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Is a dog right for me?

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Dogs make great friends. Studies have found that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and better survival after heart attacks, lower levels of mental stress and higher self-esteem than people who don’t have dogs.

Though a great mental and physical life choice, dogs can live for a long time, 10-20 years. Before you commit to such a relationship, it is important to consider whether a dog is right for you.

Dogs are social animals, they love to be a part of the family and are often happy to see you. Not to mention that your dog will keep you active and healthy with regular walks!

Here are some facts to consider when making your decision:

  • Large dogs need more space, more food, more exercise, more medication
  • Hair and coat type
  • Short coated dogs require less grooming
  • Double-coated breeds, such as German Shepherds, will shed large amounts of hair all year round
  • Poodles or ‘oodle’ breeds have minimal to no shedding, but frequent grooming is required

Before getting your companion, make sure you are aware of potential at-risk diseases in your breed. Larger breed dogs may be prone to hip dysplasia, and brachycephalic dogs (Pugs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers) may be predisposed to respiratory issues.

In addition, it is important to evaluate your lifestyle and what will work for you in your accomodation and what you can afford. You will spend less on medications and food if you are feeding a Chihuahua compared to feeding a Bernese Mountain dog!

Similarly, it is important to understand a breeds activity level. Working dogs, such as kelpies and borders collies, make great companions, however, they are bred to run several kilometres daily and need active families to keep them stimulated.

Every dog breed has different qualities and personalities. You can find dog breed selector quizzes online to help you with this decision, such as Animal Planet’s quiz.

It is important to note, these quizzes are a guide only! If you have any questions before you find your forever friend, contact your local Peninsula Vet Care hospital.

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