For the family that is thinking of introducing a dog into the family, the big question is, “Which breed is the most suitable?” There are many different breeds of dog and your choice could determine whether or not the new family member will be suitable. Some breeds, like the Husky, are very high maintenance and require regular exercise and a lot of space, while others are easier to care for and this should be taken into consideration. Do you have the time to take care of a high maintenance dog? If the answer is no, then look for a breed that is better suited to your lifestyle.
- What Type of Home Do you Live in? – If you live in an apartment, it might not be possible to have a dog, as some condominiums do not allow pets. Living in a high rise building severely restricts both you and the dog and you need to think carefully before making any decision. Ideally, you would live in a house and the size of your garden is another factor to consider. Some breeds require a large open space, while others are fine with a small outdoor space.
- How Much Free Time Do you Have? Keeping a dog is a big responsibility and if you are a busy person with little or no free time, perhaps you should consider a cat, as a feline requires little or no care and is much more independent than a dog. Dogs need lots of exercise and if you have the time and inclination to take your pet out for walks in the country, then a dog is the ideal companion.
- Owning a Dog Comes with Responsibilities – This goes without saying and you should only consider raising a puppy if you are prepared for it. A large breed, for example, will soon grow from a small puppy into a fully grown dog and you need to be able to control a strong and lively animal.
- Breed Characteristics – The best advice is to spend some time researching dog breeds online, as this will inform you as to the different characteristics of each breed. Some breeds are perhaps not suitable for families with young children, although there are cases where large dogs are fine with young children.
- Care and Attention – Whatever breed you decide upon, there will be a level of care you must give to the dog. It is always a good idea to take out some comprehensive pet insurance, which will cover vaccinations and any emergency treatment (dogs get sick just like people). Long haired breeds do need regular grooming, so bear this in mind and it is most important that your dog feels part of the family.
Choosing the right breed for a pet is not something to be rushed into and you should weigh up all the pros and cons before finally making your decision and with so many rescue dogs in need of a good home, your local dog rescue facility is an ideal place to begin your search.