Adopting a new puppy or adult dog is an exciting milestone. Whether you go for a purebred puppy or a mixed breed mutt, there are a few things to consider before choosing your new companion.
Do you have large fenced yard or do you live in a tiny apartment? This may influence your choice in choosing the right sized dog for you. Larger breeds need more space to move around, while a Chihuahua can happily enjoy apartment living.
You will also need to consider what size dog you are comfortable handling. Bigger dogs have a lot of strength which could be difficult and dangerous for younger children in the family.
2. Activity Level
Every dog needs exercise to keep fit and healthy, but certain breeds will require more than others. Don’t be fooled into thinking that larger dogs will require lots more exercise than small ones. While this may be true, certain smaller breeds such as the terrier group (for example Jack Russell or Fox Terriers) have what seems like unlimited energy that takes A LOT of physical activity to exert.
Do your research. Consider how much time you will allocate in the day for walks and physical activity. Choose a suitable dog accordingly because a puppy or bored dog with too much energy to spare can quickly become destructive.
3. Hair Coat
Will you mind a little bit (or a lot) of dog fur on the carpet? Dogs with longer coats may feel softer to cuddle but they will need consistent daily grooming to keep fur in check. Dogs with shorter coats often don’t shed as much as their longer haired companions. There are also some dog breeds that are considered be ‘hypoallergenic’. Their coat is non-shedding and produces less dander. A dog with a hypoallergenic coat will not keep all allergies at bay but will be considerably easier to handle for a person or family with allergies.
Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Size, activity level, and grooming requirements are good starting considerations when thinking about your new family member. Other things to consider include temperament and breed health (whether the breed is predisposed to certain diseases). Choosing the right match will keep both you and your new pet happy for years to come.