Choosing a Dog That Fits Your Lifestyle
Dogs are incredible creatures. As an animal, they’re often known as “man’s best friend”, characterized as active, loyal and good companions for those who choose to take one as a pet and love like a member of the family. However, no two dogs are completely alike, and each breed has a disposition which may suit a certain kind of person. Dogs, in general, are quite lovable and will definitely make your day when they greet you affectionately after hours and hours exposed to stress and work, so having a pet that’s right for you is beneficial for both you and the dog, who will be positively impacted by an owner who knows how to handle its needs and wants. If you’re looking for a dog to take care of and make a part of your life, here are a few helpful guidelines you may want to keep in mind when you pop by the animal shelter or the pet store.
Consider the composition of the people living in your home.
It’s easy to be thinking about the kind of dog that you’ll get if the decision was solely up to you—but what if you’re not living alone? Perhaps your partner is wary of bulldogs, or there’s someone who has a sensitive nose in the house so you won’t want a breed that sheds too much fur.
Dog breeds also have different “temperaments”—some are more passive or more active than others due to breeding in of traits over decades, and it’s important that you get one with a disposition that fits in with the personalities of all the other people in your house. You want everyone to be happy with this new addition to the family, not annoyed.
Think about the age and size of the dog that you’re planning on getting.
The needs of a puppy are different from that of an adult dog, so you’ll have to factor in training as well, not to mention puppy-proof parts of your house until they get used to your rules! Depending on your schedule, you may not have time to do this. Their exercise habits and ideal living space will also vary based on their age and size—getting a German Shepherd for a studio apartment may not be a good idea if you’re living with other people!
Do some research on the base temperament template of the dog breed you’re planning to get.
If you’re a fan of Labradors, for example, you’ll notice that they’re great with kids in general, tend to be very active and energetic—while a sheepdog may nip or even bark at people as part of its instinct as a herder dog to lead a flock around. These traits may be just fine with you, or may not sit well with yourself or other family members. Find a dog whose traits are compatible with your own personality.
Think about the benefits of adopting versus buying a dog at a pet store.
Buying a dog at a pet store will readily allow you to consult their breeding and ensure trait consistency. But on the other hand, adopting a rescued dog is an awesome way to give a new pet a “forever home”—but do consider that abused animals or those separated from their parents early on will need some extra care, which will take up some time. It will be worth it though! Adopted pets also tend to be mixed breed, so consult the shelter managers on how best to take care of a dog you’ll adopt.
Remember that getting a dog is a commitment, not a decision made on the spur of the moment!
Too many people are charmed by an animal they find adorable in the pet store window, only to realize that they can’t devote the time or energy that these lovable creatures require—and end up abandoning them, which is a painful thing to do to any pet. When in doubt about whether or not you’re ready to take care of a dog—whether it’s financially, or in terms of time and attention—sleep on it. When you get a dog, your house should be its “forever home”!