8 Things to Consider When Finding the Right Dog for You
How does one go about finding the right dog? Have you been thinking about getting a dog? Has one of your children asked for a puppy for their birthday? Did you own a dog before? You may think there isn’t much to it, you simply go to the local animal shelter or find a breeder, purchase a dog and the rest is a piece of cake. But it’s really not that simple and picking out the wrong breed of dog can have consequences. Below are 8 things to consider when finding the right dog for you.
The first and most important thing to consider is, what is your lifestyle? Do you work? If so, do you work long days (8-10 hours)? Do you live in a house or an apartment? Do you have a yard? If not, is there a dog park nearby? Does anybody in the house have allergies? Do you travel a lot? Is everyone in your family on board with getting a dog?
It is important to realize that your answers to these lifestyle questions are particularly important in determining what type of dog you end up with. The rest of the considerations below all circle back to these answers about your lifestyle.
Dogs come in all different shapes and sizes; therefore, you want to keep that in mind with your lifestyle. Do you have a smaller apartment that may be better suited for a smaller dog? Do you live on a farm with all the room in the world, which may be better suited for a larger dog? If you are choosing to get a puppy, do you know how big that breed of dog will get once it is full grown?
Just like sizes, dogs come in a variety of breeds. Even more, some breeds are generally looked at for certain needs, like hunting dogs. For example, the German Shorthaired Pointer was developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting and is known as a bird dog. If hunting isn’t a part of your lifestyle, you should avoid those that are more bred for that need and if that’s the case, there are many other breeds to choose from to fit your lifestyle.
Another thing to consider when choosing a breed, if you are a homeowner, is to know that there are certain breeds that homeowner's insurance won’t cover. Some breeds that tend to fall on that list are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.
Different breeds of dogs have different types of hair. Are you looking for a short, medium or long hair dog? One thing you want to consider with short hair is what weather climate do you live in? Even if you live in colder weather, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a short haired dog, but then you will need to invest in outdoor winter gear/coats for them. Check out our blog on 5 Tips to Protect Your Pets in Winter - Green Bay and Allouez Animal Hospital (greenbayallouezanimalhospital.com)versus living in a warmer climate with a long haired dog that will need more grooming. Long haired dogs tend to need more grooming than short haired dogs.
5. Energy / Temperament
Just like some people are introverts and some are extroverts, dogs are similar. Some breeds have more energy, like a German Shorthaired Pointer whereas a Mastiff is a little slower and a little bigger. What is your energy level like? If you are someone who likes to chill on the couch, a Jack Russell Terrier may not be the dog for you. If you are more active, like a runner, then you wouldn’t want a bigger breed that tends to be a little less energetic.
6. Puppy vs Adult dog
Puppies are cute and can melt your heart with just one look, but is getting a puppy really the right fit for your lifestyle? Your lifestyle may be better suited to getting an adult or elderly dog. Most adult dogs come highly trained already and won’t necessarily chew on everything in sight. Puppies come with a lot of initial commitments such as potty training, more regular veterinary care, spay/neutering costs, etc. There are plenty of new adult dogs out there that need a home. With this in mind, ask which will fit in with your lifestyle?
7. Where are you getting the dog from?
Are you looking to adopt or purchase a specific breed? There is no right or wrong with whether you choose to rescue or purchase from a breeder. A great local rescue organization is Happily Ever After https://www.heanokill.org. Regardless of which one you choose, you should be looking for clear bright eyes, no nasal discharge or sneezing, no vomiting or diarrhea, a good body weight and body condition. You should also be able to handle and touch the dog without seeing any aggression or displeasure. Above all else, make sure you obtain all medical records from either the rescue facility or breeder.
Having a pet comes with expenses. As noted above, puppies come with a lot of upfront expense. Regardless, your pet will have ongoing needs that cost money, to include, but are not limited to:
- Purchase Costs
- Trips to your veterinarian
- Emergency Expenses
Check out this article on what the true cost of owning a dog is. The True Cost Of Owning A Dog: Can You Really Afford That Furry Friend? (caninejournal.com)
Therefore, at the end of the day, when you are choosing a dog to purchase, please remember you are taking home a living being that you are now responsible for for the rest of its life. You need to be prepared for that and take that commitment seriously.
Having a pet is a luxury, not a right, and with that in mind, please take into account your lifestyle when you are choosing a dog and don’t hesitate to give us a call at GBAAH. We would love to make sure you are finding the right dog for your lifestyle.