Dog ownership can be one of life’s most rewarding endeavors. To ensure a healthy, happy life for your furball, we recommend doing a lot of research and planning well before your new companion enters your home.
One of the most important considerations you should make when adopting a new furball is what type of breed will be most well-suited for the lifestyle you’re able to provide. While we never advocate for breed discrimination, there are certain energy levels and personality types that shine through in different breeds, and it’s important to be as prepared for your dog’s needs as possible.
So, why is it important to know what breed(s) my dog is?
1.Most domesticated dog breeds were developed for a certain purpose, and though they have shifted over the years, many of those traits are still present (think hunting or herding breeds, for example). Knowing the history of your dog’s breed will help you manage their energy and provide healthy, safe outlets for releasing that energy.
For example, a herding dog might be more likely to want to control the movements of the human family members in your home. Herding dogs can be great companions, but they need a lot of activity and stimulation, what some people might call “a job.” Knowing what your pet needs to release energy will help both of you find healthy avenues for stress relief and exercise, ultimately leading to a happier, healthier life for your pet.
2. Some health concerns are common in specific breeds, and knowing your dog’s history might help you prepare for health challenges along the way.
For example, larger breeds of dogs tend to have shorter lifespans (think Great Danes or Irish Wolfhounds) and dogs with lots of skin folds/wrinkles might be more susceptible to skin allergies or infections. Similarly, dogs with floppy ears tend to require more consistent ear cleaning regimes to prevent infection while dogs with German Shepherd lineage might be more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia as they age.
You might be wondering how to select a dog if you’re interested in adopting a mixed breed dog, or one of the newer designer breeds. Dog DNA tests are wildly popular now and are giving dog owners much more detailed insight into the makeup of their pups, but we always recommend getting to know your fur ball as a special and unique individual. Research is very important, but taking the time to get to know your dog and what makes them tick is also a critical piece of the equation.
Regardless what breed of fur ball you choose, our number one piece of advice is to make sure that you will want to take care of a dog today, tomorrow, and even 12-15 years in the future. Pets need attention 24/7, even if you’re on vacation or sick, or add a new family member to the house. Dog adoption is a long-term investment, and while it can be challenging and expensive, it is also one of the best things you can do as long as you’re well prepared!