It is a consensus that dogs are, and always will be, a human’s best companion. They are fun to be around, energetic, and will always be there for you, even if you’re feeling down. It is also important to remember that a dog is your best friend and not just a toy that you play around with. Raising a dog is a long-term commitment that requires you to provide the best care and environment for them, so before you get one, there are a few things that you should take into consideration first.
In this guide, we will walk you through the most important factors you need to consider before you choose a dog.
Size of the Dog
This should be one of the first things you consider before choosing your new dog. You should choose the size of the dog based on how big your house is and whether or not you have enough space for them to roam around during the day. If you live in a tiny home, you might fare better with a smaller dog. The dog’s size can also affect their lifespan. Some larger dog breeds have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds, which is since smaller mammals typically live longer.
The Great Dane, for example, can live from 6 to 8 years, while a Chihuahua can live up to 18 years. So, make sure to take this into account before you decide to bring home a large dog. While 6 to 8 years may sound like a long period, you will likely build an attachment to your dog that can make it very hard for you to part ways with them.
Choose a Dog for Your Environment
Different dog breeds react differently to different environments. For example, if the dog you’re about to choose is highly active and needs to run around in open spaces, make sure that you have a wide green space where they can play around. You should also dedicate some time to walking your dog outside daily. However, a highly active dog, especially if they belong to a small breed, won’t be safe if you live in a small space with multiple windows and a balcony, which they can easily fall from.
Apart from that, any dog can become acclimated to a new environment quickly, as dogs are social by nature. So, it’s your job to make that process go faster. To do this, Luke Stevens with PuppyJoy.net says to help your puppy feel accepted and loved, scratch them all over in a claw shape. Another way to make your dog feel comfortable in their new home is by giving them as much attention as you can during the day. You can take them for walks or play with them regularly. Also, you need to be mindful of the fact that dogs can be very sensitive, so take it slow until your dog feels at home.
The Dog’s Coat
If you haven’t owned a dog before, this should probably be the first factor to take into consideration before you buy one. Many dogs, like Tibetan Terriers, have hypoallergenic coats, meaning that they don’t shed, which makes them a great choice if you are allergic to dog hair. Of course, all dogs shed at different amounts, but people with allergies can live peacefully with hypoallergenic dogs and even some low-shedding breeds. Dealing with dog allergies can be easily done by regularly brushing the dog to control the shedding and designating a specific place for them to sleep to avoid overexposure to allergens.
Taking in a dog is essentially adding a new member to your new family, so before you take that step, you have to discuss it with your family members first. If you live alone, then you’ll bear the responsibility of providing everything that your dog needs, including food, vet checkups, etc. on your own. If you have a partner, children, or other family members living in your house, then they might share the responsibility of taking care of the newest canine member of the family along with you. You should also take into consideration the dog’s size and how it can affect your family. For example, if you have a large breed puppy and a young child, then the puppy will surely outgrow the toddler. So, make sure that this large dog will fit in. A smaller breed, especially the most energetic ones, may accidentally trip your family members, especially the elderly ones who may suffer from mobility issues or joint aches.
Adopting vs. Buying
Both options have their own set of advantages. Adopting, for example, means that you’re going to save a dog’s life by giving them a new home. It is also the cheaper option, as you can pay from 500 to 2,000 dollars and the prices are determined based on the breed, where the dog came from, as well as the amount of money spent for grooming services and whatnot.
Buying a dog, on the other hand, will help you find the exact breed that you want and choose the desired age as well. This can be especially beneficial if you want a purebred dog. In addition to this, you can train that dog as you see fit, so you’ll be able to start with a clean slate instead of having to rid your dog of its old habits because old habits die hard. Moreover, buying a purebred dog will help you understand and predict the attitude and the temperament of your new pet, reducing your chances of having to deal with abnormal behavior in the future.
Indeed, we all agree that bringing a dog home is a life-changing experience since your newest canine friend will be by your side every day for the rest of their life. So, be sure to make your choice based on solid grounds. After you choose a dog, do your best to make the life of your four-legged companion as comfortable and convenient as possible.