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4 Ways to Determine the Best Dog for the Family

Dogs are integral members of the family that require work, love and patience. Although the thought of deciding on which breed of dog may be right for you sounds challenging, simple considerations such as your budget, lifestyle and age of children within the household can help simplify the process. The following are serious considerations you’ll want to contemplate before you bring home a pet.

Calculate the Expense

There are a number of costs involved when adopting a dog. You must first decide whether you want to adopt from a shelter or purchase your pet from a breeder. To prevent your dog from ongoing behavioral issues, you’ll want to provide challenging games and toys to keep them stimulated. Obedience training is another important step in pet ownership as it teaches your dog important commands such as sit, stay and down. Pets also need the right nourishment and treats dependent on their body size and type. Similar to humans, your dog will need regular checkups and shots with a veterinarian. Other treatments may also be a necessity if and when accidents arise. Pet insurance can prove helpful in keeping costs to a minimum. You may also find putting money aside each month in a pet savings account beneficial in case of emergencies.

Family Lifestyle

As a dog owner, you owe it to your pet to give them the love and attention that they deserve. If you’re considering adopting a dog, you want to take into account the type of lifestyle you lead. Active dog breeds require training, daily walks and playtime. Plan on devoting a minimum of one hour of activity each day no matter the size of the dog. If your family is involved in outdoor activities and sports, your family may be best suited to the larger breed dogs such as the golden retriever and Vizsla. Long walks and trips to the dog park can help your pet burn excessive amounts of energy. If you’re more of the indoor type, you may want to find a dog with the same kind of temperament and who doesn’t require a high exercise intensity. Pet owners who work during the day may find a doggie daycare program beneficial in alleviating boredom and behavioral issues. You’ll also both be tired and ready for snuggling at the end of the long day.

Care and Grooming

In addition to healthy meals and first aid treatments, dogs require a regular grooming routine to ensure a long and happy life. Certain breeds may need more assistance than other types of dogs depending on their coat. To prevent your dog’s coat from becoming matted and full of knots, you’ll want to bathe and brush your dog. A groomer can also provide assistance if you’re not able to tackle the job. When done regularly, your dog will be rewarded with a glossy and shiny coat. Dogs with short hair require far less maintenance and may not shed as much as their long haired counterparts. Tooth brushing is equally important and can help prevent bad breath, tartar build up and gingivitis. Regular ear cleaning can keep your dog’s ears problem-free and in excellent health. This is especially important in dogs with floppy ears such as retrievers and spaniels. As your dog ages, your pet may require additional attention, so you need to be prepared for their senior years.

Assess Living Situation

The breed of dog you choose should be dependent on where you live. You want your dog to be happy, so if you reside in a small condo or apartment, you want to check with your landlord regarding restrictions on pets. Smaller breeds such as a beagle, Yorkshire terrier, dachshund, Welsh corgi and Chihuahua are ideal for modest residences without a lot of space to roam. If you’re interested in a German shepherd, retriever or St. Bernard, your living situation should provide enough fenced in space for your dog to play and roam safely. The type of climate is also an important consideration as certain breeds prefer certain temperatures. If your child has allergies, you want to speak with your physician first before you get a dog. They may be able to provide insight into the best breeds for those with allergies.

Choosing a dog is a great responsibility that should be shared with the entire family. It’s also the start to a happy, fulfilling and long relationship. Before you begin the process, you want to discuss why you want a dog and set rules for their care. The above tips will allow you to determine which breed best suits your lifestyle and how to be the best person your dog thinks you are.

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