What to look for when adopting a family dog

If you and your family are thinking about adopting a dog from your local animal shelter, you'll need to consider a number of different factors to help you make the best choice.

Other than physical traits, seen in this extreme closeup of dog, breed, age, and behavior are other things to look for when adopting a dog

Taking the whole family to the shelter to meet adoptable dogs gives you a chance to see if a pooch is compatible.

Everything from the size of your home and the ages of your children to the size and personality of the dog you adopt can impact which canine companion you welcome into your family.

Certain breeds are better suited to living situations where they have room to run and play, while others are perfectly content to live in small apartments. High-energy breeds, such as shepherds, greyhounds and pointers, will need more exercise than breeds like bulldogs, corgis and dachshunds, according to the Dog Breed Info Center.

Many dogs at shelters may be older or have health or behavioral issues that could create new challenges. These could include veterinary costs for checkups and medications, and a need for additional behavior training. This may not be ideal for busier families or those with small children, so be sure to ask about each dog's medical history and personality.

You should also take the whole family to the shelter to meet the adoptable dogs. Most adoption centers are more than happy to let visitors spend time with the dogs, as this not only helps socialize them but also gives you a chance to see if a pooch is compatible.

This content post is brought to you by the pet experts at Hartz.