Once you’ve taken the huge (yet exciting) decision of becoming a dog owner there are lots of things you’ll need to start to think about – not least of all, what type of dog will best suit your lifestyle (and what type of lifestyle will best suit your dog!).
What sort of considerations need to be made?
There are numerous factors you need to take into account but here are just a few to point you in the right direction …
1.What size garden do you have?
Whilst no dog should be completely dependent on their owner’s garden, the size of your garden will usually have some bearing on the type of breed you decide on. If, for example, you live in a flat or apartment then you’ll probably need to consider a much smaller breed, whereas larger gardens (or small holdings) might provide the perfect environment for more active dogs, such as Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs and Spaniels.
2.How active are you and/or your family?
Regardless of breed, most dogs enjoy regular walks and need plenty of exercise. However, the amount of exercise a dog needs usually depends on their age, breed and any health issues they might have. If, for example, you’re an elderly person with limited mobility (but with lots of time to give), then you might want to consider an older dog who isn’t too agile but needs a human companion. If, on the other hand, you’re a young family and want a dog to join in on the school run, you’re probably best getting a puppy and something with much more energy – albeit a breed that doesn’t mind playing with younger children and won’t get jealous if new babies are introduced into the household.
3.How much time will you spend with your dog?
If you’re single and work full-time then in all honesty, a dog probably isn’t the best pet for you. In fact, most likely, your dog will simply get bored and you’ll run the risk of it becoming destructive whilst you’re away from the home. Ideally, no dog should be left on its own for more than 3-4 hours so you need to think long and hard about how much commitment you can put in – otherwise there’s a risk that you won’t bond and neither of you will enjoy the relationship.
4.Can you afford a dog?
Whilst most new owners can be naïve in thinking that pet costs are simply restricted to feed and the odd visit to the vet, that’s a huge misconception. Dogs – regardless of breed – need food, adequate insurance, equipment, toys, flea and worm treatment and most definitely veterinary care.
However, once you’ve taken all these factors into account then there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t find your perfect dog – whether that’s through a breeder or rescue centre (and some of the best dogs are rescue dogs!). However, do be sure to think it through and make sure you get it right. After all, as the old adage goes – a dog is for life, not just for Christmas!