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tips for choosing a dog to suit your lifestyle

Room to Move - where you live and your outdoor space
You need to have room to keep a dog. It is fine to have a small or even no yard and keep a dog primarily indoors, but you have to be realistic. Choose an appropriate breed and have a plan as to how you will manage it. Consider where the dog will sleep and where he will be exercised.

Safe and Sound - whether you can keep a dog secure on your property
You must be able to keep a dog secure to prevent him  from roaming. Some dogs are great climbers and  diggers, and you need to ensure your fences are adequate to contain the type of dog you’re considering.

Fit and Healthy - how much daily exercise your dog will receive
Be realistic: this means how long you will walk your dog, even in winter and when it’s raining…every day.

Permission Granted - whether you are permitted to keep a dog where you live Dogs are prohibited in some strata developments and  rental accommodation, so you need to ensure you have  permission to keep a dog and be confi  dent that you’re  likely to be permitted to keep the dog if you move from  that premises to another.

Time and Space - how much time your dog will be alone each day
Dogs are social animals and need company.If you’re not going to be able to spend time with your dog, perhaps you should consider having an additional pet, an alternative pet or no pet at all. If you spend a lot of time away from home, it’s important you allow the dog to spend time indoors with you when you are home. Dogs that are left outside on their own all the time are more likely to become bored and a nuisance. The more time you spend with your dog, the stronger and more rewarding a bond you are likely to develop.

Mix of People and Pets - whether you have children or elderly people in your home Young children should always be supervised around dogs. The young and the elderly generally don’t mix well with large and boisterous dogs that have the potential to frighten them and knock them over.

Type and Temperament - how active you are and how  energetic should your dog beSome people love a dog that’s always excited and keen for a walk; others prefer a dog that’s relaxed and calm. If you’re living in a high-density environment, you want to avoid dogs that are likely to be yappy and noisy.

Care and Grooming - how much you are willing to spend feeding and caring for your dog Large and giant breeds naturally consume more food, and you need to be confi  dent that you can afford it. Other day-to-day and unexpected costs also need to be budgeted for. Coat length will infl  uence how much grooming you’ll have to do – dogs with longer coats generally require more grooming. Consider how much time you’re prepared to spend on this task and whether you’re happier with a dog that needs to be groomed daily or less frequently. Some breeds are said to be non-shedding (Poodles, Bichon Frise, Bedlington Terriers, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers and some of the new “Oodle” crosses) but these breeds require regular clipping and this is an additional expense to consider.

Use the free Selectapet program to help with your decision.