I'm currently attending the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Asso0ciation) in Denver to get continuing education hours in order to keep my license. I have been learning many new things, got a refresher on some other things and had a good time with some friends. Last night we escaped the hotel room and visited a nearby mall, ate some really good Greek food and tasted some exotic teas.
There was also a pet store. In this pet store was a red and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If he'd have been healthy, he'd have been much healthier. I didn't have to touch this puppy to know he wasn't well. He had a dull, flat hair coat with a bald spot, was thin (his bones were sticking out) and was pot bellied (If I had a picture of a puppy in this condition to share with you I would). Then I started looking at many of the other puppies and I discovered they all had loose stools. Only one of them was playful while the others were all sleeping. It could have been nap time but 1 of 20 puppies playing tells me they might not have been feeling good. If I was shopping for a pet, I would not have chosen any of them.
Okay, now that you've done your research about what kind of dog (because they don't stay puppies) you want, that matches your lifestyle and you've found a pup that looks healthy, ask for vaccination and de-worming records. Read through the sales papers to make sure there is a 10 day guarantee for common diseases and at least a several month guarantee against genetically predisposed diseases (the longer the better). Only then can you sign the check.
Once you get home, place a phone call to your veterinarian (don't delay) and make an appointment to have your puppy seen to make sure your new friend is healthy, that vaccinations are current and bring a stool sample so they can check for parasites, fleas, mange, etc.
While your there, your veterinarian and staff can set up a vaccination schedule, advise you on nutrition, training tips, heartworm prevention and recommend a pet health insurance. Veterinarians are the true expert in pet health and are there for you.
One other thing. Thanks for all the congratulations. Those little boys have made my life so much better and I can't wait to get home to see them.