Finding the Right Dog for Your Family
So many cute dogs, so little time. And space. And money. There’s no shortage of adorable, amazing, and inspiring pups out there, but that doesn’t make finding the right one for your family any easier. How do you even begin deciding which dog is the best for you when there’s so many to choose from? Consider the following factors to help narrow down your options!
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo
- Personality: The spectrum of dog personality is as varied as human personality. They range from silly and playful to serious and responsible. Luckily, this means that there’s probably a dog for every type of human and a human for every type of dog! Consider other people in your household and your lifestyle when thinking about what personality is best suited for your home.
- Activity level: Are you looking for a daily jogging partner? Or would you rather have a lapdog who enjoys binging on TV as much as you? Take stock of how active you would like to be both indoors and outdoors with your future pup. If you’re not the active type, would you be willing to provide multiple play seshes indoors?
- Breed: While purebred dogs are becoming increasingly rare in shelters, many canines will still keep some dominant features of their pedigree. A rescue can help you identify breed-specific traits as well as provide their own observations about your future fur baby’s unique personality!
- Home environment: Noise, children, indoor space, and outdoor access are just some of the things to consider when thinking about which dog would be best for your home. Another less considered element is the tolerance for shedding that you and other people in your home have.
- Age: When it comes to adoption, many default to puppies. However, puppies are a lot of work and it can be hard to predict a young dog’s personality. Senior dogs have established personalities and may be perfect for those who are looking for mellow, low-maintenance, yet intelligent companions. If you find yourself dreaming of spending lazy afternoons on the porch with your new furry companion, a senior dog may be the way to go!
- Size: Living in an apartment doesn’t necessarily mean adopting a smaller dog, but larger dogs should have access to outdoor space in some form to freely play and exercise. An apartment in a rural area, an active, outdoors-y dog pawrent, or daily excursions to a green dog park are all ways larger dogs can be accommodated even while living in cozier abodes. If these don’t seem realistic to you, it may be best to stick to a smaller breed.
- Special needs: As much as we all want to help an animal with special needs, speak with the rescue about the reality of taking care of a pup who will need care beyond routine check-ups and accident related expenses. A responsible rescue and/or breeder will be open and willing to discuss your future responsibilities–financial or otherwise–when you ask about what exactly will go into adopting a special needs pooch.