What is Pet Selection Counseling?

Need help picking a puppy? Before you bring home a furry family member, consider pet selection counseling.

You’re ready to that the big step—it’s time to add a dog to your ranks. Congratulations! It’s not a step that should be considered lightly. In fact, it’s going to affect the next ten to fifteen years of your life. At this point in the decision process, you may not have thought about all of the variables that go into owning a dog. These can include your current living situation, how much free time you have on your hands, and what kind of qualities you want in a pet. If these questions have thrown you for a loop, it may be in your best interest to consider Pet Selection Counseling.

Why is Pet Selection Counseling Important?

We can all agree that a puppy is one of the cutest things you’ll ever encounter. But that little puppy is going to grow up, and you may not think he’s quite as cute as a full-grown dog. Dogs are a major responsibility, and with that comes a huge commitment of time and finances.

Unless you’ve got your heart set on dog ownership, you may want to think about a more low-maintenance pet. Pet selection counseling can help you decide if a dog is the right pet for you and, if it is, which breed is the best choice. This service helps potential pet owners think about all of the choices involved in selecting a pet to ensure that you make the choice that’s not only best for you, but also for your new furry family member.

What Does Pet Selection Counseling Involve?

Often offered by veterinarians and veterinary clinics, pet selection counseling is also available through many shelters and animal rescues. Basically, the people who offer this service want you to think through all of the details that go into caring for a new pet. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine if you’re able to provide for a new pet and, if so, what kind of pet is the best choice for you.

If you’re meeting with a pet selection counselor, here are a few questions you can expect to answer:

  • Are you aware of the financial impact of owning a dog?
  • Do you know how much time is required to train and care for a dog?
  • Have you thought of all the ways a dog might affect your household dynamics?
  • Are you mindful about the long-term implications of getting a dog?

Let’s break each of these questions down.

Cost: It goes beyond the cost of your puppy. Don’t forget about all the stuff they’re going to need, such as a dog crate, a bed, monthly costs for food, regular veterinary services, and costs for grooming and training.

Time: A dog is not a low-maintenance pet—your pooch will need a daily walk and plenty of attention from you. If you work a lot or like to travel, a dog isn’t the right choice for your household.

Family Dynamic: Getting a dog will change your family dynamic—you may need to change your plans to accommodate your dog. Things like taking a vacation, working away from home, and even running errands are all impacted when you bring home a dog.

Commitment: Getting a dog is a commitment you need to be able to honor for the entire life of the dog which could be 15 years or more. Can you commit to that responsibility?

If you’re considering getting a pet, do some research to see whether pet selection counseling is available in your area. You should be as thoroughly prepared as possible, and this service prepares you to be the best pet owner you can be.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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