Aldrich Animal Hospital
Published: Oct 24, 2012

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Maybe your kids have been begging you for a puppy, or you've always wanted one and decided the family is finally old enough so you can all devote more time and energy to the new addition. Picking out a new family dog is an exciting and important decision, but it can be tricky to determine which breed would be a good fit for your family. Here are three aspects to consider before you bring Fido home.

All dogs were originally bred for a specific purpose, whether herding, retrieving, racing or to be companion animals. This is one factor that goes into their personality and demeanor. Another is the dog's size, since smaller breeds tend to be more defensive and have some dog aggression because they feel threatened. However, not all small dogs are aggressive and not all large dogs are mean. It is important to understand the breed's demeanor to understand how your dog will react to your particular family atmosphere. Some dogs are better at tolerating small children, others can be great with older kids. Pugs, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and Beagles are all known for their friendly demeanor and tolerance.

Time and energy level
When considering which breed to get, another important aspect to consider is the dog's energy level and how that will fit into your family's lifestyle. For instance, an active family that enjoys hiking and other outdoor adventures may be better off with a large dog like a Bernese mountain dog or Lab, both of which need plenty of exercise, rather than a more laid-back breed like a Chihuahua or English bulldog.

At the same time, it is important that families are honest about how much time they will have to exercise their dog. Certain breeds have higher activity needs than others. Obesity in dogs is a serious condition that can stem from too little activity. Dogs can also become restless and may act out.

Grooming and pet health
You should also consider the breed's care needs and how they will mesh with your family's abilities. While dog grooming is important for all breeds, dogs can have short, medium or long fur and each requires different care. For example, a golden retriever will need regular brushing and maybe even some trips to the groomer for trims.

Purebred dogs may also be predisposed to certain genetic health problems. For example, English springer spaniels are predisposed to elbow dysplasia, while miniature poodles can have epilepsy. Whichever breed you choose, veterinarians can help you determine which care options are best for pet health


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

Aldrich Animal Hospital is open Monday-Wednesday 8AM-8PM; Thursday-Friday 8AM-6PM and on Saturday 8AM-4PM (we are closed on Sunday). If your pet has a medical emergency during our hospital’s hours, please telephone us immediately at 631-669-3161. Our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to help you and your pet.

Our address is:

      Aldrich Animal Hospital
      537 Sunrise Highway
      West Babylon, NY 11704

Please click here for directions to our location.

If your pet is experiencing a medical crisis when our hospital is closed, you may take your pet to either of following 24/7/365 veterinary emergency hospitals in our vicinity:

Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island
75 Sunrise Highway
West Islip, NY 11795
Open 24/7/365

Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury
609-5 Cantiague Rock Road
Westbury NY 11590 
Open 24/7/365