How to Choose the Best Dog for YOUR Family
Dogs and puppies can be a wonderful addition to your family, but remember they will bring a new dynamic to your lifestyle and require a long term commitment.
• Do your research. With the advent of the internet it has become easier to find out a wealth of information about the breed you or your family may be interested in. If there are children under the age of five in the home they may not tolerate a puppy who may chew or nip with razor sharp teeth.
• Consult your veterinarian about breed behavior as well as what it will cost you to provide annual wellness visits, vaccinations, flea and tick control and heartworm testing.
• Do not rush your decision. This is a family commitment.
• Look at animals up for adoption at your local shelter.
• Do not be afraid to ask questions of the shelter staff as to the temperament of a dog that may interest you.
• Ask for a family introduction with the potential new pet.
• Think carefully about YOUR family. Some areas to consider:
- Number of people in the household and their ages.
- Have you ever owned a dog in the past.
- Look at where you live. Is it rural, urban or a pet friendly neighborhood.
- Do you want a pure bred dog or a mixed-breed dog.
- Do you have other pets in the home.
- Have the other pets been around other animals.
- Are you willing to look at animals in your local shelter.
- Breed attributes and do they match what you are looking for.
- Who will be taking daily care of the new dog.
- How long will the dog be left alone each day and under what conditions.
- Are you physically able to exercise the dog.
- Does anyone in the family suffer from pet allergies.
- How active are you as a family and what level do you think the dog will be included.
- Is your yard fenced and if so is it high enough for your pet.
- Can you afford veterinary care, food, toys, grooming and pet sitting.
- Do you have up to 10 or more years to devote to your new pet.
ADOPT – DON’T SHOP!
For more information on how to prepare your home for a new pet or how to pet proof your home, please visit http://www.expertise.com/home-and-garden/pet-safety-guide