Picking Your New Family Dog: Considerations & Safety Tips
Choosing a family dog is a fun task, and one that should be done carefully. The whole family can be a part of doing the research and considering the options.
However, there isn’t one right answer for everyone. Just like all families are unique, all breeds of dogs and individual canines are special, too.
You know that you need to choose the right dog for you, so here are 11 tips for picking the family dog.
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1. Size It Up
When you’re picking the family dog, you need to think about both the size of the dog and the size of your family.
If you have young children, going with a larger animal may be best.
In general, larger dogs are a bit more tolerant when it comes to enthusiastic pats and hugs that young children like to give their canine brothers and sisters. Although, that depends on the breed and the temperament of the dog.
You should also consider the size of your home and what breed of dog you can accommodate. If you have limited room, you may want to look at smaller dogs that won’t take up too much space.
2. Think About Temperament
Of course, every dog has its own unique personality, but you can still think about what kind of temperament you’re looking for in a dog. Dog breeds have a wide range of energy levels. Some are more friendly than others.
Only certain breeds of dogs are affectionate.
Others can handle apartments better than their peers.
Temperament is something that you need to consider as you find your new furry friend.
3. Sit! Sit! Trainability Matters
Some types of dogs are relatively easy to train. Others are more of a challenge.
When you’re picking the family dog, you need to decide how important trainability is to you. For families, being able to train your dog is very important, and obedient pets are best for families with children.
When you’re choosing a family dog, be sure to select one that has the right amount of trainable to meet your family’s needs.
4. Consider a Rescue
An animal shelter or a pet rescue can be a great way to find the next member of your family.
Your local animal shelter is full of animals that want to be a part of your family and are just waiting for a chance.
A rescue dog is not only a great way to save a life, but they often come spayed or neutered and have already had some basic training.
5. Ask the Breeder Questions
If you choose to find your pet through a professional breeder, there are certain things you should consider before choosing your pet.
Some of the questions you should ask the breeder include:
- Do you do regular health testing within the breed?
- Are there any known health problems within the breed?
- Will you take the dog back if there’s a serious problem?
- What do you do to socialize the puppy and expose it to diverse sights and sounds before it comes home?
Choosing a family dog is a big decision, so don’t hesitate to ask the tough questions.
6. Evaluate The Dog’s Need for Exercise
Exercise is essential for all dogs. You need to know how much activity your dog is going to need and whether you can meet those needs.
Whether you have a yard, your ability to walk the dog and the size of your home should all play a role as you pick the family dog.
7. Accommodate Allergies
Finding a family dog isn’t necessarily a no-go if you have allergies. You just have to be pickier about the type of breed that you select.
Some dogs like Bichon, Portuguese water dogs, Maltese, Kerry blue terrier and poodles are better for people who have allergies. If you suffer from allergies, it may be better to err on the safe side and choose an allergy-friendly breed rather than to risk re-homing your pet.
8. Get a Grip on Grooming
Different types of dogs have different grooming needs. You need to decide how much time and energy you want to spend grooming your dog.
Think about whether you want to do the basics yourself or use the services of a professional groomer.
There are a lot of different components to good grooming habits, including teeth, skin, hair, nails and flea and parasite prevention.
9. Think About the Laws
As personal injury attorneys, we want you to think about the laws when you pick the family dog. There are a few different laws that you need to be aware of when it comes to your pet. Clark County doesn’t require dog licenses, but your location might.
Also, Nevada Revised Statutes 202.500 prohibits anyone from keeping a vicious or dangerous dog. There aren’t any specific breeds that are considered inherently dangerous. Instead, it depends on previous aggressiveness and history of biting.
You can be legally liable any time your negligence results in a dog bite.
For example, allowing a dog with a large jaw and sharp teeth to roam free near small children may be an example of negligence. Las Vegas, the City of Henderson and Clark County unincorporated areas all require owners and victims alike to report dog bites.
Understanding your legal rights and obligations can help you determine what kind of dog is right for your family.
RELATED: Bite Statistics According to Dog Breed
10. Have an Understanding of Homeowner’s Insurance
A family dog can influence your homeowner’s insurance. It can increase your rates. In addition, your homeowner’s insurance provider may be more likely to deny claims for certain breeds or animals with a history of aggression.
Be sure to speak to your insurance agent about your family dog to make sure that they’re included in your policy. The most important thing to know is that picking the family dog can change your homeowner’s insurance cost and coverage.
While it’s not likely to be a significant change, it’s still something to be aware of so that there are no surprises.
RELATED: Homeowner & Landlord Liability for Dog Bites
11. Are Dogs Allowed at Your Residence?
The State of Nevada has a law that prohibits discrimination against certain types of dog breeds.
However, local governments and homeowners associations can make rules about pets as long as they don’t discriminate based on the breed.
When you select a family dog, you need to make sure that it’s allowed in your apartment or your neighborhood. Checking ahead of time can save you the heartache of having to return the dog.
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