Your Dog’s Life Expectancy
When choosing the perfect dog breed, it is important to acknowledge the life expectancy of your pet. Are you ready to make a commitment of ten or fifteen years, and possibly even more? While most people do not consider the decision to adopt a dog as life-changing as the choice to become engaged or get married, the two are very similar and must be approached with much aforethought. This important commitment is necessary for the happiness of you and your pooch.
Your Dog’s Personality
Just as you consider interests and personality when choosing a human life partner, it is also important to know which dog breed will be the most compatible with your lifestyle, interests and needs. Big dogs tend to be less active and are more emotionally stable, while small dogs are often extremely energetic and appear to be quite intelligent. Understanding which breeds will be most suitable for your lifestyle is an important step in determining the perfect breed for your family to adopt.
Special Needs Dog Breeds
Just as many children and adults have special needs, there are several dog breeds which are prone to developing certain health issues, which should be considered before adopting any pet. Approximately 22% of dogs suffer from allergy symptoms caused by fleas and other environmental toxins. Smaller breeds tend to have higher nutritional needs and both large and small dogs have more frequent joint issues, particularly in the knees and hip.
Some dog breeds are likely to be most happy in a home that is alive with children, while others would prefer the solitude and peace of a single owner. Dog breeds that are relatively inactive would be best suited for elderly owners, while energetic dogs should be placed with active, outdoorsy types.
Dog Grooming & Other Expenses
The ownership of a dog requires special budgeting on the part of the owner, as it is necessary to accommodate important needs such as routine veterinary care, preventive medications, supplements, grooming supplies, flea and tick repellant, pet boarding, and other necessities.
Grooming can become quite expensive if you choose a long or medium hair dog breed, as owners can expect to spend as much as $500 yearly. Many people choose a short hair breed to avoid issues such as matting and skin irritations to help save on grooming costs. The routine veterinary care of a large hairy dog breed could fall between $500 and $1000, not including medical emergencies, supplements, and preventative measures.
Healthy food and treats are also very important, and the cost can be astronomical to dog owners when feeding larger breeds, many of which require up to three regular feedings daily with treats between. A good quality dog food can make a huge difference in the health and nutrition of your pet. While it is tempting to feed your dog table scraps, this can lead to obesity in your dog, and is not recommended for optimum health.
Liability and Your Dog
Dog ownership can quickly become a liability and must be approached with sincerity and understanding regarding responsibility. If your pet injures someone or destroys someone else’s property, you may be expected to compensate the owner.
A pet that escapes his home or leash may be picked up by animal control, which could cost the owner quite a bit in fines and unneeded immunizations. Neglect or improperly caring for a pet can lead to criminal charges and quite possibly a jail sentence for a thoughtless owner.
Because dogs shed and are often stick, your furniture and carpet may also sustain damage over time. Even the most well behaved dogs will occasionally scratch at doorways, or eat things that make them sick. For those with pets who love to travel, there may be an added expense of automobile detailing to remove paw prints and pet hair.
Last, but certainly not least, it is important for owners to factor in the amount of time that will be available for bonding and hanging out together when choosing a dog breed. You will need to invest quite a large amount of time to train and teach your dog regarding what is and is not expected.
Owners should set special times aside for dogs to exercise and play, as well as time for relaxing and bonding together. A poorly trained or neglected pooch is an unhappy pet, which can lead to a large number of problems and disappointments.
Your dedication is a requirement when shaping your lovable dog into a beloved pet and friend. Purchase harnesses and leashes for walks and runs with your dog. Consider the purchase of dog rope toys, disc toys and balls to play with your dog outdoors. Find the activities and toys that you and your dog will enjoy most as you spend quality time together.
Sickness and Your Dog
Adopting a healthy dog is no guarantee that your pet will always be fit and happy. Just as people are prone to certain illnesses and injuries, many dog breeds are susceptible to certain illnesses. Some of these illnesses will not have an instant cure, so owners should be prepared to care for a pet ‘for better or for worse’.
The best way to prevent sickness in your dog is with proper veterinary care and the right dog equipment installed in your home. Small dogs that are prone to hip problems, such as dachshunds, can benefit from pet steps to help ascend and descend furniture around the home. Choosing dog beds of the right size will also help dog breeds that are prone to arthritis and dysplasia.
There are many other important factors to consider when choosing the perfect dog breed for your family to adopt. When your pet is placed in a loving home that has been adequately supplied with everything that is needed, he will soon be happy and well-adjusted, creating the ultimate and unforgettable experience in pet ownership – a match made in heaven.