Even though dogs are man’s best friend, it helps when you choose your friends wisely.
Think about how a new dog is going to change your life. He or she is going to take up your time and energy with feeding, grooming, exercise, and play. Dogs are social animals and they’ll want and need to spend quality time with you. So it’s important that you and the dog are a good match.
There are many types of dogs to choose from - not just various breeds but mixed-breeds (mongrels or mutts), as well - and many sources for dogs, such as kennels, shelters, or even your own front porch if a stray wanders up. So you can’t just make your decision based on a cute face. What if you choose a dog that is too young or too old for your household? Where do you begin to look? Here a few things you should consider before making that decision:
Adopting a Puppy
Puppies are usually adorable, so they tug at your heartstrings. But it can be difficult to foretell a dog’s personality when he’s a few weeks old, not to mention whether he’ll grow into a healthy adult. Also, adopting a puppy that is too young can be a serious problem.
Adopting an Adult Dog
For many people, the known quantity of an adult dog is the way to go. But adult dogs, unlike puppies, come with their own set of ingrained habits and behaviors. As challenging as it can be to train a puppy, a stubborn adult dog can be just as much of a headache.
Adopting a Purebred Dog
There are dog owners who prefer purebreds, possibly because they’re in love with a particular breed or are considering showing the dog or breeding it themselves. Knowing a dog’s entire ancestry can be an added joy to ownership, and, in some cases, may even open the door to entering your dog into competitions.
Adopting a Mixed-Breed Dog
For some dog owners, a mixed breed is the way to go because they love knowing no one has a dog quite like theirs, or they like knowing they rescued a pooch from a shelter. A mixed breed can also allow you to tailor the exact height and weight of a dog that would be perfect for you.
Buying a Dog From a Breeder
Buying a dog from a breeder will obviously be more expensive than adopting a dog from the shelter, but there are advantages. A dog obtained from a breeder comes with more security, and you can be sure that any significant problems you encounter with your puppy will be taken care of. That being said, some breeders are more reliable than others.
Adopting a Dog From a Shelter
When you adopt a dog from a shelter not only are you gaining a great companion, but you may also be saving that dog’s life. Just as in buying a dog from a breeder, there are some important things you should know when taking home a dog from the shelter.