You have made the decision to get a four legged companion. Where do you start? The best place is right in your own home. The number one factor in choosing the right pet is the very space you live in. For instance, if you have an apartment and the square footage is just slightly more than a postage stamp, a Great Dane would not be a good fit for you.
Size does matter when it concerns getting a forever pet. It is not fair to your dog, neighbors or yourself to get a pet that is too large, an over active breed or one requiring lots of attention if you aren’t home for long periods of time. Most dogs do require at least an hour or more of exercise or activity every day. The amount of time you have also has to be a consideration in making your choice.
Here are a few questions to ask before making that crucial decision in choosing the right pet:
- How much space will the dog require for everyone concerned to be comfortable?
- Does this breed require some exercise or a lot of exercise?
- Is this a breed requiring your undivided attention or can be self entertaining at times?
- Will you be crating your dog in your absence or will he have free range?
- Will you need a fenced yard?
- Do you have time in your schedule for a puppy or would an older dog suit better?
- Is the breed child friendly?
- How much maintenance with grooming will they need?
- Concerning health – is the breed fairly healthy or prone to develop health issue as they age?
With so many factors, choosing the right breed should not be an off the cuff decision. Do your research. Often times our animal shelters are over loaded with a dog that didn’t have a fighting chance for a forever home because their owners didn’t take the time to find a good fit.
The type of breed can require space to just run. It is in their DNA to herd or track a scent. Beagles, for instance, are natural roamers and do not do well off a leash. Their nose will lead them in all kinds of directions hence the shelters get many beagles because they get separated from their owners. Another active breed is a Siberian Husky. Absolutely a gorgeous dog but not well suited for a confined space. They are bred to run and pull sleds. They are among the working class breed. Their temperament is wonderful and they are a very strong dog. Thus not a great pick for small children or the elderly.
Also a factor to figure into the mix, if you are getting a puppy and live in close quarters like apartment complexes, will they disturb your neighbors while you are away? Most puppies go through separation anxiety because they are already missing their litter mates and mother. You will need to plan on spending as much time as possible with your puppy to build a bond helping them to feel safe and you will be returning soon. Always give them chew toys, leave music or television playing for company and take time to prepare them for your exit. Develop a routine or particular phase they will associate with you leaving. It will make the transition easy for everyone.
For more information that will prove to help answer any questions pertaining to a particular breed go to Animal Planet to research Dogs 101.