A dog with an "adopt me" sign around its neck.

It’s not uncommon for pet owners to find themselves drawn to a specific dog or cat breed simply because of looks. Without a doubt, a pet’s appearance goes a long way. Personality, or temperament, age, and activity level are equally as important (if not more) than looks. When deciding on a breed, prospective pet owners must choose wisely. 

You may have your eye on a specific breed, but how do you know if that breed is right for you? The most popular pet breeds have a lot to offer, and we can help you determine compatibility. 

The Sizing Up

A realistic understanding of your lifestyle, schedule, housing, and finances facilitates a successful adoption. Once you know what it takes to support a pet’s health, safety, and happiness, you can responsibly care for them. Because many popular pet breeds can live up to fifteen years, it is essential to know what’s in store in the long run. Plus, caring for a puppy or kitten can be a lot of work!

Don’t forget that investing in thorough, consistent training and socialization opportunities can make all the difference to a pet’s transition.

Nice to Meet You

By factoring in a pet’s age, personality, skillset, activity level, health history, grooming requirements, and size, you can make a strong choice between breeds. It is also important to consider your own lifestyle and health needs before adopting a pet. If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, for example, you might benefit from hypoallergenic pets known to cause fewer allergies. These breeds create less dander and often shed less than other breeds.

Inherent Traits

When it comes to adopting a dog, you have plenty of options from which to choose. Dog breeds are typically divided into seven groups:

  • Herding
  • Working
  • Hound
  • Terrier
  • Sporting
  • Non-sporting
  • Toy

Each breed (and breed combination) will have its own unique set of inherent traits. Of course, every pet is unique, and there is no guarantee that your pet will come equipped with certain skills. 

Meow All the Time

There are 46 pedigreed cat breeds to choose from, but cats adopted from shelters are most likely to be either domestic short or long-haired cats. No matter what kind of cat you bring home, make sure to do some research on their specific breed and talk to your veterinarian about the best way to care for your new cat.

Some Extra Help

If you still need a little help choosing the perfect pet for you, we have some great resources to simplify the decision:

  • Check out this breed selector quiz from the American Kennel Club (AKC) in partnership with Purina Pro Plan to answer questions that will narrow down your options: https://www.akc.org/dog-breed-selector/
  • This breed comparison tool (also from AKC) allows you to select different breeds to compare and contrast with each other: https://www.akc.org/compare-breeds/. With this tool, you can compare up to five breeds based on sliding scales of breed characteristics including: lifespan, size, friendliness with children, friendliness with other dogs, grooming, and activity level
  • New puppy owners can also get some helpful resources from AKC’s puppy newsletter “Pupdate.” Click here to subscribe: https://www.akc.org/subscribe/pupdate/ 

At The Bluffs Pet Clinic, we love pets of all sizes, shapes, ages and breeds. If you have further questions, please give us a call at  (651) 388‑1103.