How to Choose a Dog

Human hand is touching a cute little doggie paw through a fence

Five Things To Consider When Choosing A Dog

It takes great commitment to own a dog. After all, you’ll be spending at least the next ten years with your pet. Don’t be intimated though—any dog owner can tell you how rewarding it is to have a barking companion. Dogs make you laugh, keep you healthy, give you confidence, and make you a happier person in general. Still, it’s very important to make sure that the dog you take home is a perfect match for you. Otherwise, you’ll risk making both you and your dog miserable. Here are five things you should consider in choosing a dog.

Be Sure You’re Committed

You need to be responsible when you have a dog. After all, you’re taking care of a living creature. Will you remember to feed your dog? Do you have time to take it out for walks? Are you willing to regularly groom it? If you’re not yet sure, it’s better to withhold your plan of getting a dog. Dogs will demand your attention. Many people also tend to buy puppies then abandon them when they’re no longer enjoying its company. Don’t buy a dog unless you’re sure that you’re committed to taking care of it even when it gets old.

Evaluate Your Lifestyle

You lifestyle plays a huge role in owning a dog. You need to know how much time you can spare in a day for your pet. Keep in mind that feeding and grooming is not enough for a dog. You’ll need to spend time with it too especially since most dogs are social. If you live alone and you work long hours, then it would probably not be a good idea to buy a dog. Also consider the house you live in. How much space do you have? Will your dog have enough free room to run around? Do you have aluminum fencing in order to confine a dog? Would a dog rip up and potentially ruin expensive landscaping? And if you have housemates, make sure that they’re alright with pets. They could be allergic or they may not appreciate too much barking noise. How active you are also plays a role. Some dog breeds may be too energetic for you while others may be too lazy.

Choose A Dog Breed

Many people tend to choose a dog breed based on its appearance or its popularity. Too often, making a choice based on superficial standards will end up with owners giving up their dog to a shelter because of incompatibility. You need to choose a dog breed based on your lifestyle. For instance, some people buy energetic dog breeds thinking that it will help them get active. But then the owner remains a couch potato, leaving the dog neurotic. Choose a dog breed that would match your energy levels. The size of the dog should also be compatible with the space you have at home. If you’re buying a puppy, know how big it will get so you can anticipate how much room space it will need. Also, if you have children, you should choose a dog breed that’s good with kids. For instance, some people believe that it’s alright to own a Chihuahua even when there are children at home because Chihuahuas are small and cute, making them appealing for the child. However, Chihuahuas can be aggressive and intolerant of children.

Consider The Cost

Taking care of dogs costs money. Some of its expenses include food, veterinary costs, grooming, and toys. And since the dog will stay with you for around a decade or so, you need to make sure that you can cover its living expenses for that long. If you’re already tight on your budget, getting a dog might not be too smart. However, there are certain dog breeds that need lower maintenance than others. If you really want a dog, perhaps a lower maintenance breed would fit better with your budget.

Look For A Source

In general, there are two places where you can get a dog: a breeder or a shelter. Apart from getting to choose exactly which dog breed you want, a breeder can offer you a comprehensive history of the dog and may even screen the dog for genetic problems. Breeders will also be more knowledgeable about dog breeds so you can expect reliable answers for any question you may have. On the other hand, shelters have more flexibility in terms of compatibility. Because the dogs in shelters are often arbitrary, there is a lot more possibility for you to find a dog you’re compatible with. The best part about getting a dog from the shelter is that you’re saving a life.

Owning a dog is a great responsibility and is not a choice you should make on a whim. It is a mutual relationship that will require attention but will be rewarded by loyalty and companionship.