What Dog Breed Is Best For You & Your Family?
The holidays are upon us, and many families consider adding a furry family member to the pack this time of year. Who wouldn't want an adorable dog (or cat!) as part of the family?
However, adding a pet to a home is a big decision and there are many factors to consider when deciding what type of dog is best for you. If you're thinking of welcoming a pet to your home, here are some great recommendations to consider:
1) Adopt, Don't Shop
There are SO many incredible animals at our local Animal Shelters and local rescue organizations. Whether you're looking for a puppy, kitten, more mature dog or cat or even rabbits and other pocket animals - chances are your local animal shelter has the new fury family member you've been looking for.
2) Energy Level + Exercise Needs
Not just any dog will be the right fit for you & your family. Are you an active, outdoors person (hiker, runner etc) or do you prefer to cuddle on the couch? Do you want to have a dog that can be walked for 15-30 minutes a day or a dog that needs several walks a day?
For example, If you're more of a laid-back, indoors type of person but really want a Husky, this is likely not a good match. Sure, huskies tend to be sweet, smart & generally good with young kids - but Huskies are also super athletic and playful and need lots of exercise to stay happy & healthy. Without the physical exercise they will likely turn to destructive behavior out of boredom.
Check out this helpful questionnaire from Animal Planet to help give you an idea of what dog breed may be best for you!
3) Vet, Food + Grooming Needs
How much of your budget are you able to allocate towards your pets overall health? This includes vet visits for their regular vaccinations and vet visits for "surprise" incidents that are bound to happen, the food/dietary needs of your pet (i.e. the larger the pet the more food they need, or possible allergies that require a special diet) and also the grooming needs for your pet - some dogs need regular grooming if they have a thick undercoat while other dogs need minimal grooming.
4) Pet Care Team
In addition to you as their Pet Parent, there are a few key people you'll need to select to be part of your pet's care team -
Veterinarian - for those yearly vaccination visits and any other visits needed as your pet gets older.
Groomer - if you aren't able to trim your pets nails, cut their hair or bathe them regularly, you'll need to find a great local groomer who can do this for you. Grooming is a huge part of a pet's health!
Dog Walker/Pet Sitter - If you work during the week or plan on going out of town, you'll definitely want to hire a professional dog walker/pet sitter to help care for your pets while you're away. Purrs & Grrrs can help with this of course :) If you live outside of our service area, definitely check out www.petsit.com/locate to find a professional dog walker or pet sitter who serves your area. Always hire a professional for your pets!
Dog Trainer - Basic Dog Training is a must for any pup you welcome to your home. This includes teaching your pup where they should "handle their business" so they don't have accidents in the home, sit/stay/come commands and establishing yourself as the pack leader. Leash Training is also a must to help ensure dog walks are fun and enjoyable and not stressful - be sure to contact Purrs & Grrrs so we can help establish healthy and safe dog walking practices!
Pet Insurance - We also recommend purchasing Pet Insurance for your new furry family member. This can be a lifesaver should your pet ever have an unexpected illness or costly trip to the emergency vet. Check out www.petinsurancereview.com to compare various plans and prices and find the right Pet Insurance plan for your needs.
Most importantly, when you bring an animal into your home, you're committing to caring for an animal for the rest of its life - which can be upwards of 10-15+ years. Adding a furry family member is an exciting decision but also a big one! Be sure you & your family is ready to take the plunge with this great commitment - if you are, and you make an informed decision using the above tips, you + your new pet will be in great hands.