Tips on Choosing a New Canine Companion

Are you thinking of adding a dog to your family’s ranks in the near future? There are plenty of considerations to make before deciding on your next canine companion. Here are a few tips for making the best possible choice so that you and your dog can enjoy years of happy, healthy companionship down the road.

Consider Your Lifestyle

First, consider your own lifestyle. Do you have young children? This is an important consideration to make when thinking about adding a dog to your family, as young children will need to be taught about proper handling techniques, safety measures, and more when it comes to owning a dog.

Consider your living situation; do you live in a home or an apartment? In the suburbs or in the center of a city? A large-breed dog may not work well for apartment dwellers depending on size and exercise needs.

Finally, take time to think about what kind of commitment you’re willing to undertake. Most dogs will live to be at least 10 years old, and many can live twice that long. Make sure that you’re prepared for the responsibility, and remember that older dogs need loving homes too!

Consider the Breed

Different breeds of dogs come with different personalities, although temperament can vary greatly even within a single breed. Generally speaking, working dogs and sporting dogs have a lot of energy—they’ll require a good bit of physical activity and will want frequent human contact to be as happy as possible. Something like a terrier, on the other hand, could display an independent streak and might have a more difficult time following commands. It all depends on the dog, so make sure to perform your due diligence before making a final choice.

Consider Care Requirements

Make sure to factor in your potential companion’s care needs before making a decision. Budget for supplies like food, dishes, beds, a leash and collar, and a crate, as well as the cost of veterinary care. Think about what kind of grooming requirements your pooch might have; long-haired dogs will require frequent brushing and bathing, as well as trips to the groomer’s office. Take note if the kind of dog you’re considering is predisposed to certain types of medical issues—ear infections, hip dysplasia, eye trouble, etc.—and factor in the costs of veterinary bills and preventative care. Our Vet Preventive Care services can help you stay on top of your new dog’s health needs, from routine check-ups and vaccinations to early detection and management of potential health issues.

Another important consideration is who will care for your dog when you’re away. Whether you’re planning a vacation or have a busy work schedule, it’s essential to have a reliable pet sitter lined up. Check out our article on “Choosing a Pet Sitter” for helpful tips on finding the perfect caregiver for your new canine companion.

For more help choosing a dog, contact us, your local animal clinic in St. Lucie County, FL today!

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