Dogs truly are man’s best friend. They help deal with stress and depression, they are great for exercise, they even have long-term positive benefits for heart health. Of course, they are a lot of fun, too. But before you welcome a dog into your home, you need to be sure you know what that entails. Different breeds have different circumstances and demands, after all.
Are they high-maintenance?
This point is purely for your peace of mind. If you have a sensitive respiratory system or you simply don’t like the idea of cleaning up after your dog often, it’s a good idea to learn whether or not they are a breed that is likely to shed a lot of hair. Springer spaniels, for instance, are notorious for leaving floors dusty with shedding wherever they go, whereas terriers tend to be much tidier dogs.
Are they high-energy?
The other big question is whether or not you are going to be able to keep up with them. Some dogs, like pugs, are much more relaxed and shouldn’t really be walked too much. Huskies, border collies, and pointers, on the other hand, are some of the most energetic dogs out there. You have to help them work off that energy by walking and playing with them. Otherwise, it can become easy for that pent-up energy to be taken on your furniture. It can even manifest as aggressive and dangerous behavior. Ensure you choose a dog with an energy level to match yours or be prepared to start working out a lot more.
Are they high-risk?
Most pedigree breeds are prone to some kind of health risks. These can range from things as simple as terriers being prone to skin conditions to higher rates of skin cancer in dogs like golden retrievers and poodles. Unfortunately, the causes of cancer in dogs isn’t fully understood, so the best way to avoid that terrible news is to avoid getting a high-risk pet. All dogs have some risks, of course, so you just need to know which kind of issues your breed is particularly prone to so you can keep an eye out for it.
Are they vaccinated?
All dogs have to be vaccinated. During the first fourteen or so weeks or their life is when they get the most major ones, but they will receive boosters from time to time throughout their life. If you get a new puppy, learn their vaccination schedule and avoid exposing them to other dogs or the outside world until they are inoculated. If you get an older dog or a rescue, you can get a blood test to confirm whether or not they are fully vaccinated and help them get the vaccines they are missing.
A dog is more than just a new friend, it is a responsibility you have to be sure you can deal with. From how much exercise they need to common health conditions that you must be ready to deal with, take your new role as their carer seriously if you want to enjoy all the benefits of dog ownership.