You and your family have decided that it’s the right time for you to get a puppy. You have the space for it to run and play, the money to take care of vet bills, and everyone in your home is on board. The next step is to decide what puppy is right for your family. Here are some tips to help you pick the best dog to join your home.
Research different breeds
There are a number of different dog breeds. Some breeds tend to be more high-energy and potentially aggressive while others are known for being gentle. You need to pick the right one for you and your home. Do you want a guard dog or a dog that you can trust around your friends’ children? Consider your lifestyle to determine what dog will be the best match.
Pick the right size dog
Certain dog breeds require a lot of space due to their size. These dogs are generally large work dogs or sporting breeds. They were created to be active, and their size gets in the way. If you don’t have a large yard, this may not be the right dog for you.
Look for appropriate energy levels
You may think that a small or medium-sized dog doesn’t need much space. But high-energy dogs, even small ones, will feel cooped up if they can’t run around. This could lead to destructive behavior. Research the dog breed you’re considering to learn about its energy levels. Even certain small dogs will require a lot of activity and attention from you. If you aren’t able to walk them every couple of hours, you may need to hire someone to help out. If that’s not feasible, look into a calmer breed.
If you get a dog that sheds a lot, you may need to clean up a little more often. You might also have to go to the groomer a little more often. While this may require a little additional time and energy, the dog will still be worth it!
If you have allergies, however, be careful — pet dander can exacerbate allergies and make them worse. If you or someone in your home has allergies, look into dog breeds that don’t shed as much. While no dog is 100% allergy-free, there are dogs that won’t cause as much wheezing and sneezing as others.
If you do decide to get a dog despite allergies, make a point to vacuum often. You may also want to keep the dog out of your bedroom. And consider getting an air purifier to help get rid of the dander in the air.
Consider a rescue puppy
There are thousands of dogs who need a good home in animal shelters and Humane Societies around the world. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a purebred dog from a breeder, look into your local animal shelter.
Make a point to go to the animal shelter as a family. If everyone in your family falls in love with the same dog, you’ll know it was meant to be. Be open to looking at dogs that are mixed-breed, different ages and from different backgrounds. When you decide on a pet, you can feel good knowing that you’re giving a rescued dog a happy home.
Some rescue puppies may have trouble adjusting. This is especially true if they were previously in an abusive home. The dog may be skittish at first, or even aggressive in some cases. You need to be prepared to deal with any behavioral problems the dog may have. But once the dog becomes acclimated to their new (and happier) life, they’ll love you forever.
A puppy can bring a whole lot of love into your home. It’s also a great way to help teach children responsibility as they feed and care for the new family pet. But to make this experience a positive one for everyone in your home, you need to pick the right puppy — breed, size, energy level and more. These tips can help ensure you find a dog that will be the perfect fit for your family.