HOW TO PREPARE FOR A NEW PUPPY OR KITTEN
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT A TOY, to amuse you or your children for a few weeks until the novelty wears off.
A puppy or kitten is a child itself, and will require a great deal of attention, time and training to become a pleasant
and loyal companion. If your children are toddlers, they could inflict unintended tortures on a puppy or kitten that
may permanently scar its personality and behavior.
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT A TEACHING AID, to be used to instill a sense of responsibility in older children. It
is unfair to put an animal's entire well-being into a child's hands. The greatest value of the child-animal
relationship lies in the camaraderie and unconditional love that exists between them. You will end up doing the
chores and the animal will be resented, ignored and unhappy.
A PUPPY IS NOT A BURGLAR ALARM, to be put on a chain in your yard to bark at all hours of the day and
night. It is not a crime deterrent; it is a public nuisance that will at least make you very unpopular with your
neighbors and may result in costly fines and civil penalties. Even worse, a dog on a chain is at the mercy of
teasing children and random strays. This can make your dog turn mean, and what might happen if he breaks his
chain could land you in a lot of trouble. Your puppy is entitled to an escape-proof yard, a dog run, or preferably,
a place in your house for his safety and your peace of mind.
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT A GIFT, unless the giver is very sure that an animal is wanted and the recipient is
able to care for it. If you are going to buy a puppy or kitten as a gift, it should be a joint decision so that the
recipient can personally select the companion for whom they will be responsible for the rest of its life.
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT A FAD like a Chia pet or a lava lamp. It will still be there when the breed is no
longer "in style" and it will still need to be fed, cared for and picked up after.
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT UNBREAKABLE and any "repairs" will be costly. Puppyhood diseases such as
Parvovirus require hospitalization and intensive care. Swallowed objects and broken bones can require major
surgery. If you are going to balk at spending several hundred dollars in the event of an emergency don't get a
puppy or a kitten!
A PUPPY OR KITTEN IS NOT AN INVESTMENT to breed to "pay you back". Breeding a litter is a tremendous
responsibility. Experienced breeders consider themselves lucky to break even on a litter. Chances are your
amateur attempt will jeopardize your pocketbook and the life and health of your companion animal.