Much has been said about the positive impact that canine companionship produces on our psychological, physical and emotional well-being. The presence of a dog:
- Helps us relax and combat stress
- Avoids isolation
- Helps us to stay active
- Makes it easier to make new friends
- Ensures an affectionate welcome every time we return home
Studies conducted by Dr. Levinson, who is considered the father of animal-assisted therapies, affirm that interaction with a pet is a form of early stimulation that contributes to a child’s psychomotor development.
Dogs love unconditionally and when choosing your four-legged friend, emotions and intuition will play an important role.
However, finding the perfect dog, meaning one whose characteristics, care and maintenance best suit your preferences and needs, is a process based on three pillars: love, responsibility and information.
Having a pet will surely affect your daily routine and will influence both your personal and family life. These kinds of considerations are barriers that cause many people to deprive themselves of the companionship that a dog can offer. Fortunately, all difficulties can be anticipated and eliminated with the appropriate information.
Positive experiences are always preceded by good decisions and in order to do this, it is necessary to anticipate errors to avoid disappointments. It is also important to analyze in advance some aspects that will determine the success of each of the steps involved in the adventure of having a pet.
Where to begin?
Every adventure begins at the point of departure, which is exactly where you are right now. Analyzing your lifestyle, your family situation, your interests, the stage of life you are going through and your plans for the future are key when making a decision.
Are there people with allergies in the house? Will the dog be in contact with children or elderly people? Health problems, such as allergies, or the presence of a family member with special needs is important. Also, choosing the right dog can have benefits for an autistic child that go beyond the fact of having a pet.
If you have a demanding career, your needs will be very different from, for instance, a retired person.
How can you find the perfect dog?
This step involves looking for information, meaning formulating and answering questions about the breed, age, origin and temperament of the dog you would like to have. For example, do you want a purebred or mixed dog? Would you prefer a puppy that will demand training or a trained, older dog to make things easier? Calm lapdog, or athletic and restless? Buy or adopt?
Whatever the situation, there is always a perfect dog for each person or family and our objective is that you can find the necessary information to overcome all the obstacles and make the best choice.
Adoption as an option
An important thing to keep in mind is that shelters for abandoned dogs are a very good source of information. Approaching a center or association will allow you to ask about the health, training and maintenance costs of each dog breed and capitalize on the experience of people who live with different breeds of dogs.
Some of these associations look for foster families for their dogs up for adoption and people willing to help them on a voluntary basis. Both options are an excellent way to become aware of the benefits and responsibilities of having a pet. This is highly recommended for families with children or adolescents who want a pet and are not aware of the commitment involved.
Learning through experience is the best way to lean, and what better way to do it than by also giving a little of your time and affection to those animals waiting for a forever home.
What dog should you choose?
Even if you have analyzed all the factors with a scientific mind, you may, at some point, have to rely on your desires and emotions to make a decision. For example, if you are a person with an active lifestyle, you could opt for a large and athletic dog for running or bikejoring, or you may prefer a small one that can go everywhere with you. As always, your heart will make the final decision, but do not worry, it will never lead you astray.
The following articles contain information that can help in your search.