Choosing the right dog to join our family was one of the hardest decisions we ever made. So I am collaborating with Pedigree to talk about how we choose the best dog for our family. I am not going to lie, it filled me with dread. I was worried that I would make the wrong decision and would be left to pick up the pieces and really cause issues in the family dynamic. Having a pet is a big responsibility and It really scared me, but I also knew that as a family we would all benefit from having a dog.
It is hard to think that Alvin has been with us for four years already. In some ways, it just seems like yesterday when we got Alvin but in other, ways I do not feel we could be a family without him. We are a better family for having him as part of it and both the boys have gained so much from living with a dog.
However, I am not going to pretend that choosing and looking after a dog is easy. There are so many things to consider, so I am going to share with you the things we took into consideration when choosing Alvin and what is our routine with him. Alvin is a Bichon Frise and we knew quite a lot about his breed thanks to our friends who also had a Bichon, in fact, it was due to their dog that we knew this was the right breed for us.
All about Alvin
Alvin is a really great family dog. He doesn’t like being left on his own and this is common for his breed, but he is an amazing family pet. He loves spending time with us and sits with me during the day, but he also loves playing with the boys when he gets home from school and adores a cuddle from MadDad on an evening.
He is crate trained and the boys know that if Alvin is in his crate that you leave him be and he goes to his crate on an evening to sleep. Once he goes to his crate on a night he gets his daily Dentastix. We were really lucky that he was crate trained when we got him and considering that we had a six year old and a seven year old it worked really well for us. The crate isn’t tiny and takes up quite a bit of space in our kitchen.
When it comes to food we took advice from our vet and we feed Alvin dried food, this is partly to help keep his teeth clean and also because Mini and I are smell sensitive and hate the smell of pet food. Can you believe that 4 out of 5 of dogs over the age of 3 years have gum disease? This is one of the reasons that dog dental care is so important and we know that Alvin has great teeth (according to his last visit to the vet), so we must be doing something right.
MadDad grew up on a farm and his family has always had dogs. At the moment they have three (non-working dogs), two Maltese puppies and an old Shitzu. Alvin went to visit and share his Dentastix with them!
It seems that we have something about white dogs! Also, dogs that require daily grooming! Alvin loves Dentastix, I think because he has had one a day since he was tiny. They are great to help and keep his teeth in good condition. They come in different sizes perfect for different sized dogs and Alvin has small.
We have been so lucky with Alvin. He loves children, he is gentle with them, however, we would never leave him alone with any little ones. Here he is with my best friends youngest.
Questions to ask yourself before you get a dog.
- How long do you have to walk a dog and how often?
- How much space do you have for a dog? Do you have room for a big dog or a garden they can use?
- Do you mind if your dog sheds or needs grooming on a daily basis?
- How much time are you at home during the day?
- Can I afford a dog? Not only the initial cost of purchasing a dog but food, vets bills, insurance, grooming, treats and bedding.
- Is anyone in your home allergic?
- Do you travel a lot? Alvin doesn’t like staying in kennels, so he stays with a dog sitter when we go on holiday.
- Are you precious about your furniture?
- Are your children scared of dogs?
We were super lucky that we could borrow a dog and make sure that all of us were aware of how much responsibility having a dog is.
This post is a collaboration with Pedigree, but all thoughts are my own. For additional dental care information, you can read the following Pedigree Reviews article for tips and advice.