Nearly 40% of American households own dogs. It’s no wonder why: what dogs offer in companionship, warmth, and playfulness is pretty much unmatched. They’re not called man’s best friend for nothing.
But if you don’t have a dog yet but want to get one, how do you know what kind of mutt to go for? What are the things you need to look out for when picking a dog? What types of dogs will suit your specific living situation? And what is the real cost of owning dogs?
Find the answers to all these questions and more in our quick but thorough guide to picking a dog!
Assess Your Living Situation
The first thing you need to do is identify what type and size of dog would be appropriate for your living situation. When it comes to small and large dogs, the size of your home makes all the difference.
For example, if you live in an apartment, it can be hard to care for dogs that are really big. They’ll get bored (and in the way) really easily in your smaller home. In these situations, you’re better off opting for a smaller dog that you can take on regular walks.
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On the other hand, if you’re fortunate enough to occupy some palatial estate, or you live out in the countryside with lots of free room to run around in, a big dog could be totally fine. In fact, if you’re really living that rural life and could use a dog to help out around a farmyard or some such thing, you could even look into sheepdogs like the old red heeler vs blue heeler debate, or something similar.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Following on from the amount of space you have is the amount of time you have. Some dogs are incredibly high energy, and need almost constant attention or else they can become bored and depressed.
If you’re at work all day and have loads of commitments, you’ll have to accept you might not have the kind of time that such a dog requires. In that instance, you’ll want a lower-maintenance, more chilled-out kind of hound.
Make Sure Your Home is Ready for Your Dog
When you’ve gone through all the checklists and finally picked up your pup, make sure they come back to a home that’s ready for them. That means well-stocked with food and toys, sure, but it also means your furniture is protected against scratches and wear.
And that you have plenty of cleaning products around (but safely locked away). Dogs make a mess, after all.
Picking a Dog Can Be Hard, But It’s Worth It
So there you have it, a quick and comprehensive guide to picking a dog. Whether you’re grabbing a new family friend to keep the kids entertained, or just looking for a furry pal for yourself, make sure you keep this stuff in mind as you make your decision!