Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
It’s always fascinating when I see the wide variety of pets featured on BlogPaws and the number of pets that attend BlogPaws every year. I always like to ask people, “What made you decide to get a ferret, hairless cat, or (fill in the blank) particular dog breed.” It got me to thinking of why I chose a miniature Poodle when I got my Diva Poodle, Henrietta so I thought I’d take a break from my usual social media and blogging posts to offer some helpful tips on choosing the best puppy for your family.
When I made the decision that I was going to get “my very own” dog (we already had a family dog, but I wanted my own to spoil and have as a traveling and office companion, I took time to decide what I really wanted in a lifelong companion. I knew I wanted a tiny dog and one that didn’t shed – that ruled out several breeds immediately. I also knew I wanted a smart dog and Poodles are ranked among the most intelligent.
Because I enjoy walking and wanted a dog that could keep up with me that also ruled out a few others because of their inability to either tolerate heat or long walks (Pugs, for example). After research I made the decision to adopt a Poodle and viola, along came Henrietta! It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision because I knew she would be a decades long commitment. I also knew that if I lived alone I could never have handled the dog we already had, Spenser – he was too large, shed too much and was simply too much dog for me, besides the fact he won’t fit in a purse the way Henrietta does!
- What size dog do you want? Small, medium, large or something in between? Do you want a purebred or a mix of breeds? Does your dog need to be good with children? Do you want a dog that needs to be taken to a groomer (Poodles do)? Do you want a dog that is a couch potato or one that loves to play fetch? Don’t forget to budget for pet food, large breeds eat a lot as we’ve found out with Spenser.
- Once you have the answers to the above questions, it’s time to ask a veterinarian or check the Internet or books in the library. Look for breeds that have the qualities you’re seeking.
- Ask friends and family about their dogs and what they like (and don’t like) about the breed they’ve chosen. Is the breed easy to housebreak? Does it bark a lot? Does it have medical needs that you may be unaware of?
Remember, regardless of the breed that you choose, it is a lifelong commitment. You can’t turn it back to the adoption agency once its cuteness wears off or after you’ve cleaned up the third indoor potty accident of the day or once he’s chewed your favorite pair of shoes. Pet ownership – whether a dog, cat, ferret or bird – requires the owner to take responsibility for not only the care, but the training of the pet.
Make certain you’re ready for the commitment of pet ownership and that your work schedule and lifestyle are a good match for bringing a puppy (or an older dog) into the home. Adopting a pet should never be a spontaneous decision.
What made you choose your four-legged family member?