Here at the Frugal Beagle I will be starting a summer feature called "So you want a dog...". The purpose of this series is an education resources about getting a dog. The focus will be on how you can save money by doing research, decisions,tips and tricks.
Did you know that one of the most common reasons dogs end up in shelters is because their owners did not understand the breeds they selected? Another common reason is because they move and cannot take their pet with them and because they don't have time.
Today, will feature part one of the series, Picking the Breed that Is Right for You. Alright, so after much thought and consideration you have decided that you want a dog. After all, this is not a small step. Think about what you want from a dog, how much time you will have to devote to your new friend. Here are few questions I found to be helpful when I got a dog.
1. What size? Dogs range in size from toy to very large. Be honest with yourself, yes, Labs are very cute dogs but are a large dog. Many apartment buildings have weight restrictions, check with your building managers before committing to one breed.
2. How energetic will they be? Some dogs enjoy lounging on your lap, others consistently want to be on the move. Will you be able to accommodate their energy?
3. How much does the breed cost? Different breeds carry different prices. This is one advantaget to adopting a shelter dog, you pay the adoption fee which is typically much lower than buying from a breeder. However, there are things you may not know about the dog when adopting a shelter dog like known medical histories, age, and behavior problems. For instance Purina.com lists beagles costing between $600-1000.
Now that you have answered these questions start researching breeds that interest you. There are several online databases that will help you learn about the breed. Dogster.com, Petfinder.com and Purina.com all have extensive breed databases. Often, they will list a general description about their mannerisms, size, known health problems, intelligence(how easy to train), and other facts. This informatin should match what you have listed above and if not you may want to reconsider the breed. Unless you have your heart set on one dog, don't be afraid to change your mind. If you already have a dog, it will be important that your pets get a long.
Purina.com also offers a nifty quiz to help you find out what breeds may fit into your lifestyle.
Go here to take it.