HOW TO CHOOSE A DOG FOR YOUR FAMILY: FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before taking the plunge and bringing a dog home, you must first decide what type of dog best suits you and your family.  While this can be an overwhelming task and personal decision, there are five factors that should always be considered.

1. Age

Puppies are cute and hard to resist but they also require a huge time commitment, so much so that it can be compared to having another child.  Puppies are very dependent on their owners and require almost constant care and supervision from them.  If left unattended, they can get into trouble very quickly.  In the beginning, they need someone with them all the time, day, and night.  Time will need to be spent training and socializing them, including house-training them.  Accidents will happen in the house and destructive behavior such as chewing, and biting are common with puppies.  Older dogs are generally more independent and trained with at least the basics.

2. Temperament

It is crucial to choose a dog that will get along with all members of your family, other animals included.  All dogs have their own individual personalities and temperaments, as do all families.  You must choose a dog with a temperament that will adapt to your family and complement it.  Not all dogs are great with kids, other pets or the hustle and bustle of busy households.  Some important things to consider are:

  • Do you have children?
  • How old are your children?
  • Are there other pets in the house?
  • How busy is your household?
  • Do you have frequent guests?

3. Lifestyle

One of the most important things to think about when choosing a pet is the breed’s level of activity.  You will want one that matches the activity level of your family.  It is important to make an honest assessment of your lifestyle and find a dog that best matches it.  There are breeds for all types of lifestyles. All dogs will need daily exercise regardless of their breeds; however, the amount varies greatly.  If you have an active family that is always outdoors and, on the go, a high-energy dog is likely a good fit.  If your lifestyle is a little slower and sedentary, then a more mellow dog with lower energy levels would be a fitting choice.  

4. Size

Size does matter when it comes to dogs.  There are benefits and challenges to go along with every size of dog and they must all be considered before bringing a dog home.

  • Little dogs: Generally, are easier to handle, more prone to accidental injuries such as being stepped on and will have various energy levels.
  • Medium Dogs: They are easier to handle and require less space than large dogs and not as delicate as smaller dogs. 
  • Large Dogs: Their size makes them more difficult to handle and require more room. They are more expensive to feed and make bigger messes (feces, drool, hair).  They are great for active families.

5. Grooming and Care

While all dogs will require some degree of grooming and care, certain breeds require more than others.  Dogs with shorter coats will usually need the least amount of care, with the occasional brushing and bathing.   Long or curly-haired dogs have more grooming needs. To prevent tangles and keep their coats healthy, they require daily brushing, frequent baths, and haircuts.  In addition to being higher maintenance, longer-haired dogs typically shed more than their short-haired counterparts. 

Bringing a new dog home is an exciting time for any family.  After you have done your research and welcomed your new family member home, one of your first responsibilities as a new dog owner will be to keep your dog safe.  This can be made easy with the YoPets GPS tracker, which allows you to know where your dog is at all times.