several dogs in a collage

If you’ve been searching for the perfect family pet, you may want to consider adopting an older Dog. Older Dogs, especially, make amazing pets. Not only are they generally calmer and house-trained, they have already learned basic commands and are more likely to listen. Plus, they’re usually already housebroken, which means less cleaning up for you (and less germs from the pee spots).

Dogs give many owners a reason to get out of bed in the morning. They help with daily tasks, give you a reason to get out and walk, and console you when you’re feeling blue. Dogs are smart, loyal, fun, and full of unconditional love. 

Dogs make great family pets, and having a pet not only provides companionship, but it also reduces stress. According to the American Humane Association, owning a pet provides health benefits for humans, too. Pets can reduce blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, and increase physical activity, and because pets require daily care, pet owners tend to exercise more.

Dogs are trusted companions, hunting partners, and loyal friends. They’re also great for children, as they’re natural playmates. Dogs are smart and affectionate, and can be calm or energetic, depending on the breed. Thanks to their loyalty, Dogs are among the most wished for pets. They are not just pets, they’re members of the family. Is that enough reasons why your family should have a Dog?

Did you know that dogs are low maintenance pets that like to cuddle?

Following is a guide to some of the most popular Dog breeds and their associated costs and care requirements:


a cute beagle sitting in the driver's seat in the car

The Beagle has been bred since the early 1800s. It was originally used as a hunting companion, and it still remains one today. One reason that helps them be great hunting dogs is the iconic white tip on their tails. If you and your Beagle are out hunting in the woods, or simply out for a walk, the white-tipped tail will act as a beacon if you find yourself searching for them as they go off exploring. 

Beagles are very loyal and loving companions. They enjoy spending time outdoors, and will happily go hiking with their family. They are also very social, and enjoy playing with other dogs and people. They are highly trainable, and can be taught to perform a wide variety of tasks.

Beagles are an extremely versatile dog. They are excellent guard dogs, and they’re great with families. They are very smart, and can learn tricks quickly. They are excellent companions, and will be happy to spend hours playing with you. They are very playful and energetic and love to run and jump. They are also very gentle and docile, making them an ideal choice for people who live alone, or families with children.

While they are generally quiet and calm, they can become anxious when left alone for long periods of time. If you plan on leaving your Beagle alone for extended periods of time, you should consider getting another dog to help out.


a bulldog standing in some fallen leaves in the park

Bulldogs look like they are built for fighting. This presumption could not be further from the truth. Your Bulldog wants nothing more than to relax the day away. They are very loving and affectionate dogs.

They have less than average intelligence, as far as dog breeds go. This makes them rather slow to learn, and they can be a bit uncomfortable around strangers. They are highly trainable and require a firm hand when it comes to training. They are very protective, especially of children, so their loyalty shines in this respect.

Bulldogs tend to be lazy, preferring quiet times with lots of attention to exercise or activity. They tend to overeat if allowed, and their diet must be carefully supervised to avoid issues with obesity. The size and shape of their heads and their love of resting contributes to a lot of snoring. This is normal, and not something to worry about.

Bulldogs are not recommended as a first-time pet, due to their size and strength. However, they are a great choice for experienced owners who understand the risks involved. 

The Bulldog is an extremely loyal companion animal. They are also very protective of their family, and will guard their home loudly. They make excellent watchdogs and will alert you when someone comes near your home.

German Shepherds

a german shepherd standing in a field of yellow flowers

The German Shepherd is a breed well known for their adaptability to their surroundings. In World Wars I and II, they were often used to help soldiers with their duties. German Shepherds’ dominant traits of intelligence, alertness, devotion and obedience make them superb companions, guide dogs and service dogs

They do require a great deal of exercise and attention, and an active family will be a good match up of people and pets.

German Shepherds are highly trainable and eager to please. They are also very smart and can learn new tricks quickly. They are also very strong and athletic, making them excellent companions for people who enjoy physical activities. A family will be able to depend on their German Shepherd for loyalty and protection. 

Because of their size, German Shepherds require plenty of room to run around and stretch out. They are happiest when given regular access to fresh air and sunshine. Although they enjoy being outside and can withstand extreme temperatures, it’s very important to ensure that they don’t overheat by making sure they have shade and lots of water in the summer heat.

Socialization will be important so they can be comfortable with their family as well as with strangers or other pets. German Shepherds are naturally affectionate with children. They tend to be rather vocal, training should include lessons for them to stop barking.


a cute poodle puppy in a basket with purple flowers

The Poodle breed can be divided into three classifications: Toy, Miniature and Standard. The most common variety is the Miniature. All Poodles have the familiar curly-haired coat that differentiates them from most other breeds. While their coat makes them particularly attractive, it does require a significant amount of time and energy to keep it looking nice. 

Some pet owners go to extreme lengths to style their Poodle’s coat, but this is not absolutely necessary. Regular brushing and scheduled trimming is the basic requirement. They are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.

Poodles can be trained easily, because they are quite intelligent. They are a high-energy animal and especially enjoy playing with children. Their exercise needs are also high and they enjoy being outside, but the exercise sessions should be kept to 30 minutes or less at a time. 

This breed doesn’t do well in extreme temperatures, keep that in mind, because you will not want your pet to stay outside overnight or when it’s very hot or very cold. Your Poodle will bond well with your family members and needs to be socialized to keep them from barking at strangers.

Puppies are available through breeders at varying prices. Expect to pay as much as $4,000 for a healthy, young Poodle.

Golden Retrievers

a golden retriever running through a field of tall grass

Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve game birds for hunters. They are highly trainable and eager to please. They are also very protective of their owners, which makes them a wonderful choice for families.

Golden Retrievers are very intelligent and can learn tricks fairly quickly. They are also very playful and energetic, making them a great fit for active families. They are also very social, and will enjoy spending time with other people. 

Golden Retriever puppies are very cute and cuddly, and will grow into adorable adult dogs. Their personalities are very similar to humans, and they will bond with their family very quickly. They are also incredibly loyal and devoted to their family. 

Golden Retrievers do best in homes with lots of open space, they need plenty of room to run around. They are happiest when they have access to a yard or fenced-in area where they can go exploring. The more space they have, the happier they are. 

Golden Retrievers make wonderful pets for people who love to spend time outdoors. They love their daily walks, but because of their energy and how easily they’re distracted, you’ll want to keep them on leash any time you have them outside. Not using a leash can have you chasing after your dog if they get distracted. They are excellent watchdogs, and are eager to please. 

If you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder, you should expect to spend anywhere between $1,500-$3,500 for a healthy, Golden Retriever puppy.

Yorkshire Terriers

a small yorkshire terrier standing in the grass outside

The Yorkshire Terrier is also known as the Yorkie. They are a very small breed, and they enjoy running around playing or sitting on someone’s lap. This feisty dog began its history working as ratters in the mines and mills of Old England. 

Yorkshire Terriers are very good with children, and will become attached to their family very quickly. They are very agile, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very curious and will enjoy investigating everything around them. They desire both close companionship and independence.

Yorkies show a surprising amount of courage, often barking at dogs or people much bigger than they are. Obedience training is necessary to have a well-behaved Yorkie because they do tend to be stubborn. Yorkshire Terriers are sensitive to extreme temperatures and prefer to be indoors most of the time. 

Yorkies form strong bonds with their owners and love to be showered with attention. They need moderate exercise from daily walks to play time. Try not to leave them unattended for too long because they can suffer from loneliness and can get anxiety if it happens too often.

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are very cute and adorable, and will grow into beautiful adults. They are also very smart, and will learn new commands quickly. They are also affectionate and loving, and will form strong bonds with their family. 

If you decide to adopt a puppy from a breeder or shelter, you should expect to pay anywhere between $1250-$2500 for a healthy Yorkshire Terrier puppy.


2 cute chihuahua puppies playing together in front of a gray background

Chihuahuas are a small dog breed named after the Mexican state Chihuahua where they are thought to come from. Today they’re a small companion animal. The breed is quite small compared to most, and these dogs tend to be considered a personal pet. They are most comfortable being owned by a single person or a couple and can be skittish around families and strangers.

Chihuahuas require a lot of exercise and attention. They love to play with toys, and will happily entertain you for hours on end. They are also very loyal and loving companions. They are smart enough to learn tricks, and will enjoy learning new ones. 

Devotion and loyalty are two of their most prevalent traits. Chihuahuas need a lot of attention and will let you know by barking if they are feeling lonely. They prefer to play with their owners all of the time and will be quite active during the day. They also like to sleep a lot, and will often curl up next to you when you’re watching TV. 

Chihuahuas are very intelligent and can be trained, if done so very patiently. They thrive on attention and affection and will naturally be very affectionate in return. They’re an extremely loyal and loving dog. 

Because of their size, they don’t require much room to live comfortably. They are happy to stay indoors, but will appreciate an outdoor area where they can run around and explore.


a greyhound looking at something in the grass outside

Greyhounds are large, powerful dogs that originated in Europe. They are known for their speed and endurance, and are used for racing. They are also considered to be gentle giants, and are very friendly towards people.

Greyhounds are very athletic dogs, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very good at catching balls and retrieving items. They are very intelligent, and enjoy learning tricks.

Greyhounds are very loyal and loving dogs. They are also very patient and tolerant of training. They are also very calm and laid back, and will adapt well to living with other pets. They are very affectionate and will enjoy being close to their family.

Greyhounds require a lot of exercise, and will enjoy long walks and runs. They are also very fast and will need a safe place to run off-leash. If you plan to let them out, you should consider getting a harness or collar that allows them to run free. A leash can be used to help control their speed.

At first your Greyhound will want to spend every waking minute with you. With training, they will become accustomed to staying alone and can be comfortable in the company of family or on their own. This breed is good with children, but skittish around strangers, and socializing them will be important. 

Due to their single coat and lack of body fat, they don’t handle temperature extremes well. Because they have little body fat, Greyhounds prefer to sleep on a padded surface as opposed to a hard floor.


a boxer standing outside in the fall leaves looking at something off in the distance

Boxers are a breed of dog that originated in Germany. They are known for being friendly, outgoing, and athletic. Boxers are very intelligent, and can learn tricks fairly easily. They are also very obedient and willing to please. They are very good at playing games, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch with you. They are also very active, and will enjoy going for walks. 

Boxers are very loyal and affectionate, and will enjoy spending quality time with their family. They are also a very friendly breed, and will enjoy meeting new friends. 

They are very good watchdogs, and will let you know if anyone comes to your house. They are very agile, and will enjoy agility training. Because of their athleticism, they will excel at games like Frisbee and fetch.

Boxers are considered medium to large size dogs. You can expect to pay about $750-$2500 for a healthy Boxer puppy.

Boxers do require patience while in training and thrive on praise. An owner who is attentive to their Boxer will be rewarded with affection.

Basset Hounds

a basset hound sitting outside in the grass

Basset Hounds are often called “clowns in the cloak of a philosopher,” and it’s easy to see why. Moving their short legs along at a slower speed than just about any other breed, these dogs are known for their friendly, sweet disposition and silly antics, which can sometimes even include chasing their own tails. 

Basset Hounds have dark brown eyes and hanging, droopy lips, giving them an expression of permanent sorrow. Unfortunately that’s the look they have but they’re really sweet and friendly dogs.

Basset Hounds were originally bred to hunt rabbits and hares, and they still retain their hunting instincts. However, they are also excellent companions for people that enjoy walking and hiking. They are a great watch dog, but they still need plenty of exercise.

Basset hounds are a favorite of many families, and for good reason. They have a beautiful, friendly face, and make great companions for both children and adults. But what else makes this breed so great? Let’s take a quick look at some of the many reasons why family pets are so popular with the Basset Hound breed.

Basset Hounds are extremely smart and trainable. They are also very social and love to spend time with their family. They are also very loving and gentle towards children.

Basset Hounds are very playful and eager to please. They are very protective of their families, and will alert their owners if someone enters their territory.


a close up of a dalmatian's face

Dalmatians are a breed of dog that originated in Europe. They are known for being friendly and outgoing, and are very loyal to their family. They are also very intelligent, and can be trained to perform tricks. Dalmatians are generally considered medium sized dogs. They are very athletic, and will enjoy playing fetch with you. 

Dalmatians have a great sense of humor and love to jump around and play. They are easy to train and quickly learn to obey their owners. They are also very obedient and well behaved, and follow commands.

Dalmatians are great pets for your family. These dogs  are loyal, intelligent, fun, protective, and energetic. Dalmatians are fun because they are always ready to go on an adventure.  Dalmatians are always ready to run and play.  

Dalmatians are great with kids because they are very patient and protective of their family.  Dalmatians are protective of their family and will quickly sound the alarm if they hear a strange noise or see a stranger in the yard. They are very tolerant of other household pets and children, and will even tolerate small amounts of roughhousing.

Dalmatians are very friendly and sociable, and will enjoy meeting new friends. 

They are very loyal, and are also very easy to housebreak.

If you decide to buy a puppy from an animal shelter or breeder, you can expect to pay anywhere between $500-$1250 for a healthy, Dalmatian puppy.

Japanese Spitzes

a close up of a japanese spitze's face

Japanese Spitzes are small, friendly dogs that are known for being very gentle and affectionate and having a big personality. They are very smart and eager to learn, and will make good family pets.

Japanese Spitzes are small dogs that originated in Japan. They are known for being friendly, outgoing, and energetic. They are also very intelligent, and can be trained to perform various tasks.

Japanese Spitzes are very agile and athletic, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very good swimmers, and will enjoy swimming laps in the pool. They are also very curious, and will enjoy investigating everything around them.

Japanese Spitzes are very loyal and affectionate, and will form strong bonds with their owners. They are also very smart, and will learn tricks very quickly. They are very independent, and will enjoy having their own space. They are also very hardy dogs, and can handle cold temperatures well.

They are also very adaptable, and will thrive in a variety of environments. They are very quiet, and will make a nice companion for anyone living alone.

Labrador Retrievers

a labarador retriever laying in some leaves outside in the fall

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the United States. They are good-natured, yet hard-working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are extremely friendly and get along with adults, children, strangers and other pets. They are known for being friendly, outgoing, and athletic. 

They enjoy playing fetch and other games and prefer their exercise to be an interactive experience with their families. This breed has a lot of energy and that means substantial exercise requirements. Because they have so much energy they’ll need to burn it off at least twice a day. If you have an active family this is good news because you know your furry friend will be ready to go whenever you are.

Labrador Retrievers have a double coat that allows them to be comfortable in extreme temperatures. They still shouldn’t be left outside for too long on a very cold or hot day, unless you can give them shelter and proper hydration. 

They love the water and will appreciate any opportunity to immerse themselves in it. Lakes, ponds or pools, it doesn’t matter, they love being in water. With all Labrador Retrievers have going for them it’s no wonder why they make wonderful companions and excellent pets.

Labrador pups are generally inexpensive (as far as purebreds go), and can cost anywhere from $800-$1200.

Miniature American Eskimo’s

a minature american eskimo looking up at the camera

Miniature American Eskimo’s are very loving and affectionate, and make great pets for families with children. The American Eskimo Dogs are also commonly known as Eskie. The American Eskimo is a loyal and friendly family dog that many families adore.

The Miniature American Eskimo is a small breed of dog that originated in Germany, descendants of German Spitz. They are known for being friendly, affectionate, and gentle. They are also very athletic, and make great pets for active families.

These dogs are mostly white, although they can also be cream. They weigh about 20 pounds, and stand 12 to 15 inches tall. They are very intelligent, and are capable of learning tricks fairly quickly.

They are very easy to train, and will respond well to basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” They are very obedient, and will follow directions given by their owners.

Because Eskies are not aggressive they are good dogs for children that have had bad experiences with dogs. They are very protective of their family, and while they don’t bite, they can be very convincing that they might to strangers.

Smart and intelligent, the Eskies are quick learners. They are alert and can be great watchdogs. They can bark loudly if they hear any unexpected sounds. Because they are a smarter dog breed they can learn tricks that other dogs can’t. Eskies can be a lot of fun because of what they can be trained to do.

Are you ready for a ball of furry fun for your family?


a pomeranian sitting in a field of yellow flowers

Pomeranians are small dogs that are independent and always active. They are often called Poms by their owners. Poms belong to the Spitz family that originated from the Arctic regions. They are the smallest among the Spitz family. Though Poms are small they seem to have the personality and confidence of a large dog. They are not shy to bark or act aggressively with dogs much larger than they are.

Pomeranian Puppies are small, fluffy, and sweet. They are known for being high-energy dogs that love to play and jump. They are also very friendly and outgoing, and will make friends with anyone. 

Pomeranians are very intelligent and can easily learn tricks. They are also very agile and athletic, making them a good choice for active families. They also tend to be very vocal, and will bark at strangers and other dogs. They are very independent and will need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. 

Pomeranians are very loyal and will follow you everywhere. They are also very affectionate and will give you a big hug whenever you come home. They are also very smart and can be taught tricks. 

Their personalities are very like those of humans, and they will form strong bonds with their family. They are also very loving and gentle, and will make wonderful companions for older children. 

Pomeranians are an extremely versatile breed, and will suit any lifestyle. They are very adaptable, and will thrive in apartments, condos, and even tiny houses. They are also very quiet, so they won’t disturb neighbors. They are also very low maintenance, and need minimal grooming.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks

a rhodesian ridgeback standing on a hiking trail looking at something in the distance

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large, powerful, and beautiful dogs. They were originally bred to hunt big game such as lions and elephants. Today, these dogs are used for hunting smaller prey such as rabbits and rodents. They are also known for being good guard dogs, and are very protective of their families. 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are very intelligent and can easily learn commands. They are also very friendly and gentle, making them a great companion animal. They are also very athletic, and will enjoy running around and playing fetch. They are also very strong, and will protect their family members. 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks make great pets for families who want a larger dog. They are very intelligent and can adapt well to living in a house. They are also very obedient, and will follow directions given by their owner. They are also very affectionate and loving, and will form close bonds with their families. 

Because of their size and strength, Rhodesian Ridgebacks require a lot of exercise. If you don’t give them enough physical activity, they will become bored and destructive. Take them for long walks or hikes, or let them play fetch. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are very cute puppies, and will grow into attractive adults. They are also very smart, and will pick up new skills quickly. They are also extremely loyal and devoted to their owners, and will always be there for them.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the United States, but they may be almost impossible to find because of their rarity. A lot of their rarity has to do with not enough reputable breeders, and the high price of the puppies. The AKC registers about 2000 new Ridgeback puppies a year compared to more than 50,000 for each of the more common breeds.

Shetland Sheepdogs

a shetland sheepdog standing in a field of flowers

The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as Sheltie, is known for being gentle, friendly, and good-natured. Shelties fall into the Herding Group of dogs. They look similar to a related breed known as Collies, but are smaller. The Shetland Sheepdog is an energetic, athletic breed. 

They need a moderate amount of exercise, with lots of room to run and play. Because they are known to chase other animals for herding, they will love a fenced-in yard that they can run around in.

Shelties are intelligent, obedient and agile. Affectionate and loyal, they do make excellent pets, companions and therapy animals. Shelties often exhibit one of two personality types; timid and calm or active and aggressive. It’s impossible to know which one you’ll get until you spend some time with them.

The timid ones will run away from strangers and the active ones will most likely bark at them. Shetland Sheepdogs will benefit a lot from early socialization training. They are fast learners when training is approached with both persistence and positive reinforcement.

Shetland Sheepdogs are very loyal and loving, and will form strong bonds with their family. They are also very affectionate, and will seek out human contact whenever possible. Because their breed is a working breed they are very athletic and agile, making them a great choice for active families. 

Shetland Sheep Dogs are very smart and trainable, making it easy to teach them tricks. They are also very calm and laid back, making them a great option for those who are sensitive to loud noises.

When choosing a Shetland Sheepdog puppy, you can expect to pay between $500-$1,500 for a healthy puppy.

Comparison between Different Dog Breeds

Dog BreedAverage costHabitat sizeActivity LevelLifespan 
Beagle$400 – $950Median price $550Small Highly energetic and requires a lot of attention. 12-15 years 
Bulldog$1500 – $2500Medium Low activity dog and requires moderate attention.8-10 years
German Shepherd$400 – $1500Median price $800Large Highly energetic dog that requires a lot of attention. 10-13 years
Poodle$700 – $2000MediumA very active and alert dog that needs maximum attention.8-15 years
Golden Retriever$300 – $2000LargeHighly energetic dog that requires attention.10-12 years
Labrador Retriever$350 – $1000LargeMedium to high activity dog depending on size. Moderate attention is required.10-12 years
Yorkshire Terrier$800 – $1500SmallHighly energetic pet that requires lots of attention from caregivers.12-16 years
Chihuahua $700 – $1500SmallVery energetic dogs that thrive on attention.14-18 years
Greyhound $750 – $2000LargeVery active dogs that require maximum attention. 13-14 years
Boxer$750 – $1650Medium Highly active dog but doesn’t need attention. 10-12 years
Mutt$50 – $350Small/ medium/ large depending on breed.Varies depending on breed.10-15 years 

Understandably, not everyone can afford to buy a purebred dog. If you don’t have a lot to spend on a dog, you can find a mutt for much less. In almost every case there is nothing wrong with a mutt and they will love your family just the same as any purebred. 

a dog walking up the beach after had just come out of the lake

You can find inexpensive mutts at a pet shop or up for adoption at a shelter ranging from $0 to $250. If you buy a mutt from a breeder or pet shop, you may spend more. There is nothing wrong with these dogs at all.  They will have all the personality and love for you and your family that a purebred will have but at a fraction of the cost.

Cost of Buying a Dog

Most pet owners overlook the overall cost of owning a pet. The cost is more than just what you pay for your dog.  You also need to factor in the cost of having a dog living in your home before you consider buying any animal. 

It’s worth noting that pets get sick just like humans do, and you must build this into your budget while deciding if you can afford to buy a dog. This pet will be a member of your family and you will not want to see them suffer because you can’t afford to get care for them.

You have to ensure your dog lives in a comfortable place and eats quality food. Here is a list with some of the equipment needed and their costs. Some of the items mentioned here are optional. Besides, you don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment while there are cheaper ones available.

Item Cost 
Dog $50 – $3500  (Typically under $300)
Kennel $30 – $100
Bowl $5 – $20
Bed$30 – $100
Collar/ leash/ tag $25 – 50
Food$20 – $55 per month
Veterinary charges $70 – $130 annually
Increased pet rent $0 – $50 per month depending on location

After buying your pet, the largest ongoing financial cost is going to be the food your dog needs. The more nutritious the food is, the more it is going to cost.  Feeding a person better food will keep them more healthy, and feeding your dog a quality dog food will keep them more healthy. The food they eat can prevent a few trips to the vet because your dog should be healthier.

a close up of a pile of dog food

If your dog’s weight is within the range of 40-60 lbs, then it’s normal to feed the dog about 2 to 3 cups of food daily. Depending on your dog breed, it’s age, and activity level it may require more or less. It’s wise to consult with your veterinarian about your feeding plan to keep your dog fit and healthy.  

Food Preference for Dogs

Dogs have more than 1,700 taste buds on their tongue. Even though dogs have fewer taste buds than humans, they still enjoy good tasting food. Remember, they are a part of your family, so feed your dog quality and tasty food.

Dogs as Pets

Did you know that more than 30% of families in the US have a dog as a pet? Dogs are loved by children and adults alike. 

The Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Beagle, and the German Shepherd are the most common breeds in America. These dogs are all fairly active dogs, before picking a dog as a pet you should match its preferred level of activity to yours. Otherwise you and your dog could end up unhappy. 

It’s also important to choose a dog that matches your home situation. For example, it would not be good to have a dog that prefers to stay outdoors while you live in an apartment. 

A dog takes time before it can familiarize itself with its new home, so if you have a regular full time job, you may not be able to do this well without help. You’ll need enough time to train your dog where you want them to use the toilet as well as where they should sleep. 

Because of the time involved it’s best to get a pet during your vacation or when family members will be available to be with your new pet around the clock. Being more available will ensure that your family has enough time to bond and your new friend will have time to learn about its new home with you.

A Suitable Dog Habitat

A dog needs a safe place where they can rest. Your dog will either need to be able to use the toilet on their own, or regularly have someone available to let them outside.

a cute bulldog puppy playing in the grass

Normally, a dog needs to use the toilet every few hours. Very young, old or sick dogs could need to use the bathroom as often as once an hour. Mature dogs can often go 8-10 hours without needing to use the bathroom. For most working adults this should work with their work schedules.

For your dog’s mental health, make sure that your dog has enough toys to play with or something to stimulate its mind to keep them from getting bored. The toys should be placed near where their favorite spot is so they can easily find them, and so you do not trip over them.

If you live in an apartment, make sure your dog is unable to fall out of windows or beams in a balcony. Dogs are very curious, which may at times expose them to dangers. Mitigating the risks is called “dog proofing your home”, similar to what someone might do for young children.

The place where your furry friend sleeps should remain dry, aerated, and not overly warm. A dog which is unable to cool itself of excessive heat could die in a few hours.  While it’s unlikely that this will happen inside your home, if it’s too hot they may not sleep well, or be in a bad mood.   

You can easily tell if your dog feels excess heat. Here are some of the things to look for.

Signs that a Dog is Exposed to High Temperatures

  • Increased heart rate and panting
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dizziness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures

What’s the Ideal Kennel size?

a dog that is barking at someone walking by their house

No matter the size of your dog, you should have a kennel that is big enough for their size. A small kennel will be uncomfortable for your dog, while an oversized one can tempt your dog to use part of it to go potty, making potty training more difficult. 

Just like dogs, kennels come in different sizes and styles to match your needs while maximizing the comfort of your pet. It is a good idea to know how big your dog will get and then add about 25% for the size of a good kennel.  This will give them some room to move around and help to keep them comfortable. To avoid situations where your kennel is too big for your dog, many will have partitions that can be added to make sure your dog doesn’t have too much room.

The smallest kennels are about 17”L x 12”W x 16”T.. A small kennel is ideal for the small dog breeds like Chihuahuas and the Boston Terriers.

Most medium-sized dogs will fit in a 23”L x 16”W x 19.5”T kennel. Some of the medium-sized dogs are American Pit Bull Terriers, Dachshunds, Basenjis, American Staffordshire Terriers, and the American Water Spaniel. 

If you have a large dog breed, then you will want a kennel at least 36”L x 24”W x 28”T. The American Bulldog and the Boxer are examples of large dog breeds. There are even larger kennels available for some bigger dogs.

My Dog Doesn’t Sleep in the Kennel, What Do I Do?

a dog hiding under the bed

There are many reasons why a kennel or cage may not be suitable for your situation.  First, not all dogs will enjoy sleeping in cages. Some dogs prefer curling on the sofa or their owner’s bed, or their own doggy bed.  

You may simply not have the space for such a large item.  In this case a doggy bed may be a better option.  A doggy bed still gives your dog a space that is theirs, even if they will sleep on your bed.  This can be very comforting for dogs to have a space of their own if they become nervous or afraid.

Dog beds are specifically designed to give your dog comfort, whether they love curling up like a ball or love spreading out while sleeping. 

Just like buying a kennel, when buying a dog bed and bedding materials, you have to consider the size of your dog. And just like kennels, dog beds exist in toy sizes, small, medium, and large sizes. 

If you aren’t sure about the size of your dog, you can always measure it yourself, or visit your vet to have them help you determine the size.

If you have an older dog, the bedding should be very comfortable to protect their joints. Just like people, as dogs age they need a little extra comfort to protect their bodies.  If your dog doesn’t shred things like plush toys, consider getting them a long thick pillow (often called a bolster) so they are able to rest their head on something comfortable, especially if you kennel them at night. 

For your dogs comfort we suggest that even if you kennel them that you get them a doggy bed for inside the kennel.  This will make the kennel much more comfortable, especially if they will spend hours inside of their kennel.

Bedding Material Options

a dog that has just shredded the inside of one of their toys with the mess all around them

Other than just buying a bed, you have a few other things to consider. You should know how fast your dog sheds their fur. If your pet sheds hair often, then you will want to buy a removable bedding cover that’s easy to clean once it becomes covered in fur. The same rule of thought applies if your dog regularly bringing dirt in the house with them.  A removable bed cover will make your life a lot easier, and your dog’s living space much cleaner.

If your dog will spend a significant amount of time outside in the colder months then there are other things you can do to increase their comfort.  One option that we all know about is a dog house.  Dog houses can protect your dog from wind and rain and make surviving a winter much easier.

Some people in the northern states go even further than just a dog house.  Some will add some dim lights or even a heater (on a low setting) so that they know their pets will not suffer in the cold.  There are some inexpensive heaters that can be added easily to dog houses and controlled from inside your home.

Dog Training and Aggression Management

It’s possible to raise an obedient dog with 1 on 1 training.  Different people use different training tactics. Some people reward their dogs when they do the right thing. Then their dog behaves with the expectation of a reward after that. Most experts agree this is the best way to train a dog.

Some people use physical discipline as a method of discipline whenever the dog misbehaves. This method sometimes works faster, but your dog may end up becoming afraid of their owners. Every pet expert we know of recommends positive reinforcement, not this method.

a service dog guiding a blind person

Usually it’s not too difficult to identify the cause of bad behavior in your pet.  Pets will usually misbehave whenever there is a problem, and based on the type of problem you can find a way to resolve their problem.

For instance, a dog may bark or scratch at the door because they want to pee, but they cannot let themselves outside. If you don’t listen to your dog’s cues, your dog may end up urinating on your floor or in their kennel. While barking is generally an undesirable trait for a dog, in this case it was alerting you that it needed to go outside.  This behavior should be rewarded.

Other times you may notice that the dog shreds things like pillows or plush toys.  They do this when they are bored and need to work off energy or something to stimulate their mind.  Dogs are very smart animals and they need something to occupy their brain or they will act out.  There are several ways that you can keep your dog entertained even if you can’t be around.

What often works to solve many minor behavioral problems is simply to do things with your dog.  They need to have regular exercise, walks, fetching a ball, running in a park are all great things to help keep them in shape.  Often though they don’t get the mental stimulation they need.  This can be met through playing with your dog, teaching it a new trick, or giving it a puzzle to solve.  Think how you might act out if you had nothing to stimulate your mind.

It’s worth noting that training a dog against aggression requires patience. You have to take the time to teach your dog how to behave. Keep reminding your dog whenever they misbehave. Be patient with them, and understand that it will take them some time to understand what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Grooming and Bathing Your Dog

Grooming and bathing your dog is part of the general care routines. Bathing shouldn’t happen very often or it will strip off essential oils from your dogs hair and skin. Bathing your dog should happen only when necessary. 

a dog standing up on the side of a bath tub while getting a bath

A dog should only take a bath when they start smelling unpleasant or are dirty. It’s worth noting that dogs have a natural smell, which isn’t awful. 

Bathing helps dogs remove bad odors as well as regain the natural shine of their skin and fur. Water also helps remove any loose hair and dead skin. 

If your dog has a skin condition, you should make sure to follow your vet’s guidelines regarding your cleaning routine. A dog with a skin condition may require regular cleaning with prescription medication as part of their treatment. 

There are many shampoos and conditioners good for dogs that you can use during cleaning. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian for the best products to use on your pet. Remember, your dog may have very sensitive skin that could require special care. Fortunately most dogs are able to use whatever dog cleaning products that we happen to like.

Teach your dog how to enjoy bathing sessions. You can keep your dog calm and happy during a bath by continuously stroking and patting them and to calmly talk to them and tell them that they’re good. 

Given enough time eventually they should become comfortable with bath time, even if they still hate it.  The more you gain their trust, the more pleasant a bath will be for you and your dog.

Despite originally being wild wolves, dogs have become man’s best friend. Just a few important things to remember.  Make sure your dog’s activity level matches yours. Choose a dog size that will work with the size of your home and yard. Last, but by no means least, any dog you choose will become a member of your family, make sure that you have enough space, love and financial means to treat them as such.

Basic Facts about Dogs

a super cute puppy with their paws on the table trying to get your attention

Dogs exist in various sizes and appearances and all are suitable for different environments. For instance, there are tiny dogs that can fit in your purse, such as a Chihuahua.  If you want a more active dog which is more than 3 feet tall and loves to hunt, the Great Dane may be a better fit for you. 

Dogs are mammals with very strong hearing, seeing, and smelling senses. It’s no wonder some dogs are used as police dogs, watchdogs, work dogs, or guides for the blind. 

A dog has a powerful sense of smell that most airports and border security use dogs to sniff out any illegal drugs or bombs from the luggage or travelers. 

Dogs are able to see in color, they cannot view the world with as much color as humans.  But because they have more rods in their eyes than humans, their night vision is vastly superior to humans. 

Most dogs act as guards to their home, thanks to their ability to hear much better than people. Your dog can hear a quiet noise in your garage and bark to alert you.

Author Profile
A woman with curly hair holding a cat.
Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.