Considering adopting a pooch? Choosing the right size dog is key to ensuring that your new pet will be the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Use this guide to find out which breeds are best for you.
Evaluate your lifestyle
First and foremost, evaluate your lifestyle and make sure that it is suited to dog ownership. Large or small, a dog is a big responsibility.
You will need to spend enough time at home to provide proper care and company for your pup. This might require you to adjust your existing work and weekend routines. Bear in mind that owning a dog can also limit your ability to travel, at least spontaneously.
The financial implications of having a dog should be considered too. Between insurance and vets bills and food and grooming, dogs are a significant investment.
Finally, think about how you prefer to spend your time. Are you a homebody, or do you like to be out and about in the great outdoors? This is key to deciding the right breed of dog for your lifestyle.
Assess your living situation
Once you have ensured that you are prepared for your pooch, assess your living situation. The size and type of your property, as well as the surrounding area, will dictate the right type of dog for you.
Naturally, large dogs need more space. This is vital to both their physical and mental health. Keeping big breed dogs confined can lead to anxiety and depression or behavioural problems, and large dog beds are a necessity for comfort and good joint health.
Small breed dogs will have enough room to run and play in a modest-sized property, so these types of dog are best for those who live in a flat or house where space is restricted.
All types of dog will benefit from having outdoor space, but a garden is particularly useful for large breeds who need to spend a good portion of the day moving around. If you do not have a garden, look for safe green spaces near your home where your dog can move freely off the lead.
Check the required exercise
All dogs need regular exercise. However, the correct amount varies hugely depending on the breed.
Small dogs typically require less exercise per day, and will prefer shorter bursts of physical activity such as ball games and playing with interactive toys. When taken on a walk, they may tire quickly. Overexercising risks damage to their delicate joints that are prone to injury under excessive strain.
In contrast, large dogs should have a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise per day, with giant breeds such as Great Danes demanding more than two hours. This means that much more time needs to be devoted to exercising large dogs than smaller breeds.
Just as with humans, getting enough physical activity is essential in ensuring a dog’s fitness and mental wellness.
Factor in health considerations
Lastly, factor in health considerations when choosing your dog. All dogs will require regular visits to the vet for vaccinations and checks, but different breeds come with their own predetermined issues.
Small dogs typically live longer, although in later years they commonly face breathing problems. A common condition is a collapsed trachea. Flat-faced species such as pugs will have these issues throughout their lifetime.
Smaller dogs are often prone to hypoglycaemia, especially when they are puppies. This is caused by a rapid drop in blood sugar. Glucose may have to be rubbed into the gums which can lead to dental issues down the line.
Bigger dogs are likely to develop mobility issues as they age including hip dysplasia which can lead to a total inability to use the back legs. You must therefore ensure that you would be physically able to lift a large breed dog in the event of this happening.