Studies show that people who have pets in the home report greater feelings of happiness and contentment. So you definitely have a built-in reason to bring home a dog and make him the newest member of your family. And many parents give in to kids’ pleas for a puppy to teach them the responsibility of caring for an animal. But once you’ve decided to go ahead with getting a dog, you have to face the daunting task of finding the one that best suits your family. Rather than just picking one at random, you might want to consider a few things in the process.
- Size. The size of dog you select should coincide to a degree with the size of your home, your yard, and your living space in general. If you enjoy a large house with acres of land for an animal to run around, there’s no reason not to get large breed dogs. And small breeds will obviously do fine in larger living spaces. But if you try to cram a great dane or a malamute into a tiny apartment with no access to a yard, you’re going to end up with a very unhappy animal and probably a lot of messes on the floor, even if you take your pooch for frequent walks.
- Breed. You might start your search for a puppy by considering breeds that are characterized as being good pets for kids, such as labs, golden retrievers, collies, and so on. The temperaments of these breeds are well-suited to kids in most cases. But if you don’t put much stock in the stereotypical traits of breeds, you might want to opt instead for a mixed breed, or mutt. These blends tend to have fewer genetic problems than their purebred brethren, and you can find them at your local animal shelter rather than paying a breeder.
- Disposition. Although there is some contention concerning the disposition of different dog breeds, you probably have a general idea of which breeds you don’t want for a family (read: breeds that are known for aggression such as German shepherds, pit bulls, and so on). In truth, there are bound to be members of every breed that have more family-friendly personalities. So if you’re keen on a breed that isn’t known for being a good family pet, don’t give up hope of finding a suitable dog. Interacting with individual dogs is the best way to find the right pet for your family.
- Longevity. If your kids are young, you might be concerned about finding a puppy that your children can grow up with. Losing a dog to old age is inevitable, but you obviously want your family pets to stay with you as long as possible. And smaller breeds tend to live longer in general.
- Cost. When choosing a family dog, you may be somewhat hampered by price. But it’s not like you’re purchasing a purebred show dog. So you should be able to find a reasonably priced family pet through a provider like Ron’s Puppies, although you may also want to support your local shelter. The thing to keep in mind is that if you can’t afford the cost to bring a puppy into your home, you need to seriously consider whether you have the resources to care for one properly; since ongoing costs could include food, bedding, toys, grooming supplies, and medical expenses for regular check-ups and vaccinations, amongst other things. Be certain that you can support your new family member before you bring home a puppy.