VCA Animal Hospitals

Which breed of dog is right for me?

Published: Aug 03, 2012

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If you're considering bringing a canine companion into your home, one of the first decisions you have to make is what type of dog to get. There are hundreds of breeds, and on top of that, an endless variety of mix-breed dogs to choose from. Here are some questions to consider before you make your final decision.

Where do you live?

A big part of this dog-decision depends on what kind of an environment you call home. Individuals who live in the city will most likely want a smaller dog that will fit in well with their smaller living space. Big dogs, like labradors or other retrievers, may be frustrated without ample room to stretch their legs.

On the flip side, those who live in rural areas may want to find a canine companion that enjoys the outdoors. Just remember, if you have a pet who spends a lot of time outside, you'll need to make sure you use pet parasite protection to keep them safe and healthy.

Are you or your loved ones allergic?

If you or a family member is allergic to dander, your options of what kind of dog are slightly limited, but you can still love and care for a canine. You may think that you will need to pay an arm and a leg for a dog that is hypoallergenic, but there are actually a number of mix-breed and purebred dogs that seem to cause minimal allergy flare-ups. These breeds are typically smaller, and will have minimally shedding hair, which means dog grooming will definitely be a part of your routine.

How old are you?

Your age can also help you decide on a type of dog to get. Young families with children often decide on bringing a puppy into the family, so that their child and the canine can grow together. Dogs and children can be great companions, but you'll need to make sure you take the time to educate your youngsters on how to best care for and respect the pets in your home.

Older adults may want to consider adopting an older dog. Dogs who are five years or older are typically more mellow, and don't have the boundless energy of younger canines. Additionally, senior dogs often have a harder time finding adoptive homes. Bringing an older dog into the family doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up paying more in vet bills either, because senior canines usually have their dog vaccinations and spaying or neutering taken care of. However, it may still be a good idea to invest in pet insurance to help treat any health issues the dog may have later on down the line.

Are you financially stable?

Bringing a dog into your home is a great way to liven up your living space and find a new friend, but you'll need to make sure you have the finances to help pay for everything the dog needs. Many dogs in the U.S. are returned to shelters because their owners were not prepared to take on the expense of caring for a pet. Before you adopt, sit down and plan out your budget to make sure you'll be able to pay for food, vet bills, toys and anything else your dog will need to live a happy life.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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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.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.