How to choose the right dog for your lifestyle
How important it is to choose the right dog to fit your lifestyle?
Certain breeds, especially working types, require a lot of exercise and stimulation. Otherwise they can become destructive, overly boisterous and even aggressive.
Care should be taken when purchasing a puppy or dog to ensure that the breed of dog matches the lifestyle and environment that the prospective owner can provide for him or her.
You can refer to the article An Introduction to Buying a Dog for some great tips on picking the right breed of dog.
What do you need to consider?
It’s really important to be honest about what you can offer a dog in terms of exercise and stimulation to ensure a happy long lasting relationship for both dog and owner.
All dogs benefit from exercise, stimulation and the opportunity to socialise with people and/or other dogs.
Dogs that are left for longer than 4 hours a day often find it difficult to cope. However there are ways around this for owners who work longer hours. Nowadays there are dog walkers, and even doggy day care centres available that are usually easy to find in the local papers or why not talk to other dog owners and see if there is someone they recommend.
Sometimes even a neighbour popping in for half an hour to let the dog out for a wee, top up the water, have a cuddle or a play, is enough to break up the day for a dog left alone for longer periods.
Advertising in a local paper or on a local notice board is often productive. For an older, retired person, a dog to walk and interact with, without the additional responsibility or cost of ownership could be appealing. It is important to ensure your dog has plenty of exercise and stimulation before and after periods alone.
Boredom breakers for your dog
Interactive toys are a great way to stimulate your dog, check out your local pet store for ideas, always make sure the toys are high quality and indestructible.
Instead of feeding from a bowl, scatter dry food round the garden to prolong eating time and encourage natural scavenging behaviour.
Another helpful tip is to use a variety of chews and rotate the type of chew given on different days to maintain your pet’s interest.Long walks, off-lead if possible, so a dog can run, play, sniff and physically let off steam are really important and enjoyable for dogs.
Whilst out walking, go to different places to allow him/her to experience different sights and smells. You could also do some training whilst out walking; this helps dogs keep focus on owners and also stimulates them mentally.