality and your needs.