This is the first part of a multi-part Living Well series on dog ownership for homebuyers – including tips on selecting a pet, where to exercise it, and more.
One of the best parts of living in Greater Toronto is the pet-friendliness of areas like York Region – where plenty of green space provides room to roam free with your canine companion, while organizations like the Toronto Humane Society are around to make the decision of pet ownership both affordable and conscientious.
Homeowners considering getting a dog are faced with a lot of options – there are dozens of different breeds to choose from, and each one comes with their own personality traits – and different needs, when it comes to attention, exercise, and living space. With that in mind, we decided to share a few dog-buying tips for some of the most commonly found home types not only in LiVante communities, but across the GTA.
Condominiums and Townhouses
When you live in any kind of condominium, you should first check with your board to see whether owning a dog is permitted within your community. Some boards’ declaration, bylaws, or rules may also include a size limit for pets – so you’ll need to know this information before you start looking at different breeds.
If you’ve got the green light, it’s still smart to keep in mind that some breeds are far better suited to compact, wall-sharing homes than others. Cindy Hache, a Quebec-based groomer and shelter volunteer, gave Canadian Living her best suggestions for townhouse and condo dogs, a list that includes:
- Shih Tzus, whose bark is quieter than many other dogs’;
- Cocker Spaniels, who are usually quiet and gentle but require exercise.
Among Hache’s other suggestions were even bigger breeds such as the mastiff – but keep in mind, a very large dog may take up too much room in the compact layout of a town or condo.
Detached and Single-Family Homes
When it comes to detached homes, size is less of a worry – but you’ve still got to consider two other important factors before making your decision.
- Kid-Friendliness. Some dog breeds are jumpier and less patient than others – which may be fine for teenagers, but may not be the greatest match for younger children and toddlers (who could end up aggravating your pet by accident!). For families with young kids, PetMD recommends breeds such as the bulldog, Newfoundland dog, or Labrador retriever.
- Need for Exercise. Many dogs – including various types of hounds and retrievers – will become restless if their exercise routine doesn’t involve exploration and wide-open areas. If you’re in an urban area without easy access to outdoor trails or dog parks, you might want to look at a breed that is fine with shorter walks, such as a greyhound, bulldog or pug.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to see what – if any – dogs your new neighbours have. This will not only give you a idea of breeds that fit the area well, but will also allow you to research which breeds are less likely to clash with other dogs around the neighbourhood.