Dogs are truly man’s best friend, so it’s not surprising that many people find themselves wanting to add a puppy into their life. However, while having a dog can be great, one has to realize that the perfect dog for you, is the perfect dog for YOU. It’s okay to be a little selfish, this is a big decision and you want to make sure that you will be happy too. So before you run out to your nearest shelter or breeder, here are a few things you might want to consider about your prospective canine pal before adding another member to your family:
A dog is one of the longest commitments you can make, so it’s important to consider the kind of pet you will want to have in your home for 10 to 15 years. Every dog’s attitude is unique, but different breeds are known for certain desirable temperaments. If you are picking out a dog, first of all, think about what you want. How do you want to spend time with your dog? Cuddling? Running? Do you want your dog to be silly and enthusiastic or shy and reserved? You want to make sure that you will be happy and that the dog is well suited for your lifestyle.
Everyone knows puppies are cute and tiny, but even the smallest puppy can grow into a giant dog. Think about your home and how much space will you have. Do you live in a studio apartment? Then maybe a Newfoundland isn’t the best bet! Consider the space you have in your home to make sure that your happy little puppy can grow into a happy big dog (or a happy little dog, if that’s what you decide).
If you are thinking about adopting your dog from an animal shelter, you’ll definitely want to at least consider adopting an older dog. While raising a puppy can be very rewarding and fun, it is also a huge commitment. Think about the time you can put into raising this dog; do you want to deal with potty-training? If the answer is no, then a grown-up pup might be your best option.
No matter what kind of dog you are going to get, they will need daily exercise. Again, think about yourself, do you want a dog that wants more than one, long walk a day? Or do you want a dog that loves to play fetch? Or do you want a dog that is able to tire itself out in your backyard? Your dog’s happiness will partially depend on their activity level, so you’ll want to make sure that you are able to fulfill those needs.
While there aren’t too many differences between male and female dogs, especially when they are neutered or spayed, this is still something you should think about. Even if picking the gender is only your first step to the perfect name, this dog is your baby and you want to make sure that you are happy with your dog choice and you can provide your pup with the best possible life.
All dogs will end up incurring some veterinarian bills, regardless of the breed. However, it is important to know that some dog breeds are more susceptible to diseases and problems later in life than others. Look through this list, put together by MainStreet.com, to see if any of your desired breeds could end up costing you a fortune at the vet.
Overwhelmed? No need to worry! While it is great to consider all of these traits, most dog owners will tell you that they “just knew” when they found their perfect dog. Now that you have been thinking about these different traits, you might be curious about what dog breeds fit your specific needs! Take this free online quiz to find out what kind of puppy you should pick!
Samuel Brown is a senior studying Marketing at the University of Montana. He plans to graduate in May 2016.