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From trendy to traditional, dog popularity grows higher
Longing for a buddy that loves you unconditionally and wants nothing more than to make you happy? Look no further than a tail-wagging, eager-to-please dog. Their companionship, personalities and adorable faces have solidified the canine’s place in the hearts of millions.
Dog popularity is on the rise. According to pet ownership statistics shared by the Humane Society of the United States, 44 percent of American families own at least one dog, a percentage that has grown 7.5 percent since 2011. Finding a dog to adopt is easy, however, choosing the right dog can be a challenge if you have a specific breed in mind. With endless options and thousands of adoptable animals in shelters, it may take time to determine the perfect dog for your family.
Trendiest dog breeds in 2017
Certain breeds have always been fan favorites. CBS News says Labrador retrievers have topped the list of most popular dog breeds for 26 years. Known for being happy and kid-friendly, it’s easy to understand why labs continue to head the list.
Other dogs that continue to rank in the top 10 breeds include German shepherds, golden retrievers, bulldogs, beagles and poodles. French bulldogs have risen in popularity, recently joining the list. Their quirky personalities, small size and low-cost care have made “Frenchies” a top choice for city-dwellers.
Rottweilers are also very popular (ranking eighth in the number adopted). While they have a reputation for aggression, that may be more perception than reality. With training and socialization, “rotties” make wonderful pets and are often used as therapy dogs.
The rise of mixed breeds
Purebreds are not the only dogs popular in the United States as the number of mixed breeds continues to grow. The notion of combining the best characteristics from two different breeds has become very appealing to pet owners.
According to VetStreet, in the last decade Goldendoodles have risen from No. 159 to No. 31 on their list of 20 Hottest Dog Breeds and Mixes. The endearing “designer mix” melds the ebullient personality of a retriever with the low-shedding coat of a poodle.
The maltipoo, a mix between a Maltese and a miniature poodle, has also gained popularity, climbing 68 spots to No. 48 on the list over the same decade. This tiny breed is known as a wonderful companion dog, appealing to the elderly and families with small children. As an added bonus, the maltipoo will look like a puppy its entire life. For owners seeking for a quirky, playful pet, the puggle is the perfect choice. The pug and beagle mix has risen 88 spots on the list to No.69. Mixed breeds typically cost less than purebreds, and medical expenses are often less costly for mixed dogs, as the gene pool is less inbred.
Worth the cost?
If you own a dog for its lifetime, you may spend more than $40,000 in total. This estimate is based on a number of factors including purchase price, medical and dental expenses, grooming, food, training, medication and boarding. Prospective dog owners with smaller budgets should consider more than just the initial cost. It is advisable to ask a veterinarian about common medical conditions associated particular breeds and dog sizes, and to gather information about average life expectancy.
Owning a dog can be expensive, but it can also provide tremendous benefits. Dogs are known to help with the emotional health of family members and may provide a much-needed boost to physical health. The American Heart Association has found that owning a pooch could help lower your risk of heart disease. Further research has shown the very act of petting a dog lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
If you want to be healthier and happier, try dog ownership. There’s nothing quite like coming home from a hard day’s work to a bundle of unreserved joy and unconditional love!
Are you interested in a rare breed of dog but don’t have enough cash to buy your dream pet? LightStream may be able to help!