If you're thinking about getting a new dog, it can be really hard to choose just one! But there are some factors that you should take into consideration when choosing because bringing a new dog into your life is a major decision. Make sure you're ready financially, and make sure you have time to care for a life.
When deciding on a dog, think about your current lifestyle. Do you already have pets? Do you have children? Do you have a fenced in back yard? Do you have a house or an apartment? These are all things you should consider. If you have allergies, you would probably like a dog who doesn't shed much, or you might want to research hypoallergenic breeds.
If you have small children, you may want a medium sized dog that they can play with in the yard, and one large enough they they can't drop. Many small dogs are very delicate and if they're stepped on or mishandled, they can be seriously injured. Small dogs also get cold very easily, so be ready for them to want to snuggle with you to stay warm.
Large dogs need more space to move around both inside and outside. Also keep in mind marger dogs are going to go through food faster than smaller dogs, and if you have hard wood flooring in your house, because of their size, althought they don't mean to, they may scratch your floors when they get excited and run to see you.
Every dog needs routine exercise, so be sure you have time to give them that exercise. If you want a dog who doesn't need quite as much exercise as others may, you should probably look for a Shih-Tzu, Bullmastiff, Basset Hound, Pug, Bulldog, or Chihuahua. You could also adopt a "senior" dog from a shelter. If you are looking for a dog with a lot of energy that would love to take daily walks with you, you may want a Weimaraner, Border Collie, Dalmation, Miniature Pinscher, or Pointer. Keep in mind, many behavior problems are the result of excess energy, and can be avoided with exercise and attention from you.
Every dog needs to be groomed, but dogs with longer hair require more maintenance. Dogs with short hair tend to shed more, so be sure to keep a lent-roller or two around at all times. Dogs with ears than hang down need to be cleaned more often than those that point up because moisture gets trapped inside causing infections.
If you adopt an adult dog, you may have to potty train because that dog may have been living on streets, and may not understand the concept of "going outside", not on the carpet. But puppies require the greatest amount of training and attention, so be prepared to dedicate a lot of your time to housebreaking, teaching, and loving your new family member.
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