Selecting the Right Dog

Dogs are among the most popular pets in the world, and for good reason. Dogs are lovable, loyal companions who will cuddle with you one minute and protect you the next. Despite their qualities, thousands of dogs are turned in to shelters and pounds every year. This happens for many reasons, but often the problem is a mismatch between the person (or family) and the dog. The question, then, is: how do I pick a good dog for myself or my family?

First, you need to determine why you want a dog. If you want a companion animal for your children, your requirements will be different than if you want a guard dog. If you are particular about cleanliness, you shouldn’t get a dog breed known for shedding or drooling. These may seem obvious, but dogs are turned in every week for just these reasons. Some key questions to ask are the following:

What size do I want the dog to be when full-grown? This is particularly important for people looking for a puppy. The first dog my wife and I adopted was a 5 pound fur-ball when we got her, but she grew into a 60-pounder in about a year. How much exercise does the dog require? Don’t get a short-legged dog if you want a jogging companion. How long will the dog need to be alone during the day? You can’t expect a puppy to go 8 or more hours without needing to go to the bathroom. We have been fortunate to either work from home or be able to get home regularly to allow our dogs some time outdoors. Can I afford this dog? Dogs aren’t free. They require feeding and regular vet appointments. Dogs need toys (and people to play with them). Some dogs need special grooming or other care.

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to narrow down your choices. Some people know they want a particular breed; others know they want a mutt. We have always rescued dogs, and there are always dogs in need of good homes. If you are open to rescuing, seek an organization that has dogs in foster homes. Foster parents can tell you more about a dog’s true personality than any breeder or shelter worker. Whatever you choose, make a commitment to love and care for the animal as long as you are able to.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *