Finding The Right Dog

Having a dog can greatly enhance your life, and having you can greatly enhance the life of your dog! Before you get one though, there are a few things to look into. Don't brashly buy yourself a dog without reading this guide, otherwise you might end up with quite a few bad headaches, or even a heartbreaking experience.

five-different-dog-breeds

First off, do a little soul-searching. This is first step to owning any pet, but especially important when it comes to owning a dog. There's much more to owning a dog than cuddling with an adorable puppy! This trusting animal will outright be relying on you not only for food and shelter, but for affection, discipline, and any necessary care. If you're unsure you can provide these things throughout every stage of the dog's life, then owning a dog might not be right for you. This is a big responsibility for anyone- especially if you're considering getting a puppy for a child or teenager, be absolutely certain that they're up for the challenge. That being said, ask any dog owner about the fun times they've had even doing something as menial as walking their dog. the good parts of owning a dog far outweigh the bad parts!

Alright, if you're still reading, you've done your soul-searching and are still looking to get a dog. Good for you! The next step is to find the right breed of dog for you. This will require taking a variety of things into consideration, but these seven questions can be used as a good rule of thumb:

1.) How big of a living space do you have for a dog?

Animals take up space, especially dogs. Small and mid-sized breeds may be okay in a decently-sized apartment, but larger dogs need much more room to roam. If you get a large dog in too small of a space, even a trained, disciplined dog can begin behaving poorly in no time.

2.) How much food can you afford for your dog?

Ask any owner of a larger-breed dog: big dogs eat lots of food! Smaller dogs might not be able to inhale a bagful of food in a feeding or two, but they will still pack away a good amount of dog food. Add money to your monthly bills for dog food, and estimate the effects on your budget. Its much better to give your new budget a test run first, otherwise you might find out the hard way that you cant financially support a dog right now. While you're at it, don't forget to factor in the costs of an occasional vet check-up either. make sure you're ready financially for doggy maintenance costs!

Child with best friend dog
Some breeds are better than others for children

3.) What size dog do you want?

Dog breeds come in a variety of sizes, and as mentioned earlier, this should directly correlate with how much space you have for a dog, followed by your own size wishes. There's such a variety of dog breeds out there, you can get a tiny dog that doesn't even reach twelve inches tall, all the way to a dog over forty inches tall at the shoulders! The sheer variety of dog breeds can be overwhelming, so be sure to take your time finding the size and breed you want.

4.) Do you want to raise a puppy and train it yourself, or do you want to adopt an older, already-trained dog?

Puppies are definitely cute and loving, but they also require a lot out of their owners. Training a puppy, while rewarding, is a very time-consuming process. You might consider adopting an older dog from your local shelter rather than buying a new one at the pet store. You might just be giving a neglected, loving dog another chance at life!

5.) Do you want a social dog that is okay being around lots of people, or a guard dog, devoted strictly to you and cautious of everyone else?

Most dogs have very social natures, but sometimes you need a dog that can scare off potential threats and thieves. If you're looking for a guard dog as well as a family pet, look into guard dog breeds. With the correct training, these dogs can be extremely loyal to you, and sound the alarm should anyone they don't recognize arrive at your home. Thieves especially worry about larger guard dog breeds, and might skip your house for another less-defended one while your furry friend is on watch.

6.) How much can you spend on buying a dog?

This is the one-time cost of buying your new pet, and the prices can range from very reasonable to outrageously extravagant. If you want a dog but cant afford to break the bank buying one, consider your local dog shelter. This will give you the least choices out of the options at hand, but will definitely save you money. If you have some money you could spend on a pet, but don’t want to spend a fortune, you have the option of dogs in a pet store, as well as the dogs in a dog shelter. If you are willing to spend a large amount of money, you can get very specific about your dog- Not only what breed it is, but its age, sex, and if it's purebred or not. You can get a dog exactly the way you want it, rather than leaving certain aspects of it up to chance.

7.) How much time can you give, daily, to your dog?

This is perhaps the most important factor to owning a dog. Misjudging this one factor causes the majority of dog-owner heartbreaks, and is the greatest cause of dogs ending up in dog shelters. Some breeds are extremely self-reliant, and will be okay with only a little of attention over the course of the day. Other breeds will have very serious problems if you don't give them a few hours of attention and exercise every day!

This is definitely a lot of information to consume all at once, but that just gives you another reason to take your time. Be patient about finding your dog! Done wrong, getting a dog can be a bad experience for everyone involved. Done right, you get a loyal friend and family member who will brighten your days, and enrich your life, for years to come!