Pick­ing the “Right” Dog

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - DEPARTMENTS - BY ANN MARIE O’PHE­LAN

Big dog? Lit­tle dog? Long hair? Short hair? Per­son­al­ity? There are many things to con­sider when choos­ing the “right” dog.

“When look­ing for a pet, con­sider your com­mit­ment first and fore­most,” ad­vises Karen For­diani, a public in­for­ma­tion spe­cial­ist with Lee County Do­mes­tic An­i­mal Ser­vices.

Next, think about your ex­penses. All dogs re­quire an­nual check-ups, vac­ci­na­tions and li­censes, and many need groom­ing. The cost of food may vary greatly, depend­ing on the size of the dog.

Of course you have to make sure that dogs are al­lowed at your place of res­i­dence. Check lease and/or as­so­ci­a­tion in­for­ma­tion, and home­owner in­sur­ance for breed and size re­stric­tions. Ad­di­tion­ally, if you are away from home for long pe­ri­ods of time, you might think about a cat or an­other type of pet. Dogs need a yard or nearby place to walk and ex­er­cise. Cer­tain breeds, such as bor­der col­lies and Labrador re­triev­ers, need a lot of ex­er­cise. Breeds such as basset hounds need less. “If you live in an apart­ment, a large, high-en­ergy dog would not be a good fit,” For­diani adds. Be sure to take the pet’s age into con­sid­er­a­tion. “If you don’t have the time or money to train a puppy, try adopt­ing an older dog that is house­bro­ken,” says For­diani. “My puppy went through a lot of shoes,” notes Brenda White of Bonita Springs.

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