The decision to add a pet to a household takes a lot of thought. It is extremely important to choose an animal that will fit in with your lifestyle, and not conflict with it. This is particularly true when choosing a dog. Adding a dog to a home can be almost like having a child. Dogs are among the most demanding of pets, and require a lot of time. They need plenty of supervision, training and care, as well as love and attention. In addition, choosing the right type of dog is of utmost importance.
The first thing to consider when selecting a dog is whether to get one that is purebred or a mixed breed. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Purebred dogs are usually predictable, with certain dominant traits. For example, a purebred greyhound will chase just about anything that runs, and a pomeranian is nearly always going to be an enthusiastic barker. It is fairly easy to pick a purebred dog that will have a certain temperament or activity level. Mixed breeds tend to have a blend of their various breeds characteristics, and often are not as strongly set in their ways as purebreds. This can also be a problem, however, when it is not known what type of breeds are in the dogs mix. A dog that part basset hound and part border collie may exhibit the calm, easygoing traits of the basset, or it may be more like the collie, with boundless energy.
Once the decision is made to get a dog, the activity level of the household should be considered. Some types of dogs do better in a home where someone is with them most of the day, while others can adapt to being home alone more frequently. Just about any dog will become stressed when frequently left alone, and many can get into trouble. Dogs such as German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent and become bored easily. They can become destructive when they are left to entertain themselves for too long. These dogs require a lot of exercise to keep them happy.
It is also important to consider how a dog will adapt to any children in the home. Small breeds such as the Chihuahua and Shih Tzu can be impatient with small children and may nip at them. Large dogs may not be the best choice either, as they simply play too roughly. Spending time with different types of dogs or puppies before adopting is helpful in deciding what type will fit in well. It is never a good idea to adopt on the spur of the moment. An adorable, playful puppy can quickly become overwhelming, if it’s owner is unprepared for all that they will require.
When deciding to adopt a dog, it is essential to consider the amount of space in the household. While a small dog may be fine in a tiny apartment, a large dog or active breed will be happiest in a more spacious environment. This does not mean that a city dweller cannot have the big dog that they have their heart set on, as long as they are willing to spend a lot of time exercising them.
Finally, a new dog owner must make the commitment to provide proper veterinary care for their pet. Shots, spaying or neutering, flea treatments and heartworm preventatives are expensive, however they are necessary to keep a dog healthy.