WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - On this National Puppy Day, you may be tempted to take a new furry family member home.
Before you do that, though, you should keep in mind what steps you'll need to take in the adoption process.
For starters, make sure you get your puppy from a reputable shelter, rescue or breeder.
There are numerous cases online of puppy scams, where someone posts about selling a popular breed, asks the would-be buyer for cash, and never delivers the dog.
You should also ask whether the puppy has been vaccinated. There are several deadly diseases that can be prevented with a shot, including distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, canine influenza and kennel cough.
Dr. Katie Frantz at VCA Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists in Warrensville Heights says parvo is one of the most common illnesses she treats in puppies.
That's entirely preventable with a simple shot at the veterinarian's office, but it's not the only disease that could cause death. Bordetella, or kennel cough can, too.
"Older, healthier dogs, it can just cause a nuisance cough that will last for seven to 10 days," said Dr. Frantz. "In puppies, it can actually cause pretty severe pneumonia that they can actually become life-threateningly ill from."
What if you purchase a puppy from a breeder who tells you they've given the dog their shots themselves?
Paperwork is key, Dr. Frantz says. If you can't be sure the dog has been vaccinated, you'll want to make a trip to your vet's office.
"It's just so much safer to vaccinate them again, because it's much safer to vaccinate them more than to not vaccinate them at all," she said.
Finally, make sure your puppy is getting the training it needs. Dr. Frantz says positive reinforcement is much better than aversive training. That means rewarding your puppy with treats or affection is far more effective than harming or threatening them if they do something wrong.
Double check with previous customers of trainers, if you decide to pay someone to help you.
You'll want to make sure the person who's training your dog is someone you can trust.