It's always fun to get to pick out a puppy from a litter or bring home a rescue from the shelter, but new owners need to make sure they know what they are getting into. When an animal is in your care, they completely depend on you to provide for their every single need. It might seem like a fun idea to bring home a new pet, but there are some major questions you should ask yourself before doing so.
1. Do you work full-time?
Some breeds have the label "velcro dog", this means they love to be attached to your hip and want to know your every move. Dogs that love attention and companionship don't do well sitting at home alone for long periods of time. Breeds like Golden or Labrador Retrievers are a great example of velcro dogs.
2. How much do you exercise?
Get a dog that matches your current fitness level, don't exaggerate or think about where you want to be in the future, that wouldn't be fair to do. Some dogs have exercising needs that are more than you can handle and it would be unfair to not provide them with that very important need. Always keep in mind, a tired dog is a happy and well-behaved dog.
3. Do you have kids?
Some breeds don't care if you climb all over them like a jungle gym. While other breeds are very aloof and are not fans of being pulled or tugged at. The current age of your kids is important to consider when getting a dog. If you have a toddler running around, a breed like a Chow might not like their spaced invaded. Or if you have a teen who is on the cross country team, an active breed like a Siberian Husky might be a great running partner for them.
4. What's your living space like?
Do you live in an apartment, house, or townhouse? The bigger the dog the more room they take up. Do you have a yard? Is it fenced? Some breeds, like Terriers, are notorious for digging and escaping yards. Is your home full of nice furniture and expensive art? In that case, a high-energy breed like a Pitbull might not be for you, maybe go for a smaller breed like a Pomeranian instead.
5. How much money do you want to spend?
Again, the bigger the dog the more space and costs. A dog bed for a Chihuahua vs. a Doberman will be incredibly cheaper. The same idea goes for their food, vet costs, toys, etc.
6. DO you already own another dog?
You'll want to add a dog that gets along well with your current dog. But even more importantly, you'll want them to have similar needs. It's much easier when all of your pets have the similar exercise requirements.
7. Will you provide mental stimulation?
All dogs absolutely need this! However, smart dogs like Border Collies and Poodles need it even more. A bored dog can cause more chaos and destruction than you can ever imagine. You can provide your dog with different types of puzzle toys and work on some short training sessions to keep them focused and out of trouble.