How To Pick The Right Dog For Your Family

   By lisasamples  Jul 20, 2011

Picking the right canine for your family can be a tedious task, especially if you have children.  For most families the dog isn't just a pet, but an extension of the family.  It is important to remember that although research supports that a dog can help reduce stress, increase exercise, and can offer support during difficult times he/she also comes with additional responsibilities.  Take your time and do your research when choosing your next furry friend.

Consider Age of Family Members

If you have small children or elderly parents choosing the right breed is very important.  A Chihuahua isn't recommended for small children since they are relatively fragile dogs, but they may be an excellent choice for an older couple.  Golden Retrivers are generally a good fit for small children, but they are high energy and require a lot of exercise.  These are a couple things to keep in mind when deciding on a breed when you have small children or elderly parents in the home.

Consider Financial Responsibility

Different breeds come with different financial obligations and no breeds are immune from the unknown vet expense or routine vaccinations; therefore learn as much about the breed as you can prior to purchasing or adopting.  Did you know that Beagles, Poodles, and Border Collies are amoung some of the healthiest breeds?  However, where you might save money on vet bills owning a poodle you may very well make up for in grooming fees since these are high maintenance pups.  Some of the unhealthier breeds are the Great Dane and Greyhound.  Remember financial responsibilties isn't just a health issue but includes grooming and other miscellaneous expenses such as dog food.

Consider Adoption

Some of the best dogs you will find can be discovered at your local animal shelter free of charge or for a small fee.  You can also check out your local rescue groups although these pups can be much more difficult to adopt when you have children or do not have experience with the particular breed.  If you are thinking of purchasing a purebred from a breeder be sure to take their credientials into consideration over price or you might find yourself paying much more in the long run.

Adding a furry friend to the family is a task that should not be taken lightly.  Many breeds live for up to 10 - 12 years and that is a long term committment.  Do you research and read about different breeds.  Visit your local shelter and spend some time with the various dogs to see which ones work best for you and your family.  You might find some times the right dog will pick you, not the other way around.

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didama by didama | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Jul 20, 2011

I'm trying to talk my family into getting another dog. Would love to rescue one from a nearby kill shelter. There are too many in need of good homes.

whataslacker by whataslacker | READING, PA
Jul 20, 2011

You have some very good points and stress that you need to take your time and do your research. Getting a dog or any pet should never be an impulse buy. Well, it shoukd never be buy at all. Please adopt! A great way to see if your family will work with a dog is to foster first. Talk with someone from your local rescue groups about fostering a dog. It is very rewarding!