Beginning as a puppy in your home can add a whole new element to your family dynamics. 66% of households in the US have a dog, and many dog owners will tell you there are so many benefits to adding a dog to your home. Whether you buy a new puppy or adopt one who is a little older, if you find the right dog for your family, you can have many years of love and fun.
A dog is a man’s best friend, as they say, but this is also true for children and women too, but not every dog is the right fit for you and your lifestyle. You need to ensure that everyone is the right fit for each other and that you aren’t bringing a new dog into your home for the wrong reasons.
So how do you go about finding the right dog for your family?
You need to research the different types of dog breeds suitable for families. It’s not enough to simply like how a dog looks or want one because you saw it in a movie or on a tv show; you need to know more. This means delving into the dog’s breed characteristics and what you can expect from the temperament wise, behavior, activity, and stimulation. The more you know about the breed before you make your decision. This can help you to avoid issues down the line.
Some breeds, such as the Border Collie, need a lot of time and attention dedicated to keeping them busy and mentally stimulated. They are a working breed and must be kept busy as much as possible. While the greyhound is known as the world’s fastest couch potato and will require very little activity, and will happily snooze the day away. In contrast, beagles can executable noisy dogs but are extremely loving and great with kids as chocolate labradors from https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/labrador-retriever-breed/ are extremely popular with young families as they have a loving, caring nature and are up for family activities whenever you are.
Puppies require a lot of time and attention to help them learn how to live in the home, live with people, and become well-socialized with other dogs. Regardless of how it looks on social media, raising a puppy requires you to dedicate time and have plenty of patience, from toilet training to basic training and then more advanced training such as loose lead walking, neutrality training, thresholds, and more. New puppies coming home at 8 weeks old will be akin to bringing home a new baby; you will need to get up with them at night, ensure they are taken out to the toilet frequently to reduce accidents and be watched closely to make sure they aren’t getting into anything they shouldn’t be.
You will need to be confident that you or other family members can help teach the dog and give it the time and patience required to learn valuable life skills to help it learn and become a well-balanced adult.
A huge factor in bringing a puppy home is the cost. This isn’t just the puppy’s upfront purchase or adoption costs but the ongoing costs to feed and care for them. Dogs need regular veterinary care; you may want to look into getting insurance for them to help you cover the costs of significant treatment. You will also need to look at the cost of feeding your dog and buying them toys, beds, and other equipment such as enrichment toys, collars, harnesses, and leashes, as well as groomers, dog walkers, or doggy daycare if need be.
There will be considerable ongoing costs to bringing a puppy home, and you need to be sure you can financially afford to give the dog everything it needs now and going forward. Estimates for dog ownership can range from $1,500 to $9,500. This varies due to the size and common ailments you can expect your dog to have; some breeds are more prone to health conditions such as IVDD, arthritis, or lumps and bumps, and obviously, smaller dogs are cheaper to feed than larger ones.
Puppies are small and cute. But they often stay this size forever unless you buy a teacup breed for that reason. The dog will grow, and this will occur until they are 24 months old. This is when you know the full size of the dog you have. If you have done your research beforehand, then you will be aware of the approximate size of your dog when fully grown. But if you live with small children, have health ailments that affect your ability, or outlive a small house or apartment, then certain breeds and sizes might not work for your situation. You should always consider the dog’s full-grown size if you can find this out beforehand to allow you to decide if this is the right up for you and if you can really house and handle them when fully grown.
As mentioned above, your research will alert you to the dog’s needs; all dogs are different. Some dogs are happy sitting at home with minimal walks each day; others need hours of stimulation and exercise to meet their breed needs. To help you decide if you can manage these, you need to look at how active you are, how active you can get the dog out, and what you can reasonably handle.
Be it walks, off-lead runs, agility, flyball, dock diving, and more, all dogs need exercise, and how you choose to add this isn’t your life can be dependent on your lifestyle and what you have access to, but exercise is non-negotiable, and you need to be realistic about how much you can dedicate to this and then choose your breed according to this.
When choosing the right breed for your family, make sure you are aware of all the ailments dogs can get and what the breeds you are looking at are susceptible to. This can significantly affect how much the dog could cost you over its lifetime and allow you to be more aware of what to expect further down the line. Let’s take the English Bulldog, they are short, chunky, and adorable, but there is also a brachycephalic breed meaning they have flat faces and struggle with breathing issues. They are also prone to cherry eye, entropion, and allergies, to name a few. So any new owners need to be aware of these issues and that insurance coverage might be limited or more expensive to account for the likelihood of you experiencing these.
Lastly, why do you want a puppy? Knowing why you want a puppy can help you find the right breed for your family. Do you need a dog who will provide you with added protection, if so a German Shepherd can be a great choice, as can a Belgian Malinois, both of which have incredible protective instincts but require a lot of time and stimulation to help meet breed needs and ensure they’re fully trained? If you want a dog that is good with children and has a good temperament, then retrievers, labs, and Staffordshire bull terriers can be excellent choices. If you want a working dog or a dog you can take on adventures with you, then Huskies, terrier breeds, poodles, and collies are great options, while boxers, corgis, french bulldogs, and spaniels are all fun dogs to have at home.
When choosing the right dog for your family, you need to make sure you look at a range of different points to ensure you and the dog are a right fit for each and you know exactly what you are getting into before committing.