How to pick the perfect dog for you
Brent Bilhartz, DVM
The decision to get a new dog is exciting. Adopting a pet means you are adding another member to your family, which is a huge commitment. Pets require a lot of love, attention, care, and even financial investment, and they’ll be your companion for many years to come. Since every dog is different, choosing the right breed to suit your lifestyle and personality is a vital step to ensuring you have a happy long term relationship with your new canine. Here are some factors to consider when figuring out which breed is the best match for you.
Do you have kids?
If you have children, consider a breed that is traditionally more comfortable with children. Very small dogs are more fragile, easy to step on, and often frightened by quick movements and loud noises, something kids create a lot of in their day to day activities. Tiny breeds may be cute, but if you have small children, a heartier medium to large size dog with lots of energy and a track record for trainability will be happier in your home.
What kind of space do you live in?
Do you live in a tiny apartment or a roving farm with acres of grass? Small to medium dogs do great in condos or houses with minimal yards, whereas larger dogs with lots of energy will probably have trouble with confined space and need to go on frequent, long walks to burn off energy. If you live on a large property containing wildlife, know that smaller dogs like Yorkies and Chihuahuas will need to be supervised closely outside because they look like prey to large birds and predatory mammals.
Are you easygoing or active?
If you like a laid back lifestyle, choose a breed with a reputation for being chill. According to Animal Planet, several dog breeds with calmer temperaments include Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Pugs, Chinese Cresteds, and Japanese Chins. Energetic breeds include Dalmatians, Terriers, Siberian Huskies, and Border Collies. Also consider trainability and how much time you want to invest in teaching your dog. The most trainable breeds include Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers.
If you want to try out the pet ownership lifestyle before committing to a decade-plus relationship, think about fostering. Lots of wonderful dogs are in need of temporary care because their families are dealing with long term illness, military deployment, or other challenges. Fostering not only helps both these families and their dogs, it gives you and your family a chance to see what it’s really like to have the responsibility of caring for a pet full time. This may even let you experience a particular breed before making a long term commitment.
Sometimes people are nervous about adopting rescue animals, but rescue dogs are often the sweetest, most loving pets in the world. Even animals with a poor start: poorly socialized, untrained and unloved, can be rehabilitated into wonderful, happy pets. Most dogs become rescues through no fault of their own, and most often due to a new owner vastly underestimating the responsibility of pet care: exercise and training needs and financial considerations involved with basic care. Over breeding also leads to animals becoming rescues. Keep an open mind and consider opening your home and heart to a pet in need. To learn more about rescues and browse rescue dogs where you live, visit www.Petfinder.com, a site that connects rescue animals with new families.
When thinking about a new pet, forget about what’s fashionable and go with the pet that’s right for you, your lifestyle, and your family. If you need personalized suggestions from an expert, give us a call at LazyPaw Animal Hospitals. We can counsel you on breed and temperament traits, day to day aspects such as grooming demands, common medical issues and assist you in the selection of the best fit for your family and your forever friend. We are glad to help you narrow down the breed that’s perfect for you.
Once you’ve adopted an animal, we’re here to take care of Fido’s every need, whether it’s for wellness examinations designed to catch potential health problems early; preventative medical care: vaccinations, deworming, heartworm prevention, dog vaccinations; pet spaying or neutering; microchip implantation; special needs dog boarding in Frisco; pet dentistry; training tips (potty, obedience and more) or any other veterinary service! We are only a phone call or an internet connection away. You can even schedule appointments 24 hours a day using our online appointment system!