Dogs are amazing animals. They aren’t called man’s best friend for nothing. They will love you unconditionally, and there’s no one more excited to see you when you get home, even if you’ve only been gone for ten minutes.
Once you’ve decided to bring that little bundle of furry joy into your family, then there are some questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you get the right dog for you.
Photo by Helena Lopes
Do you have the time?
Dogs need looking after, and not just feeding and walking. They need to be kept busy and shown affection too. It’s not fair for a dog if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you to properly look after them. There are ways around this. You can look for a doggie daycare where they can spend time when you’re at work, or since many people are now working from home, start a buddy system with your partner, roommate or family member taking turns.
Some dogs require a lot of exercises. Others are not as much. Keep this in mind when choosing a breed. If you don’t have the time to exercise a few times each day, then an active breed is not for you, even if you prefer them to some of the smaller ones.
Do you have the money?
There are many costs associated with owning a dog. You’ll need to consider food, flea and worming treatments, puppy classes, dog walkers, boarding fees, and health insurance. It’s a long list. The type of dog you get will have an impact on the overall longterm price. It’s often cheaper to insure some breeds than others, and for cross-breeds, it’s even less expensive. Also, a tiny Jack Russell will cost a lot less to feed than a German Shepherd. All things to keep in mind when deciding on a doggo.
Can you handle a dog?
If you’ve grown up with a family dog, you already know that dogs need to be trained and handled in a particular way. If you aren’t willing to put effort into training them, then you’ll likely end up with a misbehaving hound who makes life difficult for you.
Certain breeds are considered easier to train than others. According to Country Living, some of the easiest breeds to train are the Border Collie, Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, and Labrador Retriever.
You don’t have to do it alone, though. There are a lot of resources out there to help you (or you can watch endless reruns of The Dog Whisperer) Also, a great website managed by dedicated breeders is www.chocolatelabradorretriever.ca. You can visit it for information and narrow down your options to ease the decision-making process.
Get a dog that suits your personality.
Every dog has its own personality the same way we do, but certain breeds are known for having specific characteristics. If you’re fun and lively, Labradors, Beagles, and Spaniels are a good choice.
If you’re looking for something with a more laid-back vibe, then an English bulldog or Basset hound could be your new partner in crime. Before you know it, you’ll be spending all your time together, wearing Bandanas from Dynamicgift and forging a lifelong friendship.
Consider a rescue dog.
There are so many dogs in need of loving homes. Shelters are full, and the chances of you finding your perfect pooch in them are good. Plus, you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling of doing something good. After all, if it’s good enough for Tom Hardy, it’s good enough for you.
You’ll find all kinds of different breeds, crossbreeds, and ages of dogs. There are shelters all over the country full of dogs waiting to find them forever homes.
If you are looking to buy a puppy from a breeder, check them out thoroughly. Many people try to make money from puppy farms, which are illegal and put the health of all the dogs and puppies at risk.
A better option may be getting a dog from a rescue like Stray to Play or Save our Scruff, or even becoming a foster.
Will your circumstances change?
Changes can happen in life that are out of our control and might mean that a dog needs to be rehomed. You can’t plan for these events. But there are some things you can predict. Is your job or family life likely to change in the next few years? Remember a dog can be with you for 10+ years, so you need to think ahead wherever possible.
Dogs are awesome. They brighten up your life in so many ways. Being a dog owner also has some other benefits too. Dog owners are typically healthier, live longer, and experience less stress than those without a dog.
As long as you assess your lifestyle properly and adapt it to it to fit around your pet’s needs, then there’s absolutely no reason you can’t go out and find your own four-legged friend.