It seems no matter where you go or who you talk to, everyone has puppy fever nowadays. From group play dates in the park to puppy Instagram accounts, you can’t get away from the little paws and wagging tails. With all the cuteness around, maybe you’ve thought about getting a puppy of your own. But how do you know you’re ready?
There are many lifestyle considerations that need to be considered before you get a pet.
The average lifespan of a dog is 12-15 years. Having a pet is a big commitment with amazing payoffs of love and companionship, but you want to make sure you’re ready to put the time in too!
Does your family life suit the addition of a dog? If there are children, a dog could be a great friend and learning experience, but there may be some dogs not suited to boisterous children.
Is your living space one that would be suitable for a dog? If you live in a studio flat, getting a Great Dane may not be the best choice. Different breeds also have different space and exercise requirements. If you love to run and enjoy an active lifestyle, getting a dog that you could take running with you would be a great way to exercise your dog.
Another big consideration is the financial side of owning a dog. You need to make sure that the dog’s needs will be met. Along with the cost of the dog, there are costs associated with food, grooming care, veterinary care, and pet insurance. These things can be daunting to think of all of them at once, but it’ll be easier to pick out the perfect dog to fit your life once you’ve considered these!
If you’ve thought about all the questions above and still are wanting to get a dog, then you can start thinking about what kind or breed is right for you! It might be easiest to start by excluding the dogs you know aren’t right for you. Once you’ve narrowed the list down, you can start to consider breeds that you like or interest you. Consider what job the breed was first developed to do, and different traits and temperaments that would best fit your lifestyle and what you’re looking for.
How to find the right breed for you
Thankfully, there are many reliable people and placed you can turn to for advice on the best kind of dog for you.
Current pet owners you know are a great source of information. Look at their life and see how their dog fits in. Is this something you can see yourself doing?
If you have no experience with dogs, maybe ‘borrow’ their dog for the day to see what a normal day for a dog owner entails! There are companies, like Borrow My Doggy, that match users with dogs to walk and play with for a few hours that would be a perfect start for someone wanting to see what owning a dog is like!
A veterinarian is also a great person to get advice from. They have knowledge of specific breed health and characteristics, and could help you find the kind of dog that would be right with you. Your veterinarian would be happy to answer any questions you have to make sure that your dog is happy and healthy.
If you have a specific breed in mind, talking to registered breeders is a good option as well. They would be able to help with specific questions relating to the breed, such as temperaments, training tips, and making the adjustment into your home go more smoothly.
When you start to search for a puppy, be sure that you’re looking in the right places. Avoid buying pets online or from pet shops, as the dogs will probably be bred on a mass puppy farm. When picking up a puppy, make sure that you’re able to see the parents and the environment that the puppy has come from. Going through a reputable breeder, rehoming shelter, or veterinarian is a way to ensure you are buying a healthy, responsibly bred puppy!
Deciding to get a dog is a big responsibility. Keep asking questions and gaining more information- the more you know the better a decision you’ll make! But doing your homework and being well prepared will make bringing the dog into your life easier and more enjoyable for both you and the dog!