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Wednesday 12 December 2018
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How to Choose the Right Dog for Your Family

How to Choose the Right Dog for Your Family

Dogs bring untold joy into our lives with their unlimited capacity for unconditional love. But choosing the right dog is important, as different breeds have different characteristics. In this guide, we are going to discuss how to choose the right dog for your family.

Is a Dog Right for Your Family?

Before you go searching for a suitable mutt to bring into the family home, it is worth considering whether any dog is right for you. Not all families are suited to dogs. Most dogs need a lot of time and attention. You will have to walk your dog every day, whatever the weather, buy him food and dog vitamins, not to mention pay for expensive veterinarian treatment when he gets sick.

Be honest with yourself. Do you have time to devote to a four-legged friend or do you work long hours? Can you afford to keep a dog? If the answer is no on both counts, perhaps wait until your circumstances change before you get a dog.

Pedigree or Mongrel?

Many people are attracted to pedigree dogs. Some breeds, for example, French Bulldogs, are extremely popular right now thanks to celebrity owners. Other dogs are renowned for their good nature and athleticism.

There are many breeds to choose from. Labradors are always popular thanks to their easy-going temperament, but if you live in a small apartment, a smaller breed such as a Chihuahua might be a better choice. However, it is important to note that pedigree breeds may have genetic health problems. For example, some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy. You also run the risk of buying a very expensive pet from a disreputable breeder, which turns out to have chronic health problems.

Don’t forget that dog shelters are full of unwanted pets, many of whom are desperate for a loving family home. Always consider a rescue dog before spending big bucks on a pedigree.

How Active Are Your Family?

An active family needs an active dog. If you love to go hiking every weekend, look for a dog that can keep up. Larger breeds such as Spaniels, Labradors, and German Shepherds will thoroughly enjoy lots of exercise, but smaller toy breeds may struggle with a 10-mile hike up a mountain.

If your idea of heaven is lying on the sofa all day, choose an older dog or a small dog that doesn’t crave plenty of exercise. That way you will both be happy.

Dogs and Kids

Always be careful when choosing a dog if you have young children. Rescue dogs come with a lot of baggage and may not cope well with boisterous kids if they have been abused in the past. Older dogswill also struggle. If you buy a puppy, make sure your kids understand that the puppy needs time to sleep.

Bringing a dog into your home must be a family decision. The dog will be everyone’s responsibility, so make sure your partner and the kids are just as happy as you about the new dog. Remember, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas!