Selecting the Right Pet for You - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Selecting the Right Pet for You

The choices you make in selecting and obtaining your pet make a world of difference. Here are a few questions to think about:

PUREBRED OR MIXED BREED?
Dogs and cats fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, generally conform to a specific "breed standard." This means that you have a good chance of knowing what general physical and behavioral characteristics a puppy or kitten of that breed is likely to have.

The size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So if you can recognize the ancestry of a particular mixed breed dog or cat, you can see how a puppy or kitten is likely to look as an adult.

Some people think that when they purchase a purebred, they're purchasing a guarantee of health and temperament, too. This is simply not true. In fact, the only thing the "papers" from purebred dog and cat registry organizations certify is that the recording registry maintains information regarding the reported lineage and identity of the animal.

Mixed breeds, on the other hand, offer several advantages many prospective pet owners don't think about. For example, when you adopt a mixed breed, you get the benefit of two or more different breeds in one animal. You also get a pet who is less prone to genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs and cats.

Whether you're thinking about getting a dog or cat, purebred or mixed breed, it's important to make sure your favorite type of animal fits with your lifestyle. You may love border collies, for example, but these active dogs likely aren't a good match for busy apartment dwellers living in a city. So first become knowledgeable about what kind of animal you want and about what it takes to be a responsible pet caregiver.

WHERE CAN I GET A PUREBRED DOG OR CAT?
Perhaps you're set on getting a purebred. Where should you get one? Not all sources are the same, so it's critical to choose carefully. Here's information about four common sources of purebred pets:

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