The best age to buy or adopt a dog is around eight weeks of age, for two reasons:
1. Because about 8 weeks the weaning has been completed.
2. Because he will have overcome, along with his brothers and mother, a very important phase of development that will mark his character throughout his life: socialization with his peers.
If we opt for a purebred dog with a pedigree, it is important to acquire it in a professional, serious and secure Breeder. We must demand an invoice and a veterinary certificate that proves that the animal is healthy at the time of sale.
In addition, both for dogs purchased and adopted, we will pay attention to some signs that can help us determine if a puppy is sick:
• We will check if it is dirty, if it lacks hair somewhere or if it scratches or shakes too much.
• We will look at its eyes, they must be clear and bright. A bit of rheum is normal, but the scabs or dirt stuck around the eye-where the hair starts to grow-may be due to abnormal suppuration.
Photo: Rafa Puyana
• You have to observe it standing, to see if it is happy or it is constantly lying down.
• We should look if the ears are pink on the inner side: a healthy ear should have a light pink color, without secretions or crusts, and should not expel odor.
• You have to examine its teeth and gums by gently opening their mouth or lifting their lips. Gums should be pink. Teeth in most dogs have a scissor bite, that is, the inner side of the upper incisors will rest on the outer face of the lower incisors.
Photo: Bev Lloyd-Roberts
• We must watch if the dog suffers from strabismus.
• The anal area - under and around the tail - should be clean and dry, without any traces of stool, which may be indicative of diarrhea.
• Hair must be clean and shiny.
• If male, we must check that the testicles have descended from the abdomen to the scrotal sac (it must happen in the eighth week of life). Cryptorchidism (when this does not happen) does not cause any symptoms, but these testicles will be subjected to higher temperatures and may develop tumors when the dog gets older. In addition, it is a hereditary problem.
Finally, to catch the puppy and transport it, we will take it firmly and safely, but gently. It can not fall from our arms. We must prevent him from struggling. It is best to place one hand under its chest and the front legs; the other hand, around its hip and its hind legs. This will be supported on our arm and close to the chest, which will make it feel safe. We can take it in a carrier but in no case walking down the street, until it’s vaccinated, cause anything or any animal that is on the street could be a danger.