Perfect Family Dog

A Dog’s Life: How to Choose the Perfect Family Dog

Choosing to get a family dog is a big decision. Deciding on a breed is only the first of many things that must be considered. Dogs come in every shape, size and temperament. Some are cuddlers, while others want to be pampered and left to their own devices. There are a few things you need to take into consideration as you sit down with the family to decide what type of dog would be best for your situation.

Kid Friendly?

Whether you have infants or teens, when you are choosing a dog for the home, you need to find one that is kid friendly. Toddlers can be extremely hard on an animal because they don’t know the limitations of what is acceptable and what’s not. Teens can be forgetful and leave the pet with no food or water. When you have children, look around for a breed that is best suited to be around children. Labrador retrievers are a breed that is well known for its compatibility with kids.

Size Matters

The size of your home and your budget will play large roles in determining the size of pet you can afford. Large dogs can require up to 100 pounds of food a month, depending on their size, breed and activity level. It’s also important to remember that the large the dog, the more exercise it will need. If you don’t have a large yard for them to run free and get their exercise on their own, you will need to walk them everyday to ensure they get enough activity on a daily basis.

High Maintenance

Certain breeds of dogs are considered to be extremely high maintenance. Poodles, sharpeis and cocker spaniels are known to need higher levels of care than most breeds. Poodles and cockers must be shaved on a regular basis to keep their fur from getting out of hand. Sharpeis tend to have issues with their eyes and the wrinkles in their skin must be kept clean at all times. While most of the work with the sharpei breeds can be done at home. Having your dog shaved every few months can be rather costly.

Level of Energy

Different breeds of dogs have different levels of energy. If you have a laid back family that tends to want to stay close to home, a dog with a lot of energy may not be the best choice for you. Know how much time you want to spend playing with your pet before you make the decision on a certain breed.

If you want to find a dog that already has some training, you may want to consider going to your local animal shelter. They may not have a the most pedigreed dogs around, but many are well behaved and house trained. Before spending a large amount of cash on a puppy, look into adopting from the local shelter. It’s cheaper and you will be giving at least one dog a new leash on life.