Adopting A Pet: Part Three Size, Coat & Breed Considerations

What aspects of the size of the breed and the coat length should one consider when choosing a pet?


This particular factor plays more of a role in the selection of the type of dog you may want, compared to selecting between cat breeds. While cats do vary in size, it tends to be less dramatic compared to different breeds of canine. 

Size is not an indication of aggression or temperament – a combination of genetics, training and past experiences will shape those traits! Obviously, size will influence the “amount” your pet will need – be it food, medication, space, etc. In general, bigger dogs will cost more in upkeep, compared to smaller dogs. Size does not always indicate level of exercise – in fact, many small dogs need as much exercise, if not more, than larger breeds, however, can get it in a more confined location. Smaller dogs are ideal for apartment dwellers or compact homes with limited space. Large breeds thrive better living where they will have access to more room, such as houses with backyards or parks to run and play.


Coat Length:

Coat length tends to be a matter of personal aesthetics, and one’s commitment to grooming and household cleaning. It is important to keep in mind that longer, denser coats are more likely to shed, compared to shorter hair; however, shedding will occur to some degree, regardless of the length of their coat. Especially as the weather changes, from fall to winter and spring to summer, you will find your pet’s coat adjusting accordingly. Longer hair requires more day-to-day maintenance, and may cost to have professionally groomed. Furthermore, you may find yourself having to pull out the vacuum or broom more frequently when owning a pet that sheds more. Finally, potential allergies to a pet’s coat or dander may also influence which type of pet you select for your home.



Trying to decide whether to adopt a pure-bred, or a mixed breed?

The Pure bred vs. Mixed Breed Debate

The advantage to acquiring a purebred pet is that their mental and physical characteristics would have been carefully selected and genetically bred for.  However, in breeding for the desirable traits, we also end up concentrating the deleterious genes as well, due to the limited gene pool.  This results in an increased risk for inherited diseases.

Pets that are of a mixed pedigree, also known as a hybrid, are more of a wild card, with behavioural and physical traits being less known and controllable.  However, the advantage to mixed pedigree pets is they are less likely to suffer from inherited diseases.

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