According to the Washington Post, Millennials are more inclined to own a pet than to have children. Now I feel like most of you are probably saying, “same.” A majority of Millennials understand that starting a family is very expensive and the most intense commitment … ever - you’re literally raising another human being to contribute to society. That’s incredibly daunting, and if there’s any truth to the saying that your children will act the exact way you acted with your parents, that’ll drive any 20-something year old to the nearest animal shelter to get a four-legged furever baby.
My S.O. and I recently bought a puppy, and after a few weeks of researching and house-breaking our pet first-hand, we’re doggie woke. This post offers a few tips to consider from researching the type of dog to take home to potty-training for those of you considering becoming pet owners!
Meet Mr. Popo, our new Miniature Schnauzer
Choosing the Right Breed
There are a number of variables to consider when assessing which dog is best for you. Here are a couple of starting points:
Home: Do you live in an apartment, condo, house? Are pets allowed in your home? How many people do you live with? Your space is now their space, all of you have to be comfortable!
Owner type: Is anyone in your household allergic to dogs? Are you an active person? These are some of the factors that’ll affect your choice in breeds.
Research breeds: the American Kennel Club and Dogs 101 were my go-to sources for research. The AKC is a trusted source for purebred dogs and breeding, whereas Dogs 101 is a program on Animal Planet that offers short, informational videos by breed.
Because of my severe dog allergies and our 1:1 apartment, we had to find a specific hypoallergenic breed.
Adopting/Buying a Dog
Adopting is always best! The Humane Society has a number of resources to check out for animal/rescue centers. A simple google search can also do wonders!
If you deem it necessary to shop vs. adopt, please avoid puppy mills! Use the AKC to find certified breeders, but keep in mind that there are some animal/rescue shelters that specialize by breed.
Google is your best friend: when in doubt, just search! You can always refer back to the AKC, Humane Society and other trusted sources for tips specific to your pup.
Stick to a schedule: from feeding to potty-training, sticking to a schedule helps both you and your pup synchronize day-to-day activities.
Price check everything: the pet industry has tripled since 1996 - with so much competition out there, you can find any pet product you need at a lower rate. FYI - when it comes to vaccines and neutering, always check with your local animal shelter. They offer these services at a fraction of the price offered by private clinics.
Word to the wise: always look up the type of animal shelter/clinic you're visiting. We did not take that step when visiting a low-cost vaccination event by our local county and ended up waiting in line in the snow. We were not prepared for the weather, but we did keep Mr.Popo warm in our coats!