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Picking the Right Dog

Picking the right dog for you
We all know how exciting that moment can be when we are able to pick out a new four-legged member of the family. However, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration before taking the plunge into pet ownership.
One of the first considerations to make when selecting a dog is finding one that fits your lifestyle. Consider questions like where you live, the hours you work, and if you have existing pets. If you are an individual that lives in an apartment and spends weekends indoors breeds such as herding dogs and huskies would not be the right fit because they are more hyperactive, requiring a lot of exercise and constant stimulation. This is just an example, before picking a dog it is smart to do a little research on potential breeds to assure you find one that is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.  Deciding on purchasing an adult dog or a puppy is an important factor to consider. This goes back to the type of lifestyle that you are living.  Puppies, as we all know, require more time and energy to train and as well as involve more frequent feedings, exercise, and supervision.
Next, consider who will be caring for your dog. As its owner you have the responsibility to provide food, shelter, companionship, exercise, and physical and mental health for the rest of its life. Owning a dog is a full-time responsibility and should not be taken lightly. If you work long hours make sure you have other individuals to help or can afford options such as doggie daycare or walking services.
One of the most important factors to consider is the feasibility of owning a dog. This is pivotal. Dogs can be an extremely expensive endeavor to take on. When people think of owning a pet, the obvious costs of food, vaccinations, and toys come to mind. What many people overlook is the possibility of extensive veterinarian bills due to unforeseen illnesses. I know, no one wants to think about the possibility of their new dog going through an accident or becoming terminally ill. However, proper planning is needed so you have the ability to provide care if heaven-forbid something happens. This fact should not deter you from experiencing the joys of pet ownership, instead let it help guide you to the needed tools to be prepared to care for your future animal for the entirety of its life. Many companies offer pet insurance policies, such as PetsBest, Nationwide, and ASPCA. Another option would be classified as pet financing. A common one that we accept at City Park Animal Clinic is call CareCredit. Care Credit is a credit card specifically designed for veterinarian expenses. Anything from routine check-ups to emergency surgeries would be covered and approved usages for the Care Credit card.
Once you have determined the affordability, selected a breed and age of a dog it is time to prepare your home for his/her arrival. Before bringing your new dog home schedule a veterinary visit to ensure it receives the appropriate vaccinations and any needed health care. If the shelter or breeder you are purchasing your dog from provides you with health records, make sure to bring them to the first veterinarian visit.  In addition to planning vet visits, make sure that your home is prepared for the new addition to the family. Talk with roommates, or children about what it will mean having a new dog in the house and be prepared to spend a considerable amount of time training the new dog.
When you acquire a pet, you accept the responsibility for the health and welfare of another living thing. A pet will be a part of your life for hopefully many good years. However, when the time comes you need to make sure you are equipped with the right tools to make end of life decisions. Making these decisions is not easy and should not be taken lightly. When considering options make sure you are thinking of the best thing for your dog. Always listen to your veterinarian, they will have the animal’s best intentions at heart. Remember that you are responsible for this animal for the entirety of its life. When your pet becomes old or ill you should never shrink your responsibilities for providing necessary care for your pet.

Blog by Nicole Lathrop

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