What makes a family want a puppy? Is it the slobbery kisses? Or is it the chance to snuggle down on a cold night? Is it the way they look at you, and wait for you at the door with unconditional love? Puppies and even older dogs can be such a wonderful addition to a person or family. Choosing the right puppy or dog for you means asking yourself the right questions. Narrow down the breed, choose the adoption or purchase route you want to go, honestly evaluate the amount of time and money you can spend with your new fur baby. These are just a few especially important questions to address when in the process of making the decision to become a dog parent.
Okay, you have decided to get a dog, now what?
Now that you’ve made your decision that yes, we are ready for a dog it is time to learn which dog will be the best fit for you – the big You, which includes you, your family, and your lifestyle. You could just see a picture of a cute dog on the internet, find out its breed, and say THAT’S THE ONE!! However, that is NOT the best vetting process for adding a new family member. Instead, let’s start by imagining what a day with your dog will be like. Do you get up early for a 3-mile jog, followed by a trip to the local pet friendly farmer’s market, and then hit the beach in the afternoon? If so, an energetic breed like a Labrador might be a great option – one who enjoys exercise, and is also friendly and comfortable in public places. Or does your day run at a slower pace? Maybe you work from home, you enjoy a leisurely neighborhood stroll in the evening and typically you are not away from home other than a store errand here and there. If so, a friendly, home-loving St Bernard may be a nice fit for you. Whatever your lifestyle, know that there is a dog for you. Knowing how to find the right match is the key.
Questions to address when searching for your furry soul mate.
- How much are you away from home?
- Consider you and your family’s work and school hours, social life, and travel.
- Your answer will also impact the amount of outsourced help you will need to consider such as a dog walker or pet sitter.
- How much can you afford to care for a pet?
Check out this list of basic dog owner expenses.
- Routine Vet checks
- Year-round flea/tick/heartworm treatment
- Dog bed/Crate
- Dog walker/pet sitter (if applicable)
Pugs and Beagles are two examples for lower maintenance breeds, while Poodles and King Charles Cavaliers tend to be on the higher maintenance side.
- Who lives in your home?
- If there are children in your home, choosing a dog with a playful disposition, one with the energy to keep up with the everyday happenings, and one who is of course friendly are important qualities. A golden retriever is one example of an excellent family friendly breed.
- Maybe you care for an elderly parent. You might consider a smaller breed with an easy-going temperament who can be a “lapdog”. A great idea would be a dog they can easily snuggle up with and give affection, such as a Shih Tzu.
- Do you keep a clean house? Or is your housekeeping more “relaxed and casual”?
- For the least amount of impact on the cleanliness of your home look into breeds that do not shed such as a Maltese or Irish Water Spaniel.
- For the more casual housekeeper a Newfoundland is a fabulously gentle giant that loves everyone with every ounce of drool they can muster.
- Looking for something in between? Breeds like the Leonberger or Borzoi are larger dogs with minimal drooling.
- Do you or anyone in your home have pet allergies?
- Consider a breed that does not shed or is hypoallergenic, for example: Bichon Frise, Portuguese Water Dog or a Yorkshire Terrier.
- Are you active or more sedentary?
- Do you like the gym or outdoor activities? Ex hiking, walking, jogging
- Do you spend your nights/weekends watching Netflix and relaxing?
- Choose a breed or mix that most relates to your energy level and would be able to join in on your daily activities.
- Where do you see yourself in a year, five years, and 10 years?
- Are you currently single but hoping to settle down and start a family soon?
- Do you have a house full of teens who can help care for the dog but who will be flying the coop in a few short years?
Making the decision to bring a dog into your life is a lifelong commitment, no matter how much your life changes during their life span. Think about how this new addition will fit your life, and you theirs, for the long haul.
Finding THE ONE dog for you
Once you have answered the questions above it is time to start looking for THE ONE! From breeders to shelters and puppies to dogs, there are still many more questions to answer for yourself.
- Do I want a purebred or a mix?
- Do I want to purchase a dog from a breeder or adopt from a shelter?
- Based on your above answers, what breeds best fit your lifestyle?
- Are you able/willing to travel for the pickup?
- How quickly do you want to a new dog/puppy? Are you willing to wait for a new litter?
The number one rule when purchasing or adopting a pet is to do your due diligence. Not all breeders, and even some shelters, are reputable. Do your research, read reviews, talk to your fellow pet parents, educate yourself as much as possible. Even if an animal needs rescuing supporting an inhumane breeder or business enables them to keep doing what they are doing. Due diligence is a must!
No such thing as too much dog research
The more you consider your lifestyle, personality, and both present and future circumstances the better off you will be in finding the perfect furry addition to your life. Whether you purchase or adopt, when you bring a dog into your life you are making a lifelong commitment to them. All dogs deserve an owner(s) whose commitment is as unwavering as to their own family. For a complete list of dog breeds, their characteristics, history, and other facts visit the American Kennel Club website.
Download our Top 10 Dog Breeds of 2019 Guide
Have a new puppy or dog already?
Just Around the Corner offers a wide variety of dog walking and pet care options for you and your furry family member. We all know how difficult it can be to leave our dog home alone while we are at work; JAC is here to help. Set up a Meet and Greet with one of our pet care professionals. Choose from a variety of visits, walks, and hiking options that will best suit your dog and… VOILA! Instant peace of mind while you work, go out to dinner, or day trip to the Cape. Life is meant to be lived. Do not miss out on the fun while giving your pet the gift of JAC! It is a WIN-WIN! Call or text: 508-245-1389 to set up a Meet and Greet TODAY.
Just Around the Corner offers daily Dog Walking and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram!