A dog is a very popular family pet, so it’s no surprise that more and more parents are considering getting a dog to complete their family unit. Dogs don’t just make excellent companions; they are also great for family health, since owning a dog means that you have a great excuse to exercise more since your new family pet will need regular walking to stay healthy and in great shape, too. However, when it comes to finally inviting the dog into your home, the first decision that you’ll need to make is which dog is the best for your family.
Like people, dogs are all individuals with their own unique set of characteristics and traits, although some of these can often be common traits for different breeds of dog, such as Border Collies, which are well known for being playful, energetic, and fiercely loyal. If you are considering adding a new puppy or dog to your home, then you’ll need to consider these key points before you make your final decision.
#1. Your Lifestyle:
First and foremost, you will need to take your family’s lifestyle into consideration before you decide which is the best type of dog to get. For example, if you live a very busy lifestyle and have little free time in the day to take a dog for a walk, then it’s probably not a great idea to get a larger, energetic breed of dog which will need multiple walks per day, such as a Husky. On the other hand, if you have a garden space that’s large enough for a smaller dog to run around in, a small breed such as a terrier or pug could be the perfect choice for families who have little time in the day.
You should also take your children’s lifestyles into consideration; active and sporty kids will probably prefer a dog who can keep up with them, whilst little ones who spend more time indoors will be better suited to a breed of dog that doesn’t require a lot of walking. See this tennis ball launcher on Fast Dogs for a great way of getting some quick exercise for your new pet.
What you pay in terms of an initial cost for getting your new family dog can vary greatly. For example, pedigree breeds of dog can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, whilst mixed breed dogs, especially rescue dogs, may only cost you the price of having them vaccinated and checked over by a veterinarian. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the price of keeping a dog is always going to be a lot higher than the amount that you paid to buy the dog in the first place.
Bear in mind that you will always need to be able to afford to feed your dog, since they will become an important member of your family. Make sure that you budget thoroughly before you bring a new dog into your home; one of the most common reasons for dogs being sent to rescue centers is due to their new owners having underestimated just how much it would cost to keep a dog. Be sure to include things such as pet insurance, accessories, and any potentially unexpected vet bills in your budget.
#3. Your Living Situation:
Before inviting a new family dog into your home, you should carefully consider your living situation to ensure that it is the right environment for a dog to come into. One of the first things to think about is the amount of space that you have; will your new dog have enough room to roam freely around the house, or is there an outdoor space where they can play during the day? Where will your dog be able to sleep at night? Is there somewhere that they will be able to comfortably eat their meals?
Don’t forget to also consider any other pets that you may have and the potential effects of this. For example, if you have cats, then cats and dogs can often be hostile towards one another – it’s best to introduce them as kittens and puppies, although some adult cats and dogs can often become friends. You should also consider any other pets that you have which could potentially be harmed by a dog, such as rabbits or even chickens. If you do have other pets that you believe could pose a problem, then ensure that the two are able to be kept separate from one another.
Another very important factor to take into consideration before you choose a new pet dog for your family is the temperament of the dog. If you are considering a rescue dog, for example, then this could be the perfect choice since there are so many unwanted dogs sitting around in rescue centers waiting for their forever loving home. However, bear in mind that certain rescue dogs may have been mistreated in the past, and therefore could be likely to display temperament issues as a result, such as being shy and anxious, or even becoming hostile.
A good rescue center will have staff who have been able to spend some time with the dogs in their care and will be able to give you more valuable information about the type of temperament and personality that each dog has, so that you can pick the best match. If you’re planning on buying a pedigree dog, then be sure to consider which breeds have the best temperaments and are the most suitable for living with families.
#5. Care and Grooming:
Lastly, it’s vital to consider the amount of time that you will be able to dedicate to caring for and grooming your dog. Whilst certain dog breeds are very low maintenance and will simply require an occasional bath and brush, others, especially long-haired breeds, will need a considerably higher amount of time dedicated to caring for and grooming their coat. Ensure that you research this fully beforehand, to make sure that you have the time to dedicate to keeping your dog in the best condition.
Choosing a dog for your family is a big decision, so be sure to take these important factors into consideration.