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Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family

Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family

Choosing the right pet for your family isn’t that easy, we often think of a dog or a cat as a family pet but there are lots of different options.  Dogs or cats may not be the ideal pet if you live in an apartment, but some fish or a hamster could work very well.  There are lots of benefits to having a pet and it can teach your children empathy and responsibility.  There is a lot of work that goes into owning a pet even a goldfish, so let’s look at your options and see which pet works best for your family.

Getting a Dog

Dogs can be great pets, they offer unconditional love, they make great companions and they can help teach your kids compassion and care.  However, a dog particularly a puppy is a ton of work.  They need training, walks, food, vet care and they may not be ideal for every home.  Before getting a new puppy make sure you have the room and the time to look after it.  Here are some tips on training your puppy.

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Getting a Cat

Cats can be a great pet, they are cute and fluffy and are far less work than a dog.  Cats can be left home alone all day, they are cheaper to feed and training them to use the litter box is a piece of cake.  Cats also have claws and they will often decide to sharpen them on your furniture.  Cats will leave cat hair all over your house and many people have allergies to cats.

Small Animals

Small animals like guinea pigs or hamsters can be a great pet particularly where space is an issue.  Your child needs to be old enough to interact with the pet, you may want them to clean cages or feed their pet.  They also need to be old enough to realize that the hamster isn’t a toy and needs to be handled delicately.  Other pets like cats or terriers will not love your small animal so be wary of interactions.

Fish and Exotic Pets

Pets are incredibly easy for you to look after and goldfish are incredibly cheap.  More exotic fish can be costly with the special tanks and equipment that you need to keep them.  Exotic pets such as iguanas or snakes can be pretty cool pets but again you’re going to spend a fair deal on equipment.  Feeding exotic pets isn’t like feeding a cat or dog, you’re not getting food at the grocery store.  Exotic pets will eat mice or crickets so if you’re squeamish this may not be the pet for you.  Take the time to consider which pet will be best for your family and remember the level of care and commitment each type of pet is going to need.

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Choosing the Right Breed of Dog

Choosing the Right Breed of Dog

So you have decided to add a new member to your family.  Getting a dog is great for the family, they can reduce stress, help you get some exercise, be security or just be a companion.  However a new dog can be a lot like having a small child and having a dog can cost you a fair bit of money too.  Choosing the right breed of dog is more than just finding a cute puppy there are a whole bunch of things you need to take into consideration.

Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself first:

  • Does the breed get along with children?
  • Will the dog be your only pet?
  • Can the dog be easily handled by an inexperienced pet owner?
  • How much exercise does the dog need?
  • Is the dog for security or a family pet?
  • Do you want a male or female?

Mixed and Pedigreed Breeds

Mixed breeds are usually cheaper to get and can have fewer health issues than a pure bred dog.  However be careful when adopting grown dogs there may be behavioral problems that you are unaware of.  Pedigree breeds can be a  lot more work, some need grooming some don’t interact well with children or other pets.  Here is an overview of the different types of dogs.

Working and Sporting Dogs

These types of dogs are going to need plenty of space and plenty of exercise.  However they are also very good with children and they can make fantastic family pets.  Breeds include Setters, Huskies, Retrievers and Spaniels.

Hounds

Hounds offer a wide variety of dogs some are highly energetic and others can adapt to living in a home.  These dogs need to be kept on a leash at all times unless you have a fenced in yard for them to run in.  These dogs can range in size from the smaller dogs like a Daschund to an Irish Wolfhound that weighs in at 160 lbs.  They can be highly energetic or great house pets.  Take the time and look into the personality of each individual breed to see if it will be a fit for your family.

Terriers

Terriers can be small or medium sized and can include Boston terriers, Scottish and Yorkshire Terriers.  These dogs can make good family pets but they are better with older children.  They have lots and lots of energy and they thrive better with an experienced owner that can make sure they are trained to interact with people and other dogs.

Designer Dogs

These are newer cross breeds that try and get the best quality of both breeds and remove the negative characteristics of both breeds.  You will find designer breeds like the Labradoodle, Cockapoo and Puggles.  There are literally thousands of possible combinations and  already there are more than 100 designer breeds that have been registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club.

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