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How to Choose the Right Size Dog

When adopting a dog for the first time, one thing you might not think about right away is size.  You may be tempted to walk into a rescue and pick out the first cute dog to catch your eye (and your heart), but that isn’t always a good idea.  A lot of people end up adopting dogs that they don’t really have the space for, which can be a hassle for the owners and a quality of life issue for the dogs.  You’ll want to think carefully over the matter before you pick a new furry friend.

Dogs are small, medium, or large.  There are challenges to raising small and large dogs.  Smaller dogs obviously can live in smaller spaces, which is a big plus if you live in a studio apartment, trailer, or other crowded environment.  On the other hand, they can be delicate and thus more susceptible to injury—so if you have little kids who aren’t very responsible yet, you might want to think twice about getting a very small dog.  It also may not be wise to buy a little lap dog if you already have a large dog bounding around the house.  If you do get a small dog, also keep in mind that they tend to get colder than larger dogs, so if you live in a cold environment you’ll want to take extra measures to keep your little dog warm.  

Large dogs are less delicate than small dogs, which may make them more suitable if you already have other big dogs in the house.  Big dogs need a lot of space, though, both indoors and out in the yard.  In a very small space, a big dog won’t have room to run around, and even the action of wagging a tail can cause mayhem if objects are knocked over.  

Another issue to consider is cost.  Don’t have a lot of money to spend on your dog?  A smaller dog would be more affordable.  Larger dogs eat more and that means more money on food.  Sometimes it also means paying more money for medical care as well.  Supplies are generally less expensive the smaller the dog you have, so if your budget is constraining you as well as your space, then a small dog could be the best choice.  You should never adopt an animal that you don’t have the capacity to take care of—pick a dog which you can keep happy and healthy.

If you don’t have any particular obstacles, then you can get any size dog.  If you aren’t sure what would be best given your living space and needs, you can always get a medium-sized dog.  Medium-size dogs need more space than small dogs but less than large dogs, and they are about mid-priced when it comes to daily needs.  Whatever size dog you decide to get, you’ll have a wonderful new friend who will bring joy and love into your life. Please remember that there are lots of perfectly healthy dogs out there that need homes, consider rescuing before you decide on buying one… Save a life!

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