If you have decided that the time is right, congratulations! Now it is time to figure out what type of dog is right for you. There are several factors to consider before choosing a dog. Most importantly, examine your current lifestyle and consider what adjustments you are willing to make for a dog. Look at the needs of your family – especially if you have children or other pets. People with allergies, or those who prefer low-shedding dogs, might want to look into hypoallergenic dog breeds. Next, think about the ideal size, energy level and age of your new dog. Then, determine where to get your new dog. Just remember that getting a dog requires a firm commitment to responsible dog ownership. Here are some tips to help you choose the best dog for you and your family.
You may already know you want a little lap dog that you can carry around. Or, you might have your heart set on a large or giant dog breed. If you cannot decide, then perhaps a medium sized dog is a good choice.
Remember that some small dogs are delicate and vulnerable. Being stepped on or mishandled can cause serious injury. Also, little dogs can be much more sensitive to colder temperatures, so be ready to help keep them warm. Don’t forget that small dogs need obedience training too! Some little dogs can develop “tough dog” attitudes, seemingly to compensate for their small size. Be sure you are prepared for this possibility.
Very large dogs need a bit more space to move around. Big, happy dogs with long, whip-like tails need "wagging space" to avoid tail injury or damage to household objects. Another consideration is expense: the larger the dog, the more expensive things like dog food, dog supplies and medical treatments become. Training is also a key factor here. If you get a large or giant breed puppy that is allowed to act like a lap dog when young, he will grow up to walk all over you – literally!
The cost of owning a dog is about more than just the expense of food. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to budget for a dog before getting one, leading to trouble down the road. Can you afford a dog? Learn your limits before you get a dog to help you make the right decisions. Financially providing for your dogs is a big part of being a responsible dog owner.
The cost of owning a dog can be estimated at $700-3000 per year (see the chart at the bottom of this page). There are ways to save money depending on the choices you make. Contributing factors include your dog's size and age, the region in which you live, your own lifestyle, and your dog's individual needs.
Consider costs when choosing a dog. Any new dog or puppy will come with substantial expenses. If you decide to purchase a purebred dog from a breeder, you can expect to spend $500-2000, give or take. Spend the extra money on a quality dog from a reputable and professional breeder, not a "backyard breeder." It will cost you less in the long run because the dog will be healthier (and it's the right thing to do).
If you like mixed-breed dogs and you want to do your part to help dogs in need, then get your dog from a reputable shelter or rescue group. If you still want a purebred, there are plenty of breed-specific rescue groups. Adopting from a shelter or rescue can cost as little as $50-200. You are most likely to get a healthy dog when adopting from a reputable shelter or rescue group. Be aware that dogs with unknown histories might come with illnesses, so you may spend a bit extra on veterinary care at first if you adopt from a "questionable" shelter.
Regardless of where you get your new dog, the very first thing you should do is get that dog to a good veterinarian. Depending on the need for vaccines, preventive medications and special treatments, that first visit will likely cost you anywhere from $50-300, so be prepared. Vet bills for a young puppy will likely range from $100-300 depending on the puppy's health and the region in which you live.
Your next major expense will be dog supplies. These include dog food, leashes, collars, beds, toys and so on. You also need to think about obedience classes and/or training resources.
To help with your decision, we've found a dog quiz to get you considering all the right questions - take a look
And for some reputable dog breeders, check out this site
Another good site to refer to here