We all know how it goes when it comes to getting a pet for your family. First, your children get the idea that hey, a dog around here would be fun! Then comes the harassment, when your kids badger you day and night into getting a dog for the family. Then comes your conceit: maybe we could get one? And then next thing you know, you’re out looking for another member of your family, one who will bring you many moments of joy over the coming years. But slow down, because between deciding to get a dog and actually getting one, you need to pick the dog. And that might be harder than you think.
In the loving, all creatures are beautiful sense, all dogs are created equal – in reality, they’re not, and getting the wrong dog for your family can be a big mistake. Each year, thousands of dogs have to be rehomed just because the owners didn’t spend enough time ensuring that the characteristics of the dog would be in tune with their own way of being. Before getting a dog, therefore, you need to take a look at your own life, and ask yourself what you want from a pet.
Long Term Plans
This introspection begins with how your long terms look. Where will you be in 1 year from now? Where will you be in 5 years, or 10? By getting a dog, you’re committing to having a dog by your side at all these milestones. If you’re a family, then a lot of it will depend on how old they are. For instance, if your child is young then there’ll be growing up side by side with this dog. Alternatively, if your children are in their teens then they’ll likely not be living at home for the majority of the dog’s life, which means it’ll exclusively be you who ends up taking care of it. You might also want to think about your home and whether you have any plans to move. You won’t have to be limited to getting a small dog due to the small size of your home if you’re planning a big upgrade in the near future.
All dogs come with a costly expense, but some can end up costing you much more than others. For instance, some dogs are more prone to medical conditions that may require expensive medication – or, worse, very expensive surgery – to correct. On a much more basic level, large dogs eat more than smaller animals, so you’ll have to factor how much your selected breed of dog will end up eating. Also, it won’t be the dogs intention, but some dogs are more destructive than others, and you might find yourself spending big money on replacing the items your latest family member has destroyed. Needless to say, all this means that your selection will have to be in line with your financial stability.
If your children are of the “awwww, look at how cute the doggy is” bent, then in all likelihood they’ll be badgering you to get a Labrador. And once you see the puppy version of the popular dog, you might just convince yourself that the search is over: the Labrador is definitely the way to go. But while these pets are most definitely lovable and are great with children, they also pose a few hidden pitfalls that you should bare in mind. For starters, they have bags of energy, so there’ll be little good in getting a Labrador if you don’t have the energy that matches theirs and aren’t able to get out to take them on walks as often as they require. Also, they do shed a lot, so you’ll be constantly vacuuming after your little best friend. Are these downsides really enough to put you off a pet that looks so darn cute, both as a puppy and an adult? Surely not!
The Pug: The Popular Choice
The rise and rise of the pug continues. The pug has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many new dog owners option to go with the little pup with the squished face. Pugs make such great pets for families for a number of reasons: they’re small, they don’t necessarily require a lot of exercise, they fall in love with just about anybody and everybody they meet, and oh, have you seen these guys in actions? They’re hilarious!
Large Dogs: More Fun, More Hassle
German Shepherd’s and the Bernese Mountain Dog are two of the most popular types of dog that are available, but they’re also pretty big. Everyone loves a big dog bounding around in open spaces, but people are a bit more skeptical about having them around when they’re taking up all the space and unintentionally causing more damage than you’d like. They’re also strong, and only the best heavy duty cages for dogs will be able to let you rest easy knowing they’re safely locked up when it’s needed. This strength can also be issue when you’re taking them for a walk, so if you’re not overly strong – or are getting toward an age when your strength will be in decline – then they might not be the right choice.
For the Kids
Ultimately, if you’ve got children then you’ll be picking the pet largely for them, so keep them at the forefront of your mind when it comes to deciding. While it might be tempting to get a small, low energy pet for your own sake, think of how your children will feel if they’re eager to play with their pet but the pet is unable to.
Sticking With Your Choice
Ultimately, there’s no way you can actually be certain that you’ve made the right choice. That only comes with time. While you can do your research, there’s an element of ‘what feels right’ when it comes to selecting a breed of dog, too. Whatever you pick, make sure you stick with your dog forever. It won’t always be easy, but it’ll always be rewarding!
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