Dogs are incredibly popular as pets. Roughly half of all US pet owners prefer to keep dogs as pets (as per the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey), and dog adoptions have been soaring recently due to the COVID pandemic.
Indeed, dogs are known to be ideal companions, as they tend to be quite friendly. That being said, pet owners may face major issues due to improper breed selection. If you choose to adopt a dog from a breed that is not compatible with your lifestyle or your living conditions, it can lead to an unpleasant experience for you and your dog.
In this article, we shall discuss the key factors that pet-owners should take into account before adopting a dog.
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Health issues and disorders
Whilst most dog breeds are friendly and playful, many have hereditary health issues and disorders that can be problematic for pet owners. For example, dogs with large necks (such as Dobermans) are prone to vertebral disc issues such as Wobbler syndrome, which can make them irritable and aggressive at times.
Many dogs are also genetically prone to respiratory and visual disorders; you must be well-versed with the medical history of your favourite dog before you adopt it. Vaccination records must also be checked before any adoption. Problematic breeds must be avoided if you do not have the resources to tend to their health concerns.
Size and weight are also major factors that you must consider before adopting a dog. If you are living in an apartment or a small house, adopting a large animal such as a Great Dane or a Mastiff can be problematic for you and your pet. Even though most dogs are flexible and can adapt to any living space, behavioural and health issues are common for many breeds that are naturally curious and require open spaces, such as hunting breeds.
The layout of your apartment may also create issues for your pets, as they may stumble upon furniture and lose objects frequently and injure themselves. Thus it is only advisable to go for a large dog if you have access to open spaces, such as a wide lawn or a dog-friendly park.
If your living space is only suitable for small dogs, read this detailed list of small dog breeds that are adorable and have very few hereditary health issues.
Furriness and hair length
Even though the most adorable dogs tend to be the furriest, dog hair is not always desirable. Many dogs tend to shed their fur regularly and excessive fur and dander can trigger allergies or create hygiene issues. If you are not comfortable with dog-fur, you could opt for low shedding breeds such as Basenjis, Pugs or Hairless terriers. If you have adopted a low-shedding dog, but your allergic reaction has not stopped, it is recommended that you get an allergen-specific IgE test done. Maybe dogs may not be a suitable fit for you as a pet.
Whilst dogs are quite sociable in general, different breeds tend to display different behavioural patterns and temperaments. Whilst some breeds are docile and calm, many breeds can be hyperactive and aggressive at times. The personalities of dogs are basically classified by their prey drives. Dogs such as Huskies and Rottweilers have high prey drives, due to which they can behave aggressively at times. Breeds such as Bulldogs, Pomeranians and Pugs tend to have low prey drives; hence they tend to be docile.
If you have children in your house, it is recommended that you adopt an animal with a low prey drive. It is also recommended that you spay/neuter your animals before adopting, as animals in heat can be very difficult to manage.
Temperature and Climate
Climactic conditions are often overlooked by pet owners when they adopt dogs. Furry breeds such as Huskies and Shiba Inus are built for winter climates, thus they can face a lot of discomfort if they are transported into warmer regions. Similarly, breeds that are built for warmer climates, such as Greyhounds, can encounter many challenges if they are transported into cold regions. Unless you have the resources to provide a temperature-controlled environment for your pet, it is highly recommended that you adopt a breed that can adapt well to the climate in your region.
Dog-breeding has become a very lucrative business. Unfortunately, there are many individuals and kennels that breed dogs in an unethical manner. Unethical breeders resort to inbreeding or culling of deformed pups in order to make profits. Avoid these breeders at all costs, and only contact responsible breeders if you are interested in a thoroughbred pet.
One of the best ways to locate responsible breeders is to contact kennel or breed clubs in your area. A responsible breeder will provide you with all the relevant breed registration papers (which will include parentage documents), along with veterinary records and hereditary disease reports. If there are no reputable breeders in your area, consider adopting another breed instead of opting for an unethical breeder.
These are the key factors you must consider to decide which dog breed is suitable for you. Thank you for visiting our website, and if you have any feedback or concerns, let us know by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab.