I am 100% a dog person. I love all dogs everywhere. I want to take them all home and snuggle them and love on them forever and ever.
If you’ve been around here for long, you’ve seen pictures of our baby. His name is Mozzie (like Ozzy with an M). He’s a 4 year old, 12lb Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix.
I am super passionate about responsible dog ownership, so today I wanted to talk about one of the biggest mistakes you don’t want to make when you get a dog.
But first, here are two important things to think about before you get a dog.
- How much are you home? You need to spend time with your dog. If you regularly work 12-hour days and don’t want to pay for doggy daycare or a dog walker, you probably shouldn’t get a dog. Your dog will be bored, possibly stressed, and won’t be able to go to the bathroom as often as they need to. Plus, you will probably be exhausted from a long day when you get home. Your dog will have tons of energy and you might get frustrated that they don’t just want to hang out. I see this all the time. It’s not fair to be frustrated with your dog for having energy if you haven’t provided them with a way to get their energy out. It’s hard on you and on your dog if you aren’t home with them enough.
- Are you willing to go for daily walks? All dogs need to go for walks. Walks provide mental stimulation that others kinds of exercise don’t provide for a dog. Some dogs are fine with a shorter walk, but to keep your dog mentally and physically healthy, you need to be willing to go for a daily walk.
One Huge Mistake You Don’t Want to Make When Getting a Dog:
Getting the Wrong Breed
Here’s the thing: All puppies are cute!
And if you’re like me, you think all adult dogs are cute too. But different breeds need different amounts of exercise, space, grooming…
If you get a type of dog that isn’t right for you and your family, it will just cause stress for you and the dog.
Cuteness should not a deciding factor when you get a dog.
Before we got Mozzie, I did a ton of research about dog breeds to try and find the right kind of dog for us.
I wanted a dog that would go for short-medium length walks with me, but wasn’t super high energy all the time. I wanted a dog that wouldn’t shed. Plus, I wanted a dog that was fairly easy to train since it was our first time raising a puppy.
I am so glad that I did so much research about dog breeds. I was able to narrow our search down to a few breeds that would work for us.
Mozzie has been the perfect addition to our family. He works so well with our lifestyle which keeps us all happy. If we had gotten a high energy dog that shed a lot, I know it would have been stressful and hard on us and the dog.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I’ve been posting photos and videos of the Collie puppies that are at my in-law’s house. We go over there a few times a week to play with the puppies and they are so much fun!
They’ve offered to let us have one, but we won’t be taking one home with us. We absolutely love them, but they aren’t the right dog for us.
They have a very sweet temperament and don’t need tons of exercise, but they get way too big and shed way too much for us. It just wouldn’t be a good fit.
There are some awesome quizzes that can help you narrow down the dog breeds that might work best for you. Here’s the link to the Dog Breed Selector Quiz I used when we got Mozzie.
And of course, you should absolutely check some animal shelters to see if there is a dog available for adoption that will work for you. Most shelters can give a pretty good guess about what breed or mix a dog is, which will help you know if it might be a good fit for you.
Things to Think About When Choosing the Right Breed:
The Dog Breed Info site has a lot of great information about what you can expect with various breeds. I did a lot of research on this site before we got Mozzie.
Shedding: My husband was a little unsure about getting a dog because he didn’t want our house to feel messy and he gets grossed out by shedding. Getting a non-shedding dog was really important to us.
Size: Do you want a smaller dog that can cuddle on your lap, or a bigger dog that will lay on the floor? Of course, you can always get a big dog that thinks he’s a lap dog 🙂
Drooling: Some dog breeds are way more prone to drooling than others.
Energy: I think energy level is one of the most important factors to think about. You should look for a dog breed that has an energy level that is similar to yours.
Do you want your dog to go for long runs with you? Do you want your dog to go for a walk around the block and then be pretty content to lay on the couch? If you can’t give a dog the exercise it needs, if will become stressed and possibly destructive. Not good. Of course, every litter of puppies has a dog that is more energetic than the rest or more lazy than the rest, but looking at the breed of the dog will give you a good idea of what kind of energy a dog will have.
Where You Live: Some dogs do well in an apartment, others should probably be on a farm. Some dogs will stay pretty close to home, others really need a fenced-in yard.
Grooming: Dog grooming is not cheap! Mozzie has to go to the groomer every other month. We used to pay $40 each time, but we recently found a groomer who only charges $25. Some breeds just need to brushed once or twice a week. Think about how much time you want to spend brushing or grooming your dog.
Training: Some dogs are easier to train than others. If you’ve never had a dog before, you might want to get a dog that is pretty easy to train. Also, think about if and where you will take them to puppy school.
Money: Dogs can be very expensive. Besides the price that you pay for your dog, you will need to think about the cost to take care of them. Big dogs eat a lot of food. All dogs need to be kept up to date on shots. Also, there’s flea and heartworm medicine. Treats and toys add up too.
Commitment: Obviously, no one knows the future, but owning a dog is a big commitment. Most dogs live between 10 and 15 years. If you have an unstable living situation or know that you will have some big life changes coming, you should think hard about if you are able to commit to owning and taking care of a dog. There are too many dogs in animal shelters already, you don’t want to be the reason another one is.
Choosing the right dog breed is important so that you and the dog aren’t stressed and frustrated. When you find a dog that is the right fit for your lifestyle, it’s wonderful!