Picking a Pedigree
Getting a new puppy or kitten is such an exciting time for any family and should be the start of a beautiful, long friendship. Picking a breed can be difficult and is sometimes a choice made on an impulse because a certain look or character seems to be just what you want. Sadly, a snap decision can turn into heartache if the breed you pick doesn’t suit your lifestyle or has health issues that you didn’t know about. Some breeds of dogs and cats have body shapes that are not healthy and can cause a lifetime of discomfort. Selective breeding has produced features like short faces, tiny legs, long backs, huge ears and lots of skin wrinkles. Some breeds also have high levels of inherited disease like heart problems. These unnatural exaggerations and inherited issues can not only mean big bills and frequent visits to the vet but also a less than ideal life for your pet. This book will help you avoid the breeds most affected by health problems. We look at what Mother Nature and evolution picked for cats and dogs compared to what man has done through breeding. Hopefully you will start to see these odd body shapes not as normal for a breed, but as unhealthy changes to our beautiful cats and dogs. We’ll also look at how you can try to find the best breeder possible and avoid the likes of puppy farmers who care more about money than their animals. Somewhere out there, a puppy or kitten is waiting to become a cherished part of your family and I hope this book will help you find the right one. Dogs and cats are wonderful animals and enrich our lives so let’s try and make sure that they are as healthy and happy as possible.