Bringing home a new dog is a life-changing decision. Before deciding on a breed and picking out the cutest collar at the store, you should be sure there’s ample room for a dog in your life.
The best thing you can do is find out as much information as possible about each breed you’re considering. Whether you’re considering a Lab, Pomeranian, or Dalmatian, here are things to think about when picking the right dog breed for your lifestyle.
Consider where you live
First, you should think about where you reside. Do you live in the country or the city? Are you in a small apartment or a large house? What kind of climate do you live in?
If you already have an ideal breed in mind, you need to be realistic about whether or not this breed will be happy and healthy in your home. Different dog breeds have different needs due to varying sizes, coats, and energy levels.
A Saint Bernard would not do well inside an apartment in New York City, and a Chihuahua would not do well in the Pyrenees Mountains. It’ll save you time and energy to think about these things in advance.
Consider your activity level
Do you enjoy being outdoors? Consider your actual activity level. Different breeds require different amounts of exercise to be healthy and happy. There’s also a limit to each dog’s capabilities.
For example, if you’re looking for a dog to be your running buddy, you shouldn’t get a Bulldog because they’re one of the lowest energy breeds. On the other hand, Labradors are a hunting breed and need at least eighty minutes of exercise a day. These companions would love to join you on a run.
If you want an active breed of dog, like the Labrador, you should always go through a reputable breeder, such as Snowy Pines White Labradors (https://www.snowypineswhitelabs.com/).
Consider your other “family” members
Do you have kids, pets, or other family members with allergies? Do you often come across strangers? There are plenty of dogs that do well with kids, other animals/dogs, and strangers.
The kicker is figuring out which ones are which, and you may not find a breed that ticks all of these boxes.
A Collie is a kind and agreeable dog, but its herding instincts might not mesh well with young children. Pugs are good with people, but not other dogs.
If someone in your household has allergies, some breeds are less likely to bother them, though none are completely hypoallergenic. Smaller dogs shed less, and so do breeds like the Chinese Crested.
Consider the costs
Having a pet can be expensive, but not all breeds are equal, so there’s no set amount of money you can prepare to spend. Every dog will need food, water, and a place to sleep. You’ll probably also need a collar and a leash, but after that, it varies.
Some dogs are known for having health problems and would need more vet care. Some dogs have high-maintenance coats and would require more frequent visits to the groomer. If you have a breed that needs a lot of exercise, you may have to hire a dog-walker.
Consider the companion
What kind of personality do you want the dog to have? What age? Once you’ve thought about the other points, there will probably still be plenty of dogs to choose from, so you can narrow it down even more to fit your lifestyle.
Do you want a dog to help you hunt or do farm work? To protect your house and family? Do you want a dog to play around with? To cuddle? Would you wish to raise a puppy or find an older dog that’s mellowed out and already trained? These questions will help you narrow down your options when visiting the breeder or shelter.
Once you’re sure there’s room in your life for one, you can figure out which dog will be the best fit for you. Take the time to think carefully about these points, so you and your future dog will be healthy and happy.