I am so excited that you have decided to get a new pet. The experience of becoming a pet owner is awesome! Of course with every new experience comes a set of challenges. Do not let the hard stuff scare you off. It is definitely worth it in the end. I will regularly post little tricks of the trade that I have learned as a new pet owner and things I have picked up working in the animal field.
Don’t judge a breed by its cuteness
Choosing a dog can be fun but it is also important to choose the right dog for you. Keep in mind that every dog is different but it all starts with the breed. The more popular dog breeds are usually the toy breeds such as the Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas and Maltese just to name a few. I would suggest choosing a buddy that works well with your lifestyle. Yorkie’s may look adorable riding next to you in the car but if you’re an active runner, it may have a hard time keeping up.
Before I got either of my dogs I already had a couple of breeds in mind that I liked. Surprisingly I was not interested in having a Chihuahua or Pitbull. My favorite dog at the time was a Siberian Husky. I loved their eye coloring and how they reminded me of wolves. I also thought that Bloodhounds and Bassett Hounds were pretty cool for their sense of smell. After I got into researching dog breeds, I was determined to get a French Bulldog.
A little research goes a long way
I decided it would be best to do a little research before getting my first dog. I had it in my head that I could find the “ideal” dog for me. My routine started with me looking on different websites for the dog, then I would look up the breed once I saw one I liked. I typically found really helpful information on www.dogbreedinfo.com. It really goes into detail about temperament, noted health issues and life expectancy. Now for those of you who are more audio/visual learners, Dogs 101 is an awesome show to watch on Animal Planet. The show consists of veterinarians and dog behaviorist that tell you pretty much what you need to know about each breed including the dog’s origins.
It is always great to have a cute or unique looking dog but even more important to know what your dog was bred to do. For example, what I did learn about Huskies is that they are bred to be sled dogs. Being part of the working breed means that the dog needs to have room to run or go on frequent walks to burn off energy. Retrievers are bred to retrieve game for hunters. A game of fetch or training your dog to retrieve the newspaper helps keep the dog busy. If the dog is not worked, it may find its own job to do which may mean trouble for its owner. Needless to say I came to the conclusion that maybe a Husky was not the best pet for me.
Adopting vs. Buying
Making the decision to purchase a dog vs adopting is also a big decision. May I also add that there is nothing wrong with either. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking for a show dog, buying from a breeder may be your best option. Of course do your research and make sure you a getting the best service for what you are paying. I have also heard good and bad things towards adoption. On the positive side you are providing a home for a pet that was either lost, unwanted or whose owner could no longer care for them. On the downside, with adoption it can be hard to find a dog that will fit with your family and some are hesitant that the dog may turn out aggressive due to a rough past. All of this depends on the dog honestly. Even if the dog came from an abusive situation, the idea is to gain the dog’s trust through showing love. My second dog I chose to adopt because I knew what services I was getting with her. She was vaccinated, microchipped and spayed. I also chose to get an older dog vs. a puppy.
What if it doesn’t work out?
Never be afraid to return a pet. Even if you have done everything on your end to get your “ideal” pet, every dog is different. It is better to give the animal another opportunity to find a home than to try to make something work that will not. I have noticed that there is a stigma attached to a person that would give up their pet. We should be more supportive as a community to understand that not everyone’s situation is the same. If your new pet does not fit well with your situation do not be afraid to re-home or return your pet.
Whatever decision you may when bringing home your new pup, make sure that it works for you. Research the breed that fits your lifestyle also where you decide to get your new friend. Do not let the cuteness be the reason to get the dog. Out of both my dogs, my Chihuahua is absolutely adorable but he is my weirdo. No one seems to believe me until they try to pet him. My pitbull is the sweeter of the 2 but most people are afraid of her because of her breed. Whether you adopt or choose a breeder, make sure you check into the services you get with your pet. And lastly if your new pet is not the ideal fit you were looking for, do not be afraid to give the dog back. You will be happier and so will the pet. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line in the comments section and good luck on your new pet journey!