Beware Puppy Love, Warns Best Friends (C) Pet Experts Share 10 Tips On Choosing A Dog

Mar 13, 1998, 00:00 ET from Best Friends Pet Care, Inc.

    NORWALK, Conn., March 13 /PRNewswire/ --Few creatures are as cute or
 alluring as puppies, but it's crucial that you resist the urge to take the
 tyke home with you on impulse, advises Best Friends (C) Pet Resorts & Salons.
     Suggesting that the decision to welcome a dog into your household "should
 be made very carefully," Best Friends issued a list of 10 tips on choosing the
 right dog.  "Remember, the pet will be with you for the next 10 to 15 years,"
 says Charles A. Cocotas, Chairman and CEO of the upscale chain of boarding and
 grooming centers.  "So instead of acting impulsively, consider what kind of
 pet would be best for you and first whether you should have a
     To help prospective dog owners make the right choice, Best Friends offers
 10 helpful tips:
     --  Identify your reasons for wanting a dog.  How do you want the pet to
         interact with you or the family?  Picture the type of activities you
         would engage in with your new pet.  Do you want a guard dog or a
     --  Research the type of pet you would like and find which type of pet
         best suits your lifestyle.  Access related information at the library,
         on the Internet, through kennels and breeders.
     --  Is space a problem?  Rather than focusing on the size of dogs,
         research the temperament of breeds; small dogs need more space than
         many larger breeds.
     --  Call one or more veterinarians and/or kennel clubs for the names of
         reputable breeders.
     --  Ask several breeders for advice and guidance before making your final
     --  Ideally, you should adopt a pup when it's 6-to-12 weeks old.
     --  Ask to see both parents, if available, or for background information
         (health, temperament), so you can determine their general health and
         you'll know what your pup will look like grown.  That cute, little,
         fluffy pup may turn out to be a 100 pound dog, which could be a
     --  Sexual differences:  females are more protective, gentler, less
         inclined to wander; males don't get pregnant.  But males tend to
         fight, roam, chase cars; females attract neighboring male dogs.
     --  Find out about the environment in which a grown dog was raised and
         learn as much about its previous home before you select it.  If
         getting your pet from a pound or friends, spend time getting to know
         the animal before adopting it.
     --  Have the pet examined by a vet.
     "Consider the time, commitment and responsibility required to raise and
 care for a pet," counsels Cocotas, "and once you are certain it's the right
 thing for you, go for it.  Caring for and enjoying a pet is one of the most
 rewarding experiences in life."
     Cocotas and his entire staff of trained pet-care experts are animal lovers
 who provide dogs and cats with customized care at each Best Friends center.
 In a resort-like atmosphere, pets are pampered in private suites and patios,
 lambskin bedding (laundered daily), and top-quality, nutritionally-balanced
 cuisine.  Add to that play activities, exercise and lots of petting and
     Best Friends Pet Resorts & Salons offer pick-up and delivery service for
 their furry guests, as well as go-home fresh baths, complete grooming salons,
 dog obedience training classes, Doggie Day Camp and day-care for both dogs and
     Managed and staffed by trained pet-care professionals, each Best Friends
 center accepts all dogs and cats, regardless of age, breed or health.  The
 chain has the latest macrosteptic floor system, used in hospitals and
 healthcare centers, which inhibits microbial growth, controls odors, and
 ensures a safe, hygienic environment.  Cleanliness and safety are foremost
 concerns along with keeping the facilities flea-free and odorless.  Each
 center has a 24-hour on-call veterinarian and constantly monitors pets'
 eating, behavior and elimination patterns.

SOURCE Best Friends Pet Care, Inc.