Finding the right dog

Oh, look at that sweet little dog. You may have just run to the mall for a few groceries, but how can you say no to that puppy in the pet store window? Stop and think this thing through. You should never buy a dog on an impulse. Do your research.

  • Why do you want a dog? There could be several reasons: a companion for you, a playmate for your children, a protector for your family. Your reasons could have a distinct bearing on the type of dog you should be looking for. Make a list of the “must have” and “not important” qualities.
  • Can you afford a dog? You could be laying out a bundle for a purebred dog, or you might pick one up quite cheaply at an animal shelter. Either way, don’t forget about all the other costs: food, vet bills, licensing, bed, crate, leash, obedience training, grooming, doggy day care, health insurance, and more.
  • How big is your home? If you live in a small apartment, with no yard, you’d better not be looking at a Great Dane or Newfoundlander puppy. Sure, they’re adorable now, but soon they’ll be slobbering, shedding, and taking up a lot of room!
  • How much time are you willing to spend with the dog? If you’re working 10 hours a day, and take vacations out of the country, maybe this isn’t the right time to consider owning a dog. It takes time to properly train a dog. Also, how much time do you want to spend grooming him? Some dogs require daily brushing, along with regular visits to the groomer.
  • How active are you? Do you like to get out for a long run every day, or are you more of a couch potato? Some breeds have more energy than others, and if you’re not going to help them burn it off, they may become destructive.
  • What traits are you looking for? The dog should suit your lifestyle. Some will love playing with children, while others may be more aloof, and prefer being with one or two adults.Some dogs are calm and will snooze through anything, while high strung dogs may become upset in a noisy, busy household. Female dogs may be gentler, and less territorial than a male.

If you do decide to purchase a dog, he or she can become your best friend. With a little research, you will be better able to find the right dog for your family and your lifestyle.

And check your home insurance to see if your policy will cover damage done by your dog. You won’t be thrilled to find your new leather couch chewed, but if you’ve got the right home insurance, some of the expense may be covered. Also, be sure to have liability insurance in place. Dog bites are all too common, and you could find yourself facing a lawsuit if your dog is the culprit. Call Square One at 1.855.331.6933 to learn what protection is available.

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