Choosing the Right Dog for Your Family

The right dog for you is the one you will be happy to have around even after the enthusiasm of the first few days wears off. Choosing the right dog for you or your family starts by asking a few questions such as the type of dog you are looking for, his energy level and how active you are, the time you have to spend with him, whether you have small children or whether you can afford the maintenance costs of the dog you have in mind.

The Right Dog Depends on the Time You Can Devote

The first issue you should think about before getting a dog is whether you have the time for him.

You will need time for:

  • The initial training
  • Daily exercise
  • Grooming (weekly or even daily for some breeds)

During the first year you will need to housetrain and obedience train your dog. A puppy will require daily training sessions and a lot of patience. Should you choose to have your dog trained by a professional trainer, you have to be prepared for the costs. Choosing an adult or senior dog will spare you the basic training, but he will still require some time to adjust to his new owner and home.

If can offer the dog two casual walks a day you should get a less energetic breed, like the Basset Hound or a senior dog.

If you want your dog to be a jogging partner or you have children that are ready to play with him every day, you can consider a Collie or a Fox Terrier, which are more energetic breeds.

You should know that a dog that doesn't get enough playing time will develop a stress-related behavior.

While every dog needs regular grooming, some dogs are more demanding than others. Long-haired breeds will need a lot more grooming and care.

The Right Dog for the Space You Have

While small-breed lap dogs will be quite happy living in an apartment, large dogs need a lot more space to move without damaging furniture or feeling like in a cage.

You should consider the space you have a choose a dog according to this space.

The Right Dog for Your Budget

Having a dog is a long-term commitment and this will include spending some money as well. The costs of having a dog tend to be higher for larger dogs.

Also, pure-breed dogs will cost you more as they will probably need more veterinary care. Mixed breed dogs are said to be less vulnerable to disease and easier to take care of.

Before choosing a certain breed of dog, research the specific health conditions he will be prone to.

There are several things you should put on your list when calculating the budget you can assign to your dog companion:

  • The initial cost of the dog
  • Dog food and treats
  • Grooming
  • Toys
  • Veterinary care (vaccines, regular check-ups)
  • Preventative care (vitamins, supplements, parasite control)
  • Leashes and collars
  • Training
  • Pet sitting or boarding for when you are away.