Puppy in Santa Hat

Thinking about adding a new dog to your family? A dog is a permanent commitment. This new addition should be considered as much a member of your family as the humans. For this reason, it is important to choose a dog that fits your family’s lifestyle. Here are 7 things to consider when choosing a new dog.

What is a typical day like in your household?

Is anyone home during the day who can care for the dog? If not, are you willing to hire someone to walk and care for your new friend? There are also several Doggy Day Care facilities in the area where your companion can spend the day. You will be surprised at how affordable it is.

Do you Own or Rent?

If you rent, you will need to make sure that pets are allowed and find out if there is a pet deposit. Is there a sufficient and safe space to take a dog out to do their business and play?

If you own your home, do you have a fenced year so that a dog can run freely without worry of escape? You will want to take in to consideration the type of dog you choose and where you live. For instance, you would not want to get a high energy dog if you live in close quarters or an apartment.

Finally, what are your future plans? Is there a possibility of a job transfer? Are you prepared to take your companion with you?

What are your hobbies?

Do you like to be outside and are an active person? Do you like to stay home and watch television? Are you a crafter? Do you work at home? It’s important to choose a dog that matches your activities.

If you like to hang around the house and aren’t much of an outdoor person, you would do better with a dog bred for chilling out and relaxing.

Small Low Energy Dogs: Pekingese, Pug or Shih Tzu. 

Large Low Energy Dogs: Greyhound, Great Dane, Old English Sheepdog, Bulldog, Basset Hound

Small Active Dogs: Miniture Pinscher, Jack Russell Terrier,

Large Active Dogs: Labrador Retriever, Standard Poodle, Boxer, Dalmation

For more breed suggestions, visit www.petbreeds.com. Here you can make more selections to find your perfect match.

Who will be responsible for the dog?

It is critical that your dog is on a schedule. Communication with other family members is a necessity when establishing a schedule. Dogs are creatures of habit and do best when on a regular regimen.

Are you prepared for medical bills?

Petfinder gives a thorough breakdown of what to expect to pay on an annual basis for a healthy adult dog. Preventative care is a proactive way to keep vet costs down.

What will you do with your dog if you decide to go out of town?

Will you take your dog with you? There are more and more pet friendly hotels and accommodations. Maybe you will want to board your companion. Visit boarding facilities first and make sure you keep your dog socialized.  Stay up to date on all vaccines including kennel cough.

You may also choose to have a pet sitter stay at your home. These services are usually affordable and give you the peace of mind of your dog not being alone. Be sure to check references and do a thorough interview before deciding on the right sitter.

Who will train your dog?

Training your dog is one of the most critical and kind things you can do for your dog and yourself. Training develops an understanding between you and your dog. It sets expectations, teaches manners and builds a strong bond. An untrained dog is an unruly dog. No one wants that.

If you don’t feel that you are up to training a dog, professional dog training is not as expensive as many think. It is a smart investment for your peace of mind and your dog’s happiness.

Are you prepared to be there for the long haul?

When your dog gets older are you willing to give him the support, love and time he needs and deserves? If he becomes ill, are you prepared to care for him and make accommodations for him?

As a final thought, regardless of which dog you choose, remember that all dogs need exercise. They need daily walks, training, one on one time with you and others in the family. They are social beings like us and need lots of love and attention.

Planning to give the gift of a dog? Please stay tuned for my next post on the 21st on How to Prepare Your Home for a New Dog.

If you have any questions about Choosing the Right Dog for you or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708. We currently serve the Evans/Grovetown area.