How to Go About Choosing a Dog Who’s Right for Your Family

young couple on sofa after choosing a dog (young Yorkshire terrier) perfect for them

Here are some great tips for choosing a dog who will fit well with your lifestyle and situation

Are you ready to become a dog owner? Perhaps the kids have been begging for a new addition to the family, or you have been wishing for a loyal companion to complete your life.

Regardless, choosing a dog is a big commitment. It’s important to make sure you are ready for all that comes with being an excellent parent to your new pup, and you understand the cost of dog ownership.

There are several factors to consider before choosing a dog. Look at your lifestyle and any adjustments you are willing to make to accommodate your new pet. The needs of your family and the dog breed, as well as the ideal size, activity level, and age of the dog you are considering.

If you’ve decided now is the time for a dog, congratulations! Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice for you, your family, and your dog.

Lifestyle

Do you travel a lot? Do you work long shifts and have little time for anything else?

These questions are important to consider when deciding to bring a new dog into your home. If you can’t devote the time and attention the dog needs, a pet may not be the best choice for your lifestyle.

Consider the adjustments you are willing to make to accommodate your new addition. If you travel for work or pleasure, can you take the dog with you? How can you do what’s best for the dog and your family at the same time?

Family dynamics are another piece of your lifestyle to consider. If there are small children or elderly relatives, consider their needs when thinking about choosing a dog, especially with regard to the dog’s breed.

The amount of time spent with your dog impacts your dog’s behavior and feelings toward you. Make sure the lifestyle you live benefits your dog, too.

Size

You may already know you want a small dog that can snuggle in your lap or a larger breed that can accompany you on your adventures. If you can’t decide, a medium-sized dog may be a great choice.

Smaller dogs, like Pugs or Yorkshire Terriers, are vulnerable and can be seriously injured if stepped on or tripped over. Also, smaller breeds tend to develop “tough dog” attitudes and can prove to be aggressive to compensate for their small size. Be prepared for these possibilities and to provide the training they need.

On the other hand, larger dogs need a bit more tail wagging room, so a small apartment may not be the best space for a Golden Retriever or a Great Dane.

Additional expenses are also something to consider with larger breeds. Larger breeds typically require larger expenses with food, toys, medical treatments, etc.

Activity Level

If you’ve gotten this far, you probably already know that some breeds have more energy than others. Every dog needs regular exercise, so make sure you have the time and space to take your dog for walks, throw a Frisbee, or another activity that helps him exert his energy.

If you know that you can only commit to minimal exercise, consider choosing a dog of a lower-energy breed like a Basset Hound. Or, if you have a very active exercise regimen, an Australian Shepherd or Weimaraner may be a good breed for jogging or outdoor activities.

A dog who is destroying furniture, barking excessively, digging up your yard, or acting out in other ways, may be in need of more exercise. In many cases, dogs are given up or even euthanized for behavior problems that could have been resolved with additional exercise and attention.

Grooming

All dogs require basic grooming, but certain breeds require a more advanced routine. Largely, the amount of grooming is based on the dog’s coat.

Dog hair can accumulate quickly and all over your home. Be sure and consider the amount of hair you mind vacuuming and sweeping up when choosing a dog.

Breeds with longer coats like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds shed the most. While Bichon Frise, Scottish Terriers, and Airedale Terriers shed the least.

Age

As we all know, puppies require the most care and attention. Be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to housebreaking a new puppy. He will likely have plenty of accidents and chew on the ends of furniture, too.

These problems will gradually resolve themselves with the proper time, training, and attention to your dog.

Adult dogs can be a better option if you want to understand the personality and energy level of your breed instantly. Adult dogs can be excellent companions, and because they aren’t puppies, they are typically socialized and partially trained. Expect to dedicate some time to training an adult dog to your lifestyle and expectations.

Senior dogs can make an excellent companion if you are looking to choose a lower energy dog. Instead of long walks and hikes, a senior dog is perfectly content lounging around with its owner. However, it’s important to understand that older dogs require more frequent veterinary check-ups.

With seniors, you must know that you will not have as many years as you would with a younger dog. If you are willing to accept the responsibilities, welcoming a senior dog into your home is one of the most compassionate and wonderful ways to bring joy to the golden years of a dog.

Breed

We all know that purebred breeds are extremely popular. Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of time with a certain breed or are convinced that a particular breed is right for you based on your research or the way the dogs look or behave.

If you want a purebred dog, be sure to do thorough research on the breed to determine if you are willing to take on the responsibilities associated with the lifestyle, size, health issues, activity level, and grooming requirements of the dog. Then, do more research on a responsible dog breeder.

On the contrary, mixed-breed dogs can become wonderful additions to your family. Most often, they are a combination of two breeds that balance out their personalities perfectly! Also, these dogs are typically found at a humane society or pound, which means you could be saving the life of a good-natured pup by adopting instead of shopping.

If you are considering adopting or shopping for a dog, make sure you are considering all the factors necessary to make it a successful match for both of you. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about getting a dog.

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Jeff Ireland
Jeff Ireland
posted 3 weeks ago

We love taking our dog to get groomed here. They are always super friendly and do an amazing job. Our dog Gracie is never scared to go get groomed. They take amazing care of your pet and it’s truly a great value for your money. I always recommend them when I can!

Balanced Perceptions, LLC
Balanced Perceptions, LLC
posted 2 months ago

We took our German Shepherd, that is less than social, as a new patient. We have struggled trying to get an ear problem improved. Dr. Emily Benedict was awesome. She was patient and spent a lot of time with us explaining everything. We ended up having a minor surgery and it ended up being a little bit beyond closing time. We were never rushed by the staff. This was a much better experience for our pet and us than we were having at our last vet. This is a very nice large facility with drinks and snacks for us humans. I can highly recommend not only Dr. Benedict but the entire staff

Kayla Wrasman
Kayla Wrasman
posted 5 months ago

Our dogs love going and they saved our older dog's life when she had an allergic reaction 💕

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