Want to find a dog that’s right for you and your family? You’ve come to the right place! Dogs can bring a great deal of joy and love to their families. We know that having a family dog can help keep us active, reduce stress, provide companionship and elevate our mood.
To ensure you are able to enjoy all these benefits of dog ownership it is important to do your research. Getting a dog is after all, a lifelong commitment.
Here’s a couple of things to consider if you want to find a dog that suits your family
Do you have the time for a dog?
Dogs take up a lot of time and energy. If you lead a busy lifestyle or work long hours, perhaps a pet dog isn’t a wise choice. However, if you are seriously committed to having a four legged friend, there are options for those who are not at home a lot. Investing in a dog walker, or taking your dog to a doggie day-care can help keep your pet entertained while you are at work. Or asking the boss if your dog can come to work is another popular alternative for well trained pooches.
Puppies require the most work when it comes to house training. It will take a new pup time to learn their name, their lessons, and to be trained out of undesirable habits such as going to toilet in the wrong spot or chewing up shoes. All puppies should go to puppy school, and these lessons should be reaffirmed daily at home. And it will take time for them to establish their place in your “pack”- so a fair amount of patience will be required.
If you don’t want your things chewed up, or don’t have the time to train a puppy, consider adopting an already housebroken, adult dog. Shelters often have dogs that are past the puppy stage and are looking for a new family. Just make sure if you do adopt, you adopt from a place that has done a temperament assessment and is willing to give an honest brief about the dog’s personality.
How do I find a dog that’s the right breed?
All breeds have specific needs. You should find a dog based on your own lifestyle, your living situation. Consider your housing, i.e. apartment, house, farm etc, and how you want your dog to fit into your family.
For example, a kelpie won’t make a great lap-dog as they are a working dog and need lots of exercise and tasks to keep them busy. A Pug would be a better lap-dog choice.
A good starting point is the dog time family dog breed selection survey, which asks questions that may help point you in the right direction.
And of course, you are always welcome to call the hospital and speak to The Fox Valley Animal Hospital team, too.
Can you afford a dog?
According to Australian Veterinary Association, The Family Pooch Index has revealed that over the average lifespan of a dog, owners will spend on average more than $25,000 per animal.
Keep in mind that this figure is only the average. If you go away often for work or holidays there is the cost of boarding kennels or pet sitters as well.
One way to ensure pet medical costs are kept to a manageable level is pet insurance. Pet insurance is a great idea for new puppy owner. If you insure your puppy before anything goes wrong, they will be covered for life without exclusions.
Plus, Fox Valley Animal Hospital can help you choose the right company and policy for your dog’s cover.
Should you buy from a breeder, pound or pet shop?
There are lots of ways to acquire a dog or puppy. However, Fox Valley Animal Hospital thinks that saving a life, and rescuing a dog or puppy from a pound or rescue is best. (http://www.fetchingdogs.com.au/ are ethical and very pro-active)
We understand that sometimes people want to buy a puppy from a breeder. We suggest that you look up www.dogsnsw.org.au for a list of recognised breeders and tips on how to choose a happy, healthy puppy for your family.
We support Oscar’s Law, which is why we advocate for the adopt, don’t shop ethos where possible.
The final tail (ha!) on how to find a family dog
Find a dog that suits your family and you’ll enjoy a lot of happiness. Choose the wrong canine companion and things will be a little more pear shaped. Falling in love with a dog is the easy part and sharing your life with one can be very rewarding, or a complete disaster.
To avoid disappointment make sure you do your research and choose wisely. And be prepared for the fun, silliness and joyful stress relief the right dog can bring.
And don’t forget to bring your new puppy or family dog in to see us at Fox Valley Animal Hospital. We’d love to meet them and help them grow into a healthy, happy part of your family life!
Want help to find a dog to love? Come into our Wahroonga vet clinic or give us a call on (02) 9489 4805 today!