Welcoming a pet dog into your home can bring lots of additional happiness to your family, that being said it is a major decision and it is wise to think it through first as there are several things to consider before buying a dog.
Most importantly you should consider if your current lifestyle allows enough time to take care of a dog and if not then what adjustments need to be made. You should then look at the needs of your family too, especially children and old people. If you have children then you will want to think about what kinds of dogs they like and which breeds are known for being good with kids.
The best way to choose a dog that fits into your family instantly is to first make a checklist of the characteristics you are looking for in a dog, these should include size, type or breed, costs, training, and vet costs. To assist any would-be dog owners here is a detailed checklist of the things to consider first.
Choose The Right Size Dog For You
A dog that is too large for your apartment or house can cause lots of mess and damage to your property especially if they are highly active and untrained. For this reason, some people opt for smaller dogs like Bernedoodles, a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. Smaller dogs are a good choice if you don’t have a garden or would like to travel conveniently with your dog.
Larger dogs will require more space to move around freely without damaging any household items, they are also much more difficult to take on holiday, whereas smaller dogs can get injured more easily and maybe yappier.
Consider The Breed
You may have a favourite breed of dog that you grew up with or you have heard of a particular breed that makes the perfect family dog. However, it is important to thoroughly research the breed of dog you are thinking of getting. The factors you need to consider about a dog breed are its temperament, size, activity levels, grooming needs and potential common health issues.
One option is to get a mixed breed dog, as they can often provide a good balance between the personalities and physical attributes associated with two different breeds.
Think About The Grooming Routine
All dogs have basic grooming needs such as shampooing and brushing, but some breeds of dog need more grooming than others. Dogs with longer hair require a much more stringent grooming routine, whilst dogs with shorter hair usually shed more often resulting in extra cleaning up around the house.
It is worth considering how much time and money you want to spend on grooming your dog, a dog with curly and long hair for example will need to be bathed and groomed much more regularly. For dog owners short on time one option is to take their dog to a pet salon or hire a dog sitter who can also bathe the dog.
Choose A Dog That Can Be Trained
The ability of a dog to learn commands and good habits depends on a few factors including the dog’s age, breed and personality as well as if the owner has time to train the dog. To avoid your dog from becoming aggressive, unruly and antisocial it is a smart move to introduce it to other dogs and people in addition to training it to obey commands and walk on a leash.
Think About The Veterinary Costs
The veterinary costs for dogs can soon add up over their lifetimes, and in the case of an emergency vet bills can skyrocket. The range of vet bills you receive will be for vaccines, dental cleaning and checkups. If the burden of future vet costs is a worry for you, then deciding to get a mixed breed would be better as they usually experience fewer health problems. Furthermore, to decrease the financial shock of emergency treatment, it may also be worthwhile getting pet insurance.
Decide What Age Dog You Want?
Puppies may be the cutest new addition to the family, but they are also the hardest work, requiring months of training and housebreaking. Puppies will generally enjoy chewing on almost anything including furniture and your personal belongings.
Getting an adult dog on the other hand may be a better choice as you will already have a clear idea of the dog’s attitude, activity level and temperament. Just because a dog is an adult though doesn’t mean it is trained or housebroken, although most adult dogs would be socialized and trained to some extent.
Taking on a new dog can be a real responsibility with lots of challenges, so when considering getting a dog it is worth weighing up many factors such as size, grooming, vet bills and age to ensure you get the dog that is right for you.
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