How to find your perfect family dog.
Here at White Cross Vets, we’re often asked which breed of dog is best for families? And the truth is, there’s really no right or wrong answer. Making the decision to welcome a dog into your family is incredibly exciting for everyone involved, and there’s no doubt that the right dog really can make your household feel complete. But with so many breeds to choose from and options to consider, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start the search for your new four legged best friend. We’ve put together a few tips to help.
When you decide to welcome a dog into your home, it can be tempting to rush out, fall in love with a furry face, stock up on poop bags and never look back – not a good idea! Before you even start looking in to the best breed of dog for kids or Googling best dog breeds for families, you should carefully consider the commitment you’re about to make. As the old saying goes, a dog is for life. Do your research about vaccinations, healthy dog food, worming, dental care and so on. You should have a family discussion about who’ll be doing what when your new friend comes home, and how those responsibilities last a lifetime – yes he will still need to be walked even when it’s pouring with rain or snowing!
Once you’ve decided to commit to a dog, you need to think practically about what sort of pooch you can provide the best home for. You may dream of a Great Dane or a Husky, but if you’re living in a flat or even a moderately sized house with only a small garden, those might not be the best dog breeds for your family! Smaller dogs, such as Terriers or ‘lapdogs’ like Pugs and ShihTzus are much better suited to compact living spaces, but are equally big on personality!
Think about your existing family – do you need to consider which are the best dogs with young children, or are your kids older? Think about your daily life as a family – how much time can you commit to daily walks and so on? Some breeds of dog are quite happy with two or three 20 minute walks each day, others need much more – the best breed of dog for a family is ultimately the one that best fits their lifestyle.
Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!
Of course everybody loves the idea of welcoming a new puppy into their family – especially if you have younger children, it can be one of the best gifts ever to let them grow up in time with their four legged friend. However, puppies do come with a whole host of extra responsibilities in the beginning – such as potty training, basic behaviour lessons, socialisation and more besides. It can be extremely hard work to train a puppy as well as look after small children or a baby, so don’t jump into it blindly!
Re-homing an older dog can be a wonderful alternative, and can be so fulfilling for the whole family. Rescue dogs come in all shapes and sizes and many are just in need of a second chance and a new family to love. Of course rescue dogs do sometimes come with issues of their own, and not every hound in need of a home will be a good match for your family, but it’s certainly worth contacting your local shelter to find out.
Be their best friend too!
When you find the right dog to be part of your family, you’ll soon have their unconditional love, so make sure you give them yours too!
Wherever your new friend comes from, and however old they are, be sure to get them registered with the vet as soon as possible so that you can make sure they’re in good shape and up to date with essential vaccinations and so on. While you’re at it, microchipping your new pet is one of the best gifts you can give them – as well as securing yourself extra peace of mind.
Most dogs, provided they are well looked after, shouldn’t need anything more than a regular check up at the vets – our complete wellness plan is the perfect solution to keep an eye on and maintain your new family member’s health, as well as keeping them up to date with any necessary boosters, keeping an eye on their weight and so on. If you’d like to know more, please do get in touch or drop into your local practice.
Are you in the process of looking for the perfect dog to join your family? Or have you found your four legged family member already? We’d love to hear your stories and see your photos – share them in the comments!
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