Last week we talked about keeping our Pets Safe during the Fourth of July and other summer holiday celebrations. This week we are looking a pet selection, specifically dogs. If you don’t have a dog and have made the decision to add one to your family, where do you start? Many of us at First Preston HT have furry family members of our own and know how much love and joy they can bring to a home.
Deciding what type of dog to get is very important. It’s a commitment and responsibility that will last for years to come and should be tailored to your family and lifestyle. Even more important is deciding if you should adopt.
Opting to adopt saves a life and costs less than going through an expensive breeder to get a canine companion. Animal shelters are full of happy and healthy pets waiting to find their fur-ever home. Most shelter animals normally receive examinations and vaccinations upon shelter arrival. Sadly, it is estimated that 3.7 million unwanted and lost pets are euthanized every year because they couldn’t find a home. You can make a difference.
Here are some helpful pointers to consider when searching for your top dog:
- Size matters – The size dog you get should depend on several factors. Do you have the space for a large dog (i.e. a house with a big back yard, or a park nearby), or if limited by space, would a small dog be more appropriate?
- Activity level – Some breeds require daily exercise while others enjoy sleeping and lying around all day. Select a breed that matches your activity level.
- Coat/Grooming needs – All dogs need regular grooming to stay clean and healthy. Some dogs shed more than others and require more of a grooming effort. Decide how much time and money you are willing to put into this.
- Male or female – While there is no superior sex when it comes to dogs, females can be easier to train because they mature faster. No mater if you choose male or female, be responsible and have them spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted puppies that could later end up at the local shelter, or worse.
- Puppy or Adult – There are pluses and minuses to both but the decision is important. Puppies are so darn cute but require a lot of time to train and a great deal of patience. Puppies can only be left alone for a few hours at a time so keep this in mind. Adult dogs, many times, are already house trained and have graduated from the puppy stage (hopefully) of frequent potty breaks and chewing. They also tend to be calmer.
- Personality – The dog you select will be living with you for a long time so it’s important to make sure you can get along with their temperament. Each dog’s personality is different, just like it is in humans, so spend time with the dog to get to know them. How are they with strangers, other pets, and kids? Are they hyper and full of energy or relaxed and calm? If you have other pets or family members make sure they fully interact with the dog before bringing it comes home.
- Select a few breeds – There are many online tools that that can be used to take an assessment of your lifestyle and the time you have to spend caring for your new dog. Animal Planet, Pedigree, and the DogChannel are a few of the many sites that offer one. Take a few of these assessments to help select more then one breed that compliments you and your family’s lifestyle.
- Opt to adopt – Once you narrow down your selection to a few or even a single breed, reach out to local rescue groups that specialize in your specific breed of interest (i.e. Boxers, Pit Bulls, and Labradors, etc.). Many times you will gain additional knowledge that is helpful as they specialize in the care of that breed. The more you know, the better.
- Be a foster – If your lifestyle doesn’t allow the long-term commitment of owning a dog (i.e. frequent work travel), you can select to foster dogs for short spans of time until they find their fur-ever home. This is a wonderful option that helps local rescue groups and shelters while providing you the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership, such as unconditional love!
There is no doubt dogs bring joy and happiness to their owners and are treasured family members. First Preston HT hopes you found these tips helpful in your search for the top dog. For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.