Choosing the right breed of dog for you is more than just picking a cute puppy from the litter. There are many factors to consider, from your home situation and lifestyle to finances and commitment level. Just because a puppy is adorable doesn’t make it best for your situation. Dog breeds come with a host of different temperaments, training needs, health problems, and even food needs that you should consider before taking the step toward adopting a new furry friend. The best way to find out what you really want in a dog is by asking yourself these seven questions.
Do you know how much an adult dog will eat?
Feeding your pet is important, but the cost of quality food will vary depending on how large of a breed you plan to get. Buying dog food for Labradors will cost you far more in the long run than buying dog food for chihuahuas. You can ask a veterinarian how much certain dogs will eat when they are full grown to give you an idea of what dog food will cost you on a monthly basis throughout your dog’s life.
What’s your energy level?
If you’re looking to add a dog to your family, the first thing to consider is your own energy level. Dogs are pack animals, and their life revolves around their owners. If you have a very high energy level and want to spend lots of time exercising with your pup or pups, then a high-energy breed might be the perfect fit for you. However, if exercise isn’t really something that excites you and would rather just lounge around at home with someone who will love on them all day long, then perhaps a low-energy breed is better suited for your lifestyle. Lower-energy breeds are also good if you have a busy work schedule, so you can only spend nights and weekends with your pooch.
What’s your home situation?
Your home situation is a hugely important factor in determining which breed will be right for you. Are you a single person? Do you have kids? Are there other pets in the house, and if so, are they compatible with dogs? How much time do you have to spend with your dog and how much access do they already get outside of their crate or kennel? Additionally, you’ll want to consider whether you rent or own a home. Many rentals have limitations not only on the breeds of dogs but also their weight. If you know you’ll be renting eventually, it’s likely that a smaller dog would be a better choice.
Who will be taking care of the dog?
If you plan on doing all the training, consider a breed that’s easy to train. If you have children, look for a dog that is good with kids. If you’re busy and need a dog who can entertain itself, look for breeds known as “lap dogs.” Asking yourself this can help you to assess your ability to care for the needs of your dog.
Will the dog be a family pet?
This is an important question to ask if you have children. Your child may end up being allergic to the fur of some breeds, which can lead to problems down the road. Also, if you have children and want them to play with your dog and interact with him or her on a regular basis, then it’s best if you choose a breed that will also be comfortable interacting with kids. A family pet serves a different purpose than a companion pet for an older person who lives alone. It’s essential to consider a friendly, easy to train breed if you have children.
Are you ready for a dog’s life cycle?
Before you consider adopting a dog, make sure you’re ready for the life cycle of your companion. Dogs typically live about 10-12 or more years and need to be cared for daily. While some breeds can be pretty low maintenance, others will demand lots of attention and exercise—and still, others might need special care or services as they age. Some breeds are prone to degenerative diseases like arthritis and this can lead to more pet expenses down the road. While puppies are cute if you get one it means you’ll need to be committed to them for the long haul.
Do you need a hypoallergenic dog?
Some people are allergic to pet fur but can handle breeds with hair. If you need a hypoallergenic dog it means that you will be limited to a specific number of breeds like some Goldendoodles, poodles, and Maltese types of dogs. Hypoallergenic dogs are less of an allergy risk for people with sensitivities.