By Megan Kaplan, Photos by Nancy Newberry
Avoid common errors, and keep your four-legged pal healthy and well-behaved.
- Mistake 1: Buying a Pet Spontaneously
Why this is a mistake: That doggie in the window may be darling, but he might not be the right fit for your family or lifestyle.
Related: How to Choose a Pet
How to avoid it: Fully inform yourself before you bring home a pet. Every dog or cat has its own needs, some of which are specific to the breed. Terriers tend to dig; Abyssinians explore and climb. If there's a breed that interests you, read up on it (try the website of the American Kennel Club, at akc.org, or the Cat Fanciers Association, at cfainc.org), talk to owners, and get to know someone else's Border collie or Persian. That said, not every dog or cat is typical of its breed, so "ask about the pet's history, health, and temperament," says Stephanie Shain, a director at the Humane Society of the United States. When dealing with a breeder, you should be shown Read More »from The Top 10 Pet-Owner Mistakes