Are you considering bringing a dog into your life? Having a dog is a long-term commitment. So are you ready to take on the responsibilities that come with adopting a dog?
First, make sure you have done your research on the costs of having a dog. Next step: Choosing a dog. There are so many to choose from, and they are all so cute. It is important to choose the right dog to suit your lifestyle.
Accept the fact that you will need to make some lifestyle changes for your dog, and think about how much you are willing to change. Consider the needs of your family.
If you have children, this will be a big deciding factor. You may live with older relatives or other pets and they must also be considered in your decision.
If you live with anyone who has allergies, a hypoallergenic dog breed may be a good choice. Next, consider the size, energy level, and age of your ideal dog.
1. Adopting a dog: Size
Small dogs are great if you love having a dog on your lap (But this does not mean that large dogs don’t want to sit on your lap!) Their small little bodies mean that they are fragile. They require extra care when being handled to avoid injuries.
They get cold easily so extra blankets are a must for winter. Due to their size, little dogs have a tendency to develop ‘tough guy’ attitudes. Taking them for training can help them feel more secure.
Large dogs require enough space to move and wag their long tails around. If you have a lot of breakable ornaments in your house you may want to consider a small dog.
The bigger your dog, the more they need to eat and the more expensive their medical treatments become. Training is very important. When large breed dogs are puppies it is manageable to have them jump up and sit on your lap.
However, when they grow up this can get out of hand. Training is also important for walking your dog as they can grow up to become very strong and they can pull you off of your feet if they are not obedient.
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2. Energy Level
One of the lifestyle adjustments you need to make for your dog is daily exercise. Every dog, small or large and every breed, requires exercise. How much time in a day you have to dedicate to this is an important deciding factor.
If you are already an extremely active person and will be taking your dog running with you, look into energetic dog breeds such as the Weimaraner, German Shorthaired Pointer, Vizsla, Greyhound, Pit Bull, Golden, and Labrador Retriever, Beagle, Dalmatian, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Fox Terrier, German Shepherd, Border Collie, and the Standard Poodle.
If you can only commit to one relaxed walk a day, look for a low-energy dog. Breeds who are typically less active are the Basset Hound, Bulldog, Bull Mastiff, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow chow, French bulldog, Great Dane, Pekingese, and the Pug.
It is important to note that all individual dogs are different so, when adopting a dog, you cannot depend on the breed alone to decide how much exercise they need.
Be willing to give your dog more physical activity if they show signs of frustration. Dogs will express their frustration through excessive barking, digging up your entire garden, chewing up everything, and more.
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Consider hiring a dog walker or trying out doggy daycare to meet your dog’s needs if your time is limited.
3. Adopting a dog: Grooming And Caring
Certain types of dogs require more grooming than others. It is a need for Dogs with long hair as they will get mattered if left ungroomed. Some dogs shed more than others.
Generally, the shedders have short hair and smooth coats. There are grooming tools that you can use at home to reduce your dog’s shedding.
Dogs with long ears are prone to ear infections and they will need their ears cleaned regularly. You can ask your veterinarian to teach you this. Do you mind slobber?
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Some dog breeds are known to drool a lot such as the Basset Hound, Bullmastiff, Bulldog, Boxer, Bernese Mountain Dog, Bloodhound, Labrador Retriever.
For these types of dogs, be equipped with a ‘slobber cloth’ at all times! When they shake their heads, you’ll be singing ‘it’s raining slobber!’.
Many people have their heart set on getting a puppy, they are just the cutest and their young years are so precious. Do consider the option of adopting an adult or senior dog. It has its benefits and there are a lot of them in need of a home.
Puppies are hard work. They need a lot of attention and generally have high energy levels. They will need to be house trained, and they will chew everything!
If you adopt a mixed breed puppy, be prepared for the unexpected as they grow up. The border collie you thought you were getting could grow longer instead of taller!
Adult dogs are a great choice if you want fewer surprises. Their energy levels are unlikely to change. Their personalities and physical attributes are already developed.
If these factors are important in your decision, then you should consider adopting an adult dog. They will still require training depending on their history. Most of all, they will need lots of love and a good life, as they may not have had the best puppyhood if they are a rescue.
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Senior dogs deserve more consideration from people choosing to adopt a dog. Sadly, the majority of them looking for homes live their last days in a shelter or get euthanized.
Adopting a senior dog can bring great joy and purpose into your life. Senior dogs have low energy levels. They require more frequent veterinary check-ups and have a higher chance of developing health issues.
They need your devoted attention. The rewarding feeling of providing a happy life for these dear dogs will fill your heart with joy.
5. Adopting a Dog: Breed
Purebred dogs are well-liked. There may be a breed you grew up with. You may like a breed for their irresistibly attractive features such as their attitude or looks.
If you have decided that you want a purebred, do your research. Look for potential challenges, for example, some breeds are prone to certain health conditions.
Read about their personality and their needs looking at the factors already discussed. Once you have decided, do look for responsible breeders only. Stay away from puppy farms where profits are maximized at the expense of the poor dogs.
Your other option is a mixed breed dog. It is believed that because they have mixed genetics they are less prone to health conditions. Unlike purebreds where characteristics can be extreme, mixed breeds are more balanced.
If you adopt a puppy mixed breed, you cannot predict how they will turn out as adults. Generally, they have good natures. You can find mixed breeds at a shelter. Welcoming a rescue into your loving home is an extremely compassionate thing to do.
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Now that you have chosen the perfect dog to adopt, read more below:
How To Have The Best Experience On The Day Of Bringing Your New Dog Home
It is the best feeling, bringing your new dog home with you. As I’m sure you can imagine, being brought to a new place to live is a huge adjustment for your dog, and so it can become overwhelming for both of you.
There are things you can do to help soothe your new dog on the day of bringing them home. If possible, take some days off of work so that you can be there for them.