Looking for a dog..?

15 Jan, 2016

Looking for a dog..?

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How to Find the Perfect Dog for Your Family

A dog make fantastic companions for children. If you get a young dog, they can grow up together and form a lifelong bond. A dog brings many benefits to a family.
Studies show that owning a pet helps to build confidence, teaches children how to be responsible and is good for their physical health too. However, it is important to find a dog that fits in well with your family and lifestyle. Here are a few things you need to consider when choosing a household pet. These tips will apply for most breeds.

Three yorkshire terrier puppies sitting next to a tea cup to demonstrate how small they can be

Can you afford it?

Dogs can be expensive to keep, and owning one is a lifetime commitment. You need to work out roughly how much it will cost to keep your pet well fed and healthy.
Generally speaking , the bigger the breed, the more it will cost to feed him or her, so you need to factor that in. In addition, all dogs need to be vaccinated annually, so this is a cost that you need to be able to cover.

Some breeds are more prone to health issues than others are. If you are on a tight budget it is particularly important to factor this into your decision making process.
You also need to consider grooming. For most breeds it is a simple matter of getting their nails cut regularly, giving them a weekly brush and a bath a few times a year. However, some breeds like the Komondor or the Samoyed need daily grooming and may need bathing every week if the weather is bad.

View VIMEO Video of Douglas Hall Samoyed Puppies

Three Samoyed puppies - white long haired dogs
Samoyed Puppies – daily brushing is recommended

Which dog breed suits your lifestyle?

Every family is different. Some are very active, spending most weekends hiking, cycling, running and enjoying other outdoor pursuits. Dogs can be great companions on a run or while out walking, but you need to choose a breed that can keep up with you.

How much exercise they need?

This brings us to another lifestyle related issue that you need to consider. Some dogs need a lot of exercise.
In some cases, we are talking about a lot more than a daily stroll to the shops. For example, most hunting and herding breeds need between 1 and 2 hours of activity as well as at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise, every day. That is a big commitment, especially on a work or school day.

Dog - A South African Ridgeback standing in a courtyard
South African Ridgebacks need a lot of exercise

Is your home suitable – how big is your home?

Another important consideration is how much space you have. If you live in a small home with no garden, a large dog like a St Bernard is not a good choice.
It is important not to make assumptions when considering this factor. For example, not all small dogs adapt well to apartment living.

Need advice – Here’s where to find out more

You can get more advice at Douglas Hall Kennels. Breeder websites are a great place to find out more about each breed.  This questionnaire will also help you to narrow down your options.  Provided you have enough money, space and time, buying a dog is a great idea. You just need to take the time to do a little research and find the right one for your family.

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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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