December 9, 2023

The coronavirus pandemic has given many of us more time in our homes, prompting some families to make lifestyle changes, such as getting a four-legged friend.

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According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), 3.2 million households in the UK have bought or adopted a pet since the start of the pandemic, and the country is now home to 12 million pet dogs.

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Taking on a dog is, of course, a lifetime commitment, and one that deserves a lot of careful consideration. There are already stories of new owners struggling to keep up with the demands of having a pet, and home predicts that, over the next five years, there will be an increase of up to 27% and dogs will be abandoned or left as strays.

If you are considering getting a dog, doing thorough research on the right breed for your family and lifestyle is vital to keeping you and your dog happy. Here we detail the key things to consider when choosing a dog breed.

Where do I start?

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There are many factors to consider when choosing a dog. For example, do you want a puppy or a large dog? Do you want a rescue dog or one from a breeder? Do you want a pedigree or a crossbreed? And, which breed or crossbreed do you want?

A good place to start when thinking about these questions is to talk to friends and family who have dogs for tips and advice. You can also go to dog shows when restrictions allow, research breeds online, talk to rescue centers or breeders for advice, or buy some specialist magazines or books.

some donations like PDSA and companies such as iams There are also online tools that can help you with breed suggestions, while kennel club If you are looking for a pedigree then you have a handy AZ of breeds.

But, before you set your heart on a breed, it is worth considering the following to aid in your decision.

Where do you live – and who is with you in your home?

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When researching dog breeds, think about your home environment so that you can find a dog that will thrive in your home.

Some key questions to ask yourself are:

  • How much space will a dog have in your home and, if you have one, in your garden?
  • Is your garden safe? For example, some dogs may be able to run over low walls.
  • How easily can you reach open spaces to walk your dog?
  • Does everyone in your household want a dog and will you share the responsibilities of care?
  • Do You Rent – Does Your Landlord Allow Pets?

If you have a small home and garden, researching dog breeds that will be satisfied in this environment can be a good place to start.

The Kennel Club states that breeds that would be suitable for smaller homes and gardens include the Rough Collie, Miniature Bull Terrier, Beagle, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Cocker Spaniel and Dachshund.

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Do you have small children?

If you have school-age kids or younger, it’s worth researching the temperaments of different dog breeds carefully, so you can find a four-legged friend that fits in with your family.

It is wise to look for calm dogs with a loving disposition that respond well to training. borrow my dogA site that connects owners with locals who want to walk their dogs, recommends Labradors, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Newfoundlands, Golden Retrievers, and Boxers as the top five family-friendly dog ​​breeds.

You should also research how to introduce a dog into your family and learn more about child safety around dogs before your new pet arrives.

How much exercise would you be able to give the dog?

Think about how much exercise you will be able to give your dog if you are currently working from home and have to return to the office. Or, if you’re at home all day, how much exercise is realistic for you to dedicate to the dog, along with your other responsibilities.

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Be aware that some dogs will experience pet separation anxiety if they have not previously been left alone for extended periods of time. Here are some tips on how to handle the situation if it gets in your way.

While all dogs will need exercise, some breeds will require a lot more than others. Like humans, dogs can become overweight or develop behavioral problems if they don’t walk well enough or get enough stimulation.

As a starting point for you to help you narrow down the breed, the PDSA has a upper format There is a total minimum amount of exercise that different dog breeds may require each day, while this is also included in The Kennel Club’s Breeds A-Z.

research breed temperament

It can be tempting to choose a dog by looks alone, but it runs the risk of leaving you with a pet that is not a good fit for your household.

Instead, think about what is important to you as a personality. Do you want a friendly dog? Or a dog that is easily trained? Would you prefer a dog that likes to sleep on your knees in the evening or one who runs with you?

While each dog will have its own unique personality, many are bred for different reasons and bring out certain traits – some for how they look and some for certain functions, so consider that as well.

If you are considering a crossbreed, its temperament can be difficult to ascertain, so it is advisable to talk to the breeder or rescue center about the individual dog and its personality.

Research diseases and medical conditions

Some dogs are more likely to get sick or be predisposed to certain health conditions because of their breed, so this is something to consider when doing your research. Not only could this make your dog’s condition worse, but it could also cost you a lot in vet bills.

The Kennel Club, for example, classifies pugs as a ‘Category 3 breed’ which means they are prone to developing certain health conditions associated with “exaggerated conformation” (the way they are bred to look). considered more sensitive.

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Conditions can include breathing problems, skin problems and eye problems.

think hair

For some pet owners, dog hair is an annoyance that can be frowned upon, while for others it is something they cannot tolerate. Some breeds shed more hair than others, so if this is important to you, look into low-shedding dog breeds.

These can include the Cairn Terrier, Dachshund, Greyhound, Poodle, and more.

Also think about the upkeep of your potential dog’s hair as some breeds require regular grooming, as well as trimming by a professional, which is an added expense.

Which breeds can you buy?

According to the PDSA, you should expect a dog to spend at least £4,500 to £13,000 over its lifetime, with small dog breeds costing between £4,600 and £8,900, medium dog breeds costing £7,000 and more. Breeds between £11,000 and larger dogs between £5,700 and £13,000.

This is the minimum cost and will vary depending on your dog’s breed, size and how long it lives. This includes pet insurance costs, ongoing items such as dog initial kits, booster vaccinations and food – but does not include the cost of purchasing the dog, or other services such as training costs or day-care.

Think seriously about what you can extrapolate for all your other expenses as well as for unforeseen circumstances. According to the RSPCA, dogs can live up to 15 years of age, with purebred dogs living an average of 11.9 years.

Find a Good Dog Breeder

Once you do your research and decide breed of dog What you want and whether you want a puppy or a large dog, it is important that you research the best breeders or rescue centers to get your dog.

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