Having a dog at home brings so much joy and warmth to our lives. Dogs make great companions, as they are loyal, loving, and intelligent creatures. However, they are also a huge responsibility that not everyone can handle. Many people adopt dogs and surrender them back to the shelter when they realize what it takes to have a dog in their lives and that they have different needs to stay healthy and happy. This is why before you decide to adopt a dog, you have to understand that you are adding a new member to your family; not a toy for your kids or a temporary companion until your life gets better. There are several breeds, and each one has different requirements and is prone to different health issues. If you are thinking about adding a new furry member to your family, read on, as we will tell you how to choose the right dog breed for your family.
Level of Activity
Different dog breeds have different activity levels, so before deciding to adopt a dalmatian, for example, because you think they are adorable and irresistible, ask yourself are you willing to provide it with the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation or not. Ignoring your dog’s energy levels and not giving them enough time to exercise and exert their energy will result in the pup acting out with destructive behavior, constant barking, excessive digging, and chewing on stuff. However, that doesn’t mean that you should adopt a breed with low activity levels and deprive it of exercise, as all dogs need routine exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically. However, some may need longer hours of exercise and walks. Always keep in mind that excess energy causes behavioral problems.
Consider the size of your house before deciding on the breed, as you can’t keep a giant breed like a Great Dane in a small apartment! However, if you live in a studio or a small apartment, consider the Chihuahua Terrier mix and other small breeds, because they can live happily in a small area. Moreover, small breeds can be vulnerable to cold temperatures, so make sure that they are warm in the winter by adding more rugs and getting them a cozy bed to sleep on. If you have babies or little children, you need to keep a close eye on your dog if it is a small breed because they are delicate, and mishandling them can cause some serious injuries. Keep in mind that larger dogs will cost you more money in terms of food, supplies, and medical treatment.
Grooming & Shedding
Some breeds are heavy shedders, while others are not. If you decide to adopt a long hair breed or a heavy shedder, expect hair to be all around the house, especially during seasonal changes. Are you willing to have dog hair on your clothes and carpets? If you can’t handle excessive shedding, adopt a dog that doesn’t shed a lot. Bear in mind that all dogs will need grooming and brushing. The frequency of grooming depends on their coat. Another thing that you need to consider is drooling! Dogs like mastiffs are droolers, so if you won’t be able to deal with drool, search for breeds that don’t drool that much.
Age is the most important thing to think about and consider before adopting a life companion. Dogs have different needs according to their age. Puppies have a lot of energy, and they need to play all the time. Moreover, they need a lot of training. Expect a lot of chewing and toilet accidents, so patience is needed in this stage. Adult dogs will be a better choice if you don’t have enough time or energy to handle a puppy. However, they will need more time to adjust to their new home. Senior dogs need special care; like humans, their bodies and senses get weaker as they age. You will make more frequent trips to the vet, but it is a very rewarding experience, as you get to provide an old dog with a warm house and a loving family in its golden years instead of dying in a shelter. However, you need to make sure that you and your family members are ready for this kind of commitment.
Adopting a dog is like having a baby that never grows old, so you need to be ready and prepared for this kind of commitment. Other than the joy they bring to our lives, they are great teachers to our children, as they teach them compassion and responsibility. Before adopting one, you need to study the breed you set your heart on first and make sure that its size, needs, and age will suit your family and lifestyle. It is a huge responsibility, however, it is a life-changing experience that will make every aspect of your life better.