Important Factors to Consider
Dogs make wonderful companions! They offer unconditional love, help improve their owners' immune system, and help reduce stress. What's not to love about that? Before finding the perfect canine companion, however, there are some important factors to consider.
Both living in the city and living in a rural area can bring challenges. For example, apartment buildings may have limits on the types of pets they allow--if they are allowed at all. While someone living in the country may not have those types of restrictions, they may face challenges with wildlife. It's also important to choose a dog that will thrive in the climate it will live in. For example, an Arctic breed with a thick double coat will probably not be best served by living in a hot climate.
Lifestyle and Personality
Each dog breed has distinct personality traits. Some breeds like Huskies are more naturally stubborn, while others are more trainable. It's important to choose a dog that fits the owner's experience level and personality. Additionally, different breeds of dogs require different amounts of exercise. It's important to be sure the dog can get the exercise he or she needs and the dog's energy level is a good fit for the human family. Highly active dogs generally work best in homes that can help the dog work off its energy through lots of exercise. There are breeds, though, that are content to loaf around on the couch, which would be a better fit in a home with that same attitude.
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
Puppies are adorable. They're cute, playful, and often entertaining. However, they also require a lot of effort, particularly if they'll be indoor dogs. For that, they'll need to be housebroken. This takes lots of time and energy. If time to train or money for materials is an issue, then it may be best to consider an adult dog who has already been housebroken.
Who will take care of the dog?
Another important thing to consider before getting a dog is who will take care of it? If the dog is going to be a child's pet, then it's important that the child will be both interested in and responsible enough to handle taking care of a dog.
There are a lot of costs associated with having a dog--more than just food. Not all budgets have room for veterinary care, vaccines, toys, and all the accessories a dog needs. USA Today estimates that in the first year large breeds can cost over $1800 to own, including one-time expenses like spaying or neutering. The most unpredictable expense is veterinary care, which can vary wildly depending on where the dog lives. Pet health insurance can help alleviate those costs, but even that will not eliminate vet care costs entirely.
These links offer more information on important factors to consider before becoming a dog owner.
Dogs are great companions, but they are also a big responsibility. There's a lot to consider. These are just the first steps to finding the perfect dog. Even with all the costs associated and the challenges of ownership, having a dog will be life enriching for everyone.