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How To Pick The Right Dog For Your Family | Petzlover

Bringing a dog into your family is a big decision, so it’s essential that you get it right. And we’re here to help you make the right choice!

Read this guide to learn how to make sure that the furry friend you bring home with you is the best fit for you and your family.

Are You Suitable Dog Parents?

Rescue centers are full of dogs that have either been abandoned or put up for rehoming by people who took on a dog without realizing the size of the commitment they were making. So, before you start searching for a dog, it’s crucial you make sure that you are in the right position to offer a pup a home. 

Is Your Home Suitable For A Dog?

First of all, is your home suitable for a dog? 

If you rent your property, you need to check that you are permitted to keep a dog. Some landlords only allow dogs of certain breeds and sizes, especially in apartments, whereas others don’t permit dogs at all.

Does Your Lifestyle Suit Dog Ownership?

If you have a very busy work life, a young family, or elderly relatives who live with you, you might not have the time to commit to the care and attention that a dog needs.

Do you have allergy sufferers in your household? If you do, you’ll need to choose a dog breed that doesn’t shed too much. 

Can You Afford To Keep A Dog?

Dogs can be expensive! 

It’s not just the initial cost of buying a puppy that you need to take into account. There are weekly food bills, insurance, vet’s bills, and other routine costs such as groomer’s fees to consider. 

For example, if you take on a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, both breeds need clipping every month, depending on the individual’s coat type.

Do You Have Time For A Dog?

All dogs need a daily walk and playtime. Also, most breeds need brushing at least once a week, or more frequently if the dog is a breed that sheds heavily. 

Also, having a dog around the house will mean more time spent vacuuming and cleaning your home. 

Do you have the time to devote to that?

What To Consider When Choosing A Dog

Once you’ve decided that you are in the right place in your life to own a dog, here’s what you need to consider when choosing a breed:


First of all, what age dog would be the best fit for your lifestyle?


Although puppies are undoubtedly cute and great fun to own, they do demand a lot of time and energy from their owners, especially during the first six months.

Puppies generally create more mess than older dogs, especially while you’re still potty training your pet. You’ll need to devote lots of time to training your puppy and playing with him, too. Also, puppies can suffer from separation anxiety and stress when left alone for long periods, which often results in destructive behavior and excessive barking.

Finally, if your kids have begged you to buy them a puppy, will they still be interested in the dog once it grows out of the cuddly, cute stage? And is a puppy the best choice of dog for your family if the kids are out at school all day and you work full-time away from home?

Adult Dogs

An adult dog can be a better alternative. If you take on a mature dog, you’ll get a clear idea of his energy levels and appearance from the get-go, which you don’t with a tiny puppy. 

However, you will most likely still need to train the dog, especially if he’s been living in a shelter for a while. Luckily, most adult dogs will have received some training and socialization and quickly adjust to their new lives.

Senior Dogs

Unfortunately, many senior dogs that finish up in shelters are often last in line for adoption and finish up living out their lives in kennels or even being euthanized.

Many senior dogs have existing health conditions or are more likely to develop issues that can be expensive to treat. However, an older dog can make an excellent companion if you want a quiet pet that doesn’t need as much exercise as a younger pup. 

Of course, every precious year that you can give an elderly dog in a comfortable home surrounded by people who can shower the pup with love is a wonderful thing. So, well done you if you decide to go this route!


Choose a dog that’s the right size for your home and lifestyle.

For example, if you live in a small apartment with no outside space, you don’t want to take on a huge, boisterous German Shepherd that knocks everything off your coffee table every time he wags his tail. You would be much better with a medium-sized or small dog, purely from a logistical point of view. Also, very large dogs eat more, which will increase the cost of keeping one.

Although tiny dogs can seem like a good option if you have limited space and time, they still need some daily exercise. And, although a cute little Chihuahua might seem like a good choice of pet for a family, they can be snappy and intolerant of very small kids. Also, toy or miniature breeds often have fragile bones and can easily be injured by a clumsy child or larger dog. 

Energy Levels

Some dog breeds have higher energy levels than others, and some need a relatively little amount of exercise, whereas others need at least an hour’s walk and some playtime every day to keep them happy.

If you enjoy an outdoorsy lifestyle, you might be happy to take on a dog that needs lots of exercise. However, if you prefer to spend your days relaxing at home, a more chilled-out type of pup would most likely be a better companion for you.

It’s extremely important that you choose a dog whose energy levels suit your lifestyle. Dogs that don’t get enough mental and physical stimulation often develop destructive behaviors or can sometimes become frustrated and aggressive, too.

Grooming And Brushing

Depending on the dog’s breed and coat type, he might need daily brushing and regular trips to the groomers.

If you get a dog that has a double-coat, you’ll need to brush him at least every other day to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Interestingly, most short-haired, smooth-coated breeds are prolific shedders, so be prepared to do lots of cleaning up if you get one of these mucky pups!

Also, if you go for a very jowly dog, be prepared to get plastered in slobber every time he shakes his head!

Breed Type

If you were raised around a particular dog breed, you might want to choose that one. After all, you know what you’re getting. If you love a breed based on what you’ve read or seen on TV, you might feel that the breed’s temperament and size are perfect for what you want.

Whatever breed you decide to go for, do plenty of research before you buy a puppy, and be sure to choose a reputable breeder who has had both the puppy’s parents health-screened for genetic problems.

Mixed breeds such as Goldendoodles,  are incredibly popular for their excellent temperaments and low-shedding coats. Crossbreeds also tend to be healthier and longer-lived than many purebreds. 

Purebred dogs and certain crossbreeds tend to be very expensive to buy, costing anything from a few hundred dollars to many thousands, depending on the breed. However, shelters and rescues are packed with unwanted mixed breed dogs waiting for loving homes, and you can often find the perfect dog for you here for no more than a donation to the rescue charity.

In Summary

Welcoming a dog into your family can be a wonderful experience for everyone, but it’s essential that you choose the right dog for your family.

Consider your lifestyle, your home arrangements, your family and work commitments, and do some research to find out everything you need to know about the dog breed you’re considering before you make your final decision.