Choosing a Dog for Family

Choosing a Dog for Family

'Bow wow!' Are you in love with this sound and do you want it to echo in your home? Then this is the right time to bring an adorable dog or a puppy into your family!
DogAppy Staff
Undoubtedly, the saying "Dog is man's best friend" has been true from as long ago as 1500 B.C, and it holds true even today. However, raising a new dog or a puppy brings with it a number of responsibilities and other factors. Every family has a lifestyle of its own and this is an important aspect to be thought upon before adopting a dog as one of the family members. Especially if there are kids at home, then a careful thought and planning should go into choosing the right breed.

Following are some of the important aspects which you need to take care of when selecting a dog:

Cost
The cost includes the purchase of the basic necessities like the collar, leash and food and water dishes, followed by the food, grooming and medication. An important thing to remember is that the larger the dog, the more are the expenses involved.

Size
If you are looking for a large breed then make sure you have plenty of space for the animal to move around in. Small dogs are the vulnerable ones of being mishandled and seriously injured. Dr. Patricia Stapley Chase, owner of Pine Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Cobourg, says "With dogs, there is always a hierarchy, and the children need to be above that dog". So, if there are small children in the family, it becomes difficult to choose between a large and small dog. In such a case, a medium-sized dog would be a good choice.

Personality of the Animal
It is best to go for a dog which is calm and not threatening in nature. Although, it is not always possible to interpret the dog's behavior you can get a rough idea from its body language.

Energy level of the Dog
Active families who indulge in running, biking and other stamina-based exercises in their daily routines, must go for dogs showing higher activity levels. On the other hand, for families who are content with not more than a routine walk everyday, can opt for a low-energy dog such as the Basset Hound. However, whether high or low energetic, all dogs require daily training and exercise, to keep them fit and healthy.

'Do Not Disturb' Times!
There are certain times, when a dog or in fact any animal must be left alone and not be disturbed. A dog must never be intimidated while eating or sleeping. Small kids usually handle pets in a disturbing manner. Pulling its tail or legs, grabbing its ears or trying to touch its teeth make the animal less tolerant and thus more aggressive.

The 'Good Looks' Factor
The secret of a healthier and a shinier coat of a dog is a proper amount of grooming to get rid of dead hair and dirt. This practice can be a good way of building a stronger bond with the pet. It is a sign of affection and attention. The accessories required for grooming must be of good quality. One more benefit of regular grooming is that it improves the blood supply to the animal's skin. Grooming differs from breed to breed, as not all dogs share the same features.

Family Health
Some members in your family may have allergic reactions to dogs. For them, there are special breeds which shed very little. So, homework is a must for such people who want to own a dog. A test of allergy sensitivity can be done by spending some time with the chosen breed and to see if any kind of allergic reactions develop. Some examples of hypoallergenic breeds are:
  • Affenpinscher
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Basenji
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Yorkshire Terrier
Puppy Training
Training of dogs varies with the animal's age. Training a puppy is more difficult, as he is new to everything - you and your family, its surroundings, and its environment, as a whole. So a great deal of patience and fair treatment is required for training puppies. Older dogs, comparatively, present more ease when it comes to training. They can adjust their attitude and temperament, according to their new home and get friendly in a shorter span of time, if the right training programs are followed.

I believe that adding a dog to the family is the most compassionate and lovable thing to do. An adorable friend for the kids and a faithful companion for the elder members; a dog always adds to the warmth and happiness of your family!