It is always exciting to get a new dog, but there are several things to consider before you choose the one that is right for you and your family.
The first decision is whether or not you will be purchasing a dog from a breeder or are adopting from a rescue group or shelter. Be sure to educate yourself about the breeder – visit the facilities and check references or talk to other families that have purchased dogs. Ask about the parents (can you meet them and what are their temperaments like?). To eliminate puppy mills it is imperative that we hold breeders accountable and only recommend/use those that have high standards in place. If you will be adopting a dog through a rescue agency, visit and contact them before you fall in love with a picture online.
Several questions to consider are as follows:
- What breeds are best with children? Remember no breed comes ready to live with children but there are certainly some breeds that are better suited to that lifestyle.
- Does size make a difference? Do you have a fenced yard? Will you be able to walk your dog daily?
- How much grooming will be required? Can you groom your dog yourself?
- Are there any congenital diseases/conditions that certain breeds are predisposed to? There are often significant expenses that come with certain conditions so this is very important to consider.
- Do you already have a pet? Will it accept a housemate?
- How will you be training your puppy/dog? Pets need plenty of guidance when it comes to human rules.
- What will your life be like in 5-10 years?
- Who will be the primary caregiver?
Having a pet is one of the best experiences in life but it is also a major commitment. Take the time to choose your pet wisely.
Written by Cumberland Veterinary Clinic