Dogs are known as “Man’s Best Friend” for a good reason! They make wonderful companions and many are thought of as close family members. If you are considering adding a new furry family member to your household, you will want to choose a breed that will be the most suitable for your environment and family situation.
Some things to consider are:
Following is a guide to some of the most popular breeds and their associated costs and care requirements:
You may have first seen a Golden Retriever at work as a therapy dog, as their temperament and personality is well suited to this type of job. They are known to be very friendly to both adults and children. While their friendliness makes them a very good pet, you will not be able to count on them for protection.
Golden Retrievers are ready, willing and able to get along with everyone; children, adults, strangers and other dogs. They are very intelligent and thrive on praise and affection.
They do love their daily walks, but are energetic and excitable, so keeping them on leash would be best in every case. You may find yourself chasing after your dog on occasion, so choosing a Golden Retriever as a pet will require you and your family to be active as well.
This breed requires a lot of space for exercise and play. In fact, they love to swim and will gladly share a children’s pool if no lake is available. Watch also, that they do not overheat or get too cold, as they do not fare well in extreme temperatures.
Boxers were originally bred in Germany as hunting companions. They are considered to be a large breed and, although they appear rather ungainly, are great athletes. The Boxer’s intelligence serves them well, and does make them competitive. While they do get along well with children and families, they do angle for attention at every turn.
Boxers are also known as hearing dogs, as they are traditionally alert to act as the family protector. Many Boxers are trained to be guard dogs for this reason. In opposition to this, they are known to be curious and playful, in addition to being loyal companions.
Boxers do require patience while in training and thrive on praise. An owner who is attentive to their Boxer will be rewarded with affection.
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 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, however, 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. As they tend to overeat if allowed, 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 a cause for worry.
Chihuahuas are commonly associated with Mexico. This perception is so prevalent that Taco Bell began featuring a talking Chihuahua in their commercials in the late 1990s. While Chihuahuas obviously do not talk, they do have personality and charm which makes them wonderful pets.
The breed is quite small, compared to most, and these dogs tend to be considered as being personal pets. This is to say that they are most comfortable being owned by a single person or a couple and can be skittish around families and strangers.
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.
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.
Greyhounds have an identity problem! When you think about them, your first thought is probably one of dogs racing around a track. While the breed is considered to be the fastest, most Greyhounds are actually calm and good-natured and they love to sleep.
Daily walks and backyard romps will be appreciated but, contrary to popular belief, they do not require a considerable amount of exercise.
At first, Greyhounds 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, so socializing them will be important.
Due to their single coat and lack of body fat, they do not tolerate extremes in temperature. Because they have little body fat, Greyhounds prefer to sleep on a padded surface as opposed to a hard floor.
Labrador Retrievers are the #1 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 gregarious and enjoy the company of people on a consistent basis.
You will find yourself playing fetch and other games with your dog, as they prefer their exercise to be an interactive experience. This breed has high energy and consequently, substantial exercise requirements. Walks and/or exercise sessions will ideally take place twice a day.
Labrador Retrievers have a double coat that allows them to be comfortable in extreme temperatures. You will not, however, want to leave your dog outside for too long on a very cold or hot day, unless you can provide adequate shade or shelter as necessary and proper hydration.
They love the water and will appreciate any opportunity to immerse themselves in it, be it in a lake, pond or pool of any size. This breed makes for wonderful companions and excellent pets.
The Poodle breed can be divided into three classifications: Toy, Miniature and Standard. The one most often seen is the Miniature variety. All Poodles have the familiar curly-haired coat that differentiates them from most other breeds. While this coat makes them particularly attractive, it does require a significant amount of time and energy to keep it groomed.
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 can be considered to be a hypoallergenic breed.
Poodles can be trained easily, as they are quite intelligent. They are a high-energy animal and especially enjoy playing with children. Their exercise needs are also high and they do enjoy being outside, but the exercise sessions should be kept to 30 minutes or less at a time.
This breed does not do well in extreme temperatures, so keep that in mind, as you will not want your pet to stay outside overnight or when it is very hot or very cold. Your Poodle will bond well with your family members and needs to be socialized to avoid barking at strangers.
The Yorkshire Terrier is also known as the Yorkie. This is a very small breed, and they can often be seen being carried in a purse or sitting on someone’s lap. This feisty dog began its history working as ratters in the mines and mills of Old England. In appearance, the Yorkie looks to be rather dainty. In actuality, Yorkies are true Terriers with entertaining personalities, desiring both close companionship and independence.
Yorkies show a surprising amount of courage, often barking at dogs much bigger than they are. Obedience training is necessary to have a well-behaved Yorkie as they do tend to be stubborn. Yorkshire Terriers are sensitive to extreme temperatures and prefer to be indoors most of the time.
This breed readily forms a bond with the owners and love to be accompanied. They need moderate exercise in the form of daily walks and play time. Be mindful to not leave them unattended for many hours as they do suffer from loneliness and could exhibit anxiety symptoms as a result.
The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as Sheltie, may look like a furry, cuddly friend, but make no mistake; this is a working dog. Shelties fall into the Herding Group of dogs. In appearance, 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. As they are known to chase moving things, you would do well to provide a fenced-in property for them to move around in.
Shelties are intelligent, obedient and agile. Affectionate and loyal, they do make excellent pets, companions and therapy animals. Interestingly, Shelties often exhibit one of two personality types; timid and calm or active and aggressive.
The timid ones will run away from strangers and the active ones will most likely bark at them. In general, Shetland Sheepdogs will benefit from early socialization. They are fast learners when training is approached with both persistence and positive reinforcement.
Beagles are one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. In fact, one particular Beagle is famous! In 1950, Charles Schulz introduced the comic strip world to Snoopy, a black and white Beagle with attitude. Snoopy shares his dominant traits with other Beagles; a tendency to be hyper focused, a love of exercise and a very high energy level.
While your Beagle may not be prone to flights of fancy like Snoopy, it will certainly do the Happy Dance to greet you when you come home. Originally bred for hunting, the Beagle has a keen sense of smell and is often referred to as a “scent hound.”
Adding to their suitability for hunting 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.
The Japanese Spitz is a small dog with a big personality and a pedigree. They are typically happy, gentle and playful dogs. Japanese Spitz make excellent devoted companions and in fact, require companionship themselves.
They do not like to be left alone for any length of time. Fortunately, they get along with family, strangers and other pets. Keep in mind that they do not make for good service dogs.
Although generally considered to be an indoor dog, they can tolerate extreme temperatures, and prefer the cold, but are not to be left outside at night. Plan on long walks and daily exercise for fitness and to combat boredom. You can count on your Japanese Spitz to protect your children and will happily play with them in a safe manner.
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.
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.
Most pet owners overlook the overall cost of owning a pet. The cost is more than just what you pay for the dog. You 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.
|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. Just like feeding a person good food will keep it more healthy, so will feeding your dog a quality dog food. This could prevent a few trips to the vet by the quality of the foods they eat.
If your dog’s weight lies 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.
|Dog Breed||Average cost||Habitat size||Activity Level||Lifespan|
|Beagle||$400 – $950
Median price $550
|Small||Highly energetic and require a lot of attention.||12-15 years|
|Bulldog||$1500 – $2500||Medium||Low activity dog and requires moderate attention.||8-10 years|
|German Shepherd||$400 – $1500
Median price $800
|Large||Highly energetic dog that requires a lot of attention.||10-13 years|
|Poodle||$700 – $2000||Medium||A very active and alert dog that needs maximum attention.||8-15 years|
|Golden Retriever||$300 – $2000||Large||Highly energetic dog that requires attention.||10-12 years|
|Labrador Retriever||$350 – $1000||Large||Medium to high activity dog depending on size. Moderate attention is required.||10-12 years|
|Yorkshire Terrier||$800 – $1500||Small||Highly energetic pet that requires lots of attention from caregivers.||12-16 years|
|Chihuahua||$700 – $1500||Small||Very energetic dogs that thrive on attention.||14-18 years|
|Greyhound||$750 – $2000||Large||Very active dogs that require maximum attention.||13-14 years|
|Boxer||$750 – $1650||Medium||Highly active dog but doesn’t need attention.||10-12 years|
|Mutt||$50 – $350||Small/ medium/ large depending on breed.||Varies depending on breed.||10-15 years|
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.
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 listed are all fairly active dogs, so before picking a dog as a pet you should match its preferred level of activity to yours. Otherwise both of you could end up unhappy.
Also it is 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. Besides, you need ample time to train your dog where you want it to use the toilet as well as where it should sleep.
Because of this it is best to get a pet during your vacation or when family members will be available to be with it around the clock. This will ensure that you have enough time to bond and your new friend will have time to learn about its new home with you.
A dog requires a safe place where they can rest. Also your dog will either need to be able to use the toilet on their own, or regularly have someone available to let them outside.
Normally, a dog needs to use the toilet every few hours. Very young, old or sick dogs could need to use the bathroom more often. 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 the dogs mental health, make sure that the 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 hot. A dog which is unable to cool itself of excessive heat could die in a few hours. While it is unlikely that this will happen inside the home, if it is 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 check.
Signs that a Dog is exposed to High Temperatures
What’s the Ideal Kennel size?
No matter the size of your dog, you should have a kennel that is designed for their size. A small kennel will be uncomfortable for your dog, while an oversized one can be very uncomfortable for them if they cannot move around.
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 the measurements of your dog 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.
The smallest kennels measure about 16” tall by 17” long and 12” wide. A small kennel is ideal for the small dog breeds such as the Chihuahua and the Boston Terrier.
Most medium-sized dogs will fit in a 19.5” tall by 23” long and 16” wide kennel. Some of the medium-sized dogs include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Dachshund, Basenji, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Water Spaniel.
If you have a large dog breed, then you will want a kennel at least 28” tall by 36” long and 24” wide. 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?
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 the owner’s bed, or their own doggy bed. Next 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 the 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 their bodies 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 does not 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 the kennel.
Consideration for Bedding Materials
Other than just buying a bed, you have a few other things to consider. You should know how fast your dog sheds its 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 enjoys 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 its comfort. One option that we all know about is a dog house. It can protect the 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.
It’s possible to raise an obedient dog through 1 on 1 training. Different people use different training tactics. For instance, some people reward their dogs when they do the right thing. Then, the dog behaves in expectation of a reward after that. Most experts agree this is the best way to train a dog.
Some people use canning as a method of discipline whenever the dog misbehaves. This method sometimes works faster, but the dog may end up becoming afraid of its owners. Every pet expert we know of recommends positive reinforcement, not this method.
Usually it is not terribly difficult to identify the cause of problematic behavior in a pet. Pets will usually misbehave whenever there is a problem, and based on the type of problem you can determine a possible solution.
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 dogs cues, the 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 cannot be around.
What often works to solve many minor behavioral problems is simply to do things with the 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 the 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 the 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 is part of the general care routines. Bathing shouldn’t happen daily or it will strip off essential oils from the hair and skin. Bathing your dog should happen only when necessary.
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 to remove bad odors as well as regain the natural shine of the skin and fur. Besides, water helps to remove any loose hairs and dead skin.
If your dog has a skin condition, you should make sure to follow the vet’s guidelines regarding your cleaning routine. A dog with a skin condition may require regular cleaning with the necessary medication as part of treatment.
There are many shampoos and conditioners suitable for dogs that you can use during cleaning. It’s advisable to consult 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.
You should need to teach your dog how to enjoy bathing sessions. You can easily make your dog remain calm 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 your pet.
In a nutshell, dogs, despite originally being wild wolves have become man’s best friend. Just a few important things to remember. Make sure the dog’s activity level matches yours. Choose a dog size that will work with the size of your home. 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 it as such.
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. Or, if you wanted 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. Because they have more rods in their eyes than humans, their night vision is vastly superior to humans.
Most dog pets act as guards to the home, thanks to their highly sensitive hearing abilities. Yes, a dog could hear a quiet noise in your garage and bark to alert you.