Making the decision to bring a pet into the family is an exciting time. Quickly, your mind can take over. Imagining everything from cuddles on the lounge to walks in the park and runs on the beach.
However, making the decision to get a pet can weigh heavy. This is because there are so many things to consider. In order to make the right decision for the pet and your family, it’s important to engage in research. This way, you can ensure a match made in puppy heaven.
With this in mind, families need to sit down and discuss the essentials of dog ownership. Who will care for the pet? How will they care for the pet? And, most importantly, what kind of dog will be best suited? To make the decision making process easier, break it down.
Step 1: Discuss why your family wants a dog
Determining exactly why your family wants a dog will go a long way towards choosing the right pup for your family. Remember a dog will need to fit in with not only your lifestyle, but also your needs and wants.
Questions to ask:
* Are we looking for companionship?
* Do we need a dog that provides assistance?
* Are there ambitions to show the dog professionally?
* Will a dog enhance feelings of security and protection?
* Can the dog participate in things like hikes and sports?
The answer to the above questions will help you narrow down factors such as breed and size as some dogs are more suited to certain activities than others. For example, border collies are working dogs who love companionship while labradors are sporty and cuddly.
Step 2: Decide on size
Once you’ve discussed why you would like a dog, it’s time to decide on the size of the dog. Families looking for the love and companionship of a dog may gravitate towards small dogs. Whereas families looking for working and active dogs may opt for larger dogs.
Ultimately, the size of your dog will also depend on your living arrangements. It’s not wise for a large dog to be stuck in a small apartment all day. In fact, large dogs need room to move around and yards to play in.
Step 3: Consider gender
When considering gender, male dogs are believed to be more affectionate than their female counterparts, making them ideal for families craving companionship. However, for families with young kids, it’s worth noting that males will be heavier and larger than female pups.
Step 4: Grooming requirements
Grooming is a big part of a dog’s life. It ensures that their coats can grow in a healthy manner. If you’re a busy family who won’t have time for regular grooming, consider a short-haired breed. For those who can commit to grooming, a long coat will be suitable.
Step 5: The importance of training
Some breeds grasp concepts quicker than others. Golden retrievers pick up commands quickly and are therefore easy to train. Making them ideal for families who are busy. Whereas border collies are known to bore easily and therefore require more training.
Step 6: Assess exercise needs
Exercise is another essential step in dog ownership. If you don’t think you’ll have the time to exercise your dog effectively every single day, opt for a dog, like a maltese, who will be content running around the backyard by themselves.
Step 7: Determine temperament
The reason you want to bring a dog into your family will also inform the desired temperament in a dog. Different breeds have different temperaments. For instance, if your family is looking for companionship, you will need a dog with a loving temperament like a cavoodle.
Step 8: Discuss supervision
Most dogs cope with being put in the backyard while their family leaves for work and school. Others become destructive and suffer from separation anxiety. So, before purchasing a breed that craves interaction, think about how often your dog may be left alone.
Step 9: Understand the cost
Pet ownership requires an ongoing financial commitment, no matter the breed. There are initial costs as well as many ongoing costs ranging from food, toys and bedding essentials to vet expenses, council registration and grooming.
Step 10: Suitability
Finally, choosing the right pet for your family will depend on your family dynamic. For example, a family with small kids should choose golden retrievers and labradors who are friendly. Families with adult children might opt for greyhounds and Siberian huskies.
Choosing the right pet for your family
Choosing the right pet for your family is a big undertaking. However, if you take the time to break down the issue and discuss key factors, you will be able to reach a decision that benefits every member of your family, particularly your new pup.
Instead of making a decision on instinct, create an open dialogue. This way, each family member can voice the type of dog they would love to call their own. Once you’ve made key decisions, the list of breeds narrows down, pointing you in the direction of your forever pet.
Maddy has a journalism background and is an aspiring novelist. She is a proud dog mum to two border collies TJ and Max. Her other passions encompass gaming, sports, and travelling.