Pro-tips on adding a new dog to your family
After being asked for a year, you have finally decided that you are ready to add a dog to your family. However, you aren’t sure what type of dog, or if you want a puppy, or how to adapt the new dog to your family. Of course, you want to make sure you find the right dog that can become a family member for life. Here are some tips to assist you in finding the right dog for you!
1. Decide on breed
The first step is to be very honest with yourself about your lifestyle. Are you a super active family that loves camping, hiking and early morning runs? Are you a family that is more into reading, crafts, and going to the farmer’s market? Are you somewhere in between?
These questions can help you narrow down the type of dog that would integrate well into the lifestyle. If your family is high energy, a larger, active breed dog would fit in well. If not, a smaller, less active breed would be best. The key to successfully incorporating a dog is to make sure you are choosing one that fits you, not a dog you would need to adapt to. The internet is full of breed guides to assist you with your research.
Remember, deciding on a dog breed can include mixed breed dogs as well. You can include mixes of your breed choices once you have developed your final list.
2. Decide on age
After deciding what type of dog suits your family, the next step is to decide what age dog works for your family. The general rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladders for about 1 hour per month of age.
So, if you bring home a 10-week-old puppy, is someone able to take the puppy outside throughout the night until they are old enough to sleep through the night? If not, adding an older puppy through adult is right for you!
Don’t forget that seniors also make great pets, especially for less active families!
3. Purchase from a breeder or adopt
After you have decided what breeds work best for your family, and if you would like a puppy or young adult through adult or senior, the final step is determining where to get your new dog!
There are many good breeders that have puppies available a couple times a year. Going to breed and group specific dog shows or searching the American Kennel Club’s webpage of approved breeders is a great place to start.
There are also local shelters and dog rescues, both breed specific and general, available. Most have information on available dogs on their website, though they are also happy to have your family come in and meet the available dogs. Many dogs rescue groups also offer the opportunity to foster a dog before committing to adoption to make sure the dog is right for your family.