The type of canine companion you look to adopt should be based on a variety of factors such as activity level, grooming requirements, shedding, barking, plus any restrictions such as size, breed and cost. Let’s examine all of these factors closer as you “puppare” to adopt a new best friend.

1. Size

Be sure to think about what size of dog would be a perfect fit for your life. If you’re looking for a puppy, do you know how big the dog will be when it’s full grown? Do you live in an apartment with size restrictions? Do you have a small child that could easily be knocked over by a large breed dog?

Toy and Small Breed Dogs

While these dogs are cute and can easily be carried around, they can be excitable, yet timid, creatures with big personalities. Like with any dog, it’s important to socialize them from a young age around children, adults and other dogs.

Small breed dogs eat less food which can cut down on expenses, but they are also more prone to dental disease and may require more frequent dental cleanings as compared to their larger counterparts.

Medium-Sized Dogs

There’s a wide variety of medium-sized dogs, so you should easily be able to find one that suits your needs if this is the size you’re seeking.

Medium-sized breeds are affordable, they suit all ages, and they don’t require an incredible amount of specialist care and attention. When trained properly, medium-sized dogs can be great around children because of their size; not so big that they can knock kids over but not so small that they feel intimidated. However, keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule.

Because this size category contains so many dog breeds, you will need to do some extra research when it comes to breed characteristics to find the right one for you.

Large-Breed Dogs

Large-breed dogs can have lots of energy which requires a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation. If left to be bored, they will create their own fun which often translates to destruction.

Large-breed dogs tend to be loving and loyal dogs which is why they are very popular with families. However, they can accidentally cause damage if you have a small home, particularly with their happy tails.

Their size can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for small children, but large dogs tend to form close relationships with both kids and adults in the family.

Giant Breeds

Giant breeds have the shortest lifespan, but can be one of the most expensive breeds to care for. Not only is their food more expensive, but so is their medicine from the vet, surgeries, and home supplies such as beds, collars and crates.

If you are considering getting a giant dog breed, you will need a bit more room to keep it. It is also important not to over exercise giant breed puppies, otherwise their developing bones may become deformed. Luckily, they aren’t known for being overly active dogs!

2. Lifestyle

It’s important to consider your lifestyle when it comes to choosing the right dog for you. Are you an active person seeking a jogging partner? If so, a high energy breed would fit right in.

Are you into relaxing and keeping to yourself at home? If so, a couch potato might be a better companion for you.

3. Level Of Shedding

A long-haired dog can not only mean additional clean up, but it can also mean additional expense if the dog needs to be groomed on a regular basis. Grooming needs vary greatly due to breed and personal preference.

4. Personality

What type of personality are you looking for in your canine companion? Do you want a loyal and loving dog? A guard dog? Do you want a dog that enjoys being independent, or one that follows you around everywhere you go? If you choose a dog whose personality is not compatible with yours, you both could end up unhappy sharing the same space together.

5. Age

Everyone loves puppies, but they are high maintenance compared to an adult dog. They need several meals throughout the day rather than just one or two, and they aren’t yet potty trained so they have to be taken out several times per day and a couple of times during the night. If you work during the day, you will need to come home and take them out or they will have accidents.

Just like human babies, puppies need near constant attention, unless they are sleeping. If you do not have the time to devote to a puppy, there are an overabundance of adult dogs waiting for a home.

6. Purebred or Mixed Breed?

If you're open to a few different types of pups, you should consider a mixed breed. When making this decision, keep in mind that some purebreds can come with a higher risk of genetic disease and problematic medical conditions due to poor breeding. They can also be a lot more expensive to adopt!

Whatever you decide, it's important to remember than no dog is perfect, but there are a variety of steps you can take to look for one that fits you and your lifestyle.