Whether you are just starting your journey to find the perfect dog or you’ve been searching for a while, you may wonder if your journey is typical.
Although finding the newest member of your family can be a lengthy process, it is always rewarding when you finally find the right furry friend for your life.
Find the perfect dog for your lifestyle
You’ve decided that you definitely want a dog, but now it’s time to tackle the endless other questions surrounding your new family member. The primary question on most people’s minds is what kind of dog they should get. While there are great dog breed selectors and quizzes online, the main questions you should be asking yourself have to do with your lifestyle. Think about your prospective dog’s personality, temperament, energy level, size, potential health issues, and more, as these should all match up with your lifestyle and plans.
It can be tempting to snap up the first cute puppy you see smiling or striking a pose in a photo ad online, but it’s essential to choose your dog carefully! This could take a while.
Play the waiting game
There are many potential routes you can take when finding your perfect dog. Between visiting animal shelters, rescue agencies, or respectable breeders searching for your perfect pup, it can take some time before you lock eyes with the dog that fits all of your needs (and you fit all of theirs).
If you’re looking to adopt from a shelter or rescue agency, it may be a while before a dog becomes available that fits your needs in terms of size and temperament. Keep checking in, bring some tasty treats, and interact with them to ensure that you get along well. Even if you adopt from a breeder, you may need to wait months until a litter is born and reach an appropriate age to go to their new homes!
A survey of 2,000 pet owners reveals it takes the average American four months and 20 days to search to find the right dog. The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Royal Canin, showed:
- Half said they went to three or more shelters while looking for a pet
- Most spent 6 hours and 24 minutes per week scrolling through pet adoption sites
- Six in 10 said it was “love at first sight” when they found the perfect dog
- 63% said their pet is their four-legged soulmate
Prepare before you bring the perfect pet home
Your pup may not make its grand entrance into your home for a while. But in the meantime, there are lots to do! Whether you’re prepping for a puppy or an adult dog, there are many things to do before your new dog comes home.
Food, treats, toys, and more
Be sure to have lots of food and treats on hand for when your pup arrives home. Different sizes, ages, and breeds will require other diets, so consider reaching out to a vet about your best food options! Choose healthy treats that are free from nasty artificial additives and preservatives.
Have a cozy bed ready for your new furry friend, and choose as many fun toys as your heart desires! Interactive toys, teeth cleaning, and treat-dispensing toys will keep your pup having fun.
Prep your home
Finally, it’s time to prepare your home and the members of your household for your new arrival. Be sure that any dangerous or breakable items are out of the dog’s reach or are tucked away (think electrical cords or vases). Give any kids a debrief on gentle dog petting, and prepare any existing pets by keeping them calm and establishing a private space.
Enjoy the process and find the perfect dog
While planning, preparing, searching, and waiting for your perfect dog can be a long one, it’s sure to be more than worth it when you finally get to snuggle on the couch with your new furry family member. Take your time, and enjoy the wild ride as you find the perfect dog!
Julia Nikolaus is a content strategist for an LA-based company. She enjoys working with pet brands and writing about pet care. Julia currently shares a dog, chickens, and two pygmy goats with her parents on their joined farmette in Columbia, Pennsylvania.