Pick­ing the “Right” Dog

Make sure your choice is a per­fect fit

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN Ann Marie O’Phe­lan is a South­west Flor­ida res­i­dent and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

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.

Con­sider how much time you spend at home. If you are gone for long pe­ri­ods of time, you might want to choose a cat or an­other type of pet, rather than a dog.

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.

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.

Lastly, keep in mind that all dogs have dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­ments and some are bet­ter than oth­ers with chil­dren, vis­i­tors and other pets. For­diani also says, “Be sure to give your new pet space, time and pa­tience to ad­just to their new sur­round­ings.”

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