Choosing Your Ideal Canine Companion

You’re excited to finally bring a dog into your household. When your new companion arrives, you’ll buy him a plush bed, a handcrafted collar, and enough toys for four dogs. He’ll get numerous neighborhood walks and dog park visits. Best of all, you’ll take him to your Lakeville, MN veterinarian, who will give your lucky dog a new patient exam and a nutritious diet. First, however, formulate a picture of your ideal canine housemate.

Compatible Lifestyle Partner

Because you’ve settled nicely into your lifestyle, find a dog who will enjoy it alongside you. Maybe you’re addicted to your daily jogs through the nearby park. A high-energy working or sporting dog will love those vigorous workouts.

Perhaps you enjoy spending time at home. You putter in the garden, relax with a good book, or immerse yourself in a TV show. A calm-natured small or medium-sized dog might be a good companion. Remember, your (and your dog’s) well-being depends on making the right choice.

Breed-Related Considerations

Every breed has documented health and behavioral concerns. For a mixed-breed pooch, evaluate the predominant breed’s traits. The American Kennel Club website features well-rounded profiles of many popular (and lesser known) breeds. Your vet can also provide expert guidance.

Breed-Specific Grooming Requirements

A clean, well-groomed dog enjoys an improved quality of life. If you choose a short-coated pooch, such as a Labrador retriever or pointer, he’ll probably thrive with a regular bath, brushing, and nail trim.

If you’re fixed on a flowing-coated golden retriever, you’ll spend considerable time brushing and de-matting his coat. He’ll also need regular grooming appointments. If you permit his fur to become filled with mats and debris, he’ll be extremely uncomfortable. You’ll pay higher-than-normal grooming fees to fix the problem.

Breeder-Reared or Adopted?

Decide where you’ll obtain your canine companion. If you’ve settled on a puppy, avoid pet store dogs and puppies bred in owners’ homes. Unfortunately, these animals are susceptible to contagious diseases and parasites.

Dogs raised by reputable breeders might be feasible. However, animal shelters and rescue groups take in thousands of adoptable dogs yearly. If you’ve decided on a purebred, a breed rescue organization might have adoptable dogs available.

After your companion arrives, take him to your Lakeville, MN veterinarian for that all-important new patient exam. To give your new dog an excellent start, contact us for expert assistance.