Pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like their owners, and their environment has a huge impact on their life, just like their owners. The most critical variations from place to place, in terms of a dog's experience, are activity, socialization and dangers. Environment - A rural life can be a solitary one, so sharing your home with a pet brings many rewards. pets are all about companionship, and they bring that in spades, but in return, sharing abundant freedom with them is something not all owners are able to provide. Living in a rural area provides an active and alert pet with endless adventures and minimal annoyances (crowds, congestion, noise) found in more urban areas. Exercise - Odds are, out in the country, just walking to pick up the mail from the mailbox is a daily hike. A healthy dog would welcome this routine. Exploring the area with your supervision can yield hours of exercise and fun for most dogs, but matching the activity to the dog's stamina is in everyone's best interest (lest you find yourself carrying home your 60+ pound pet). No matter how remote or isolated your property might be, if you are interested in letting your pet roam freely, finding a safe way for your dog to explore it independently is critical. Walls or fences are fine if your dog is not a jumper or digger. While you are away, tethering a dog could prove dangerous to the pet if a predator trespasses, and as always, weather conditions are a factor for how long your dog can and should remain outdoors. In South Carolina, a Senate panel recently approved legislation that, if passed, would restrict dog owners from tying or chaining their pets up longer than 12 hours during a day. Establishing strong recall training is an excellent tool, as well as keeping a collar with ID tags on at all times. Socialization - Like with pets in suburban households, a pet in a rural setting likely has a very well-defined sense of property, home and family, both immediate and extended, through the regular interaction with friends and visitors. This might limit the pet's comfort with strangers or other pets. However, due to the abundant space provided by a life in a rural area, living with a pack of three or four dogs can be an option for an experienced owner. Dangers - An ID chip implanted in your pet, and a collar with tags are two good resources for identifying a pet, but prevention is, as always, the best solution. With small animals their interesting smells and noises can lure a curious dog presenting opportunities for him to wander off. Keep an eye on your dog when outdoors, and always practice and reinforce recall training. If the property has a lot of trees or bushes, take extra care when navigating your driveway, and supervise your dog when you are expecting guests, so that a car does not accidentally harm your pet. Living out in nature means living with nature, and along with the fresh air and peaceful quiet are insects like ticks that do carry potential diseases. Speak with an experienced veterinarian in the area about ways to protect your dog. Try to limit your dog to supervised adventures to limit any potential engagement with wild animals, from squirrels to snakes to wild cats. Breeds - Some breeds do better than others with an active lifestyle in diverse or challenging terrain and those are the ones rural homeowners should look for. While a hound might seem like one obvious choice, these animals are incredibly focused to pursue a smell, trail or prey, so proper training and even proper restraint (in the form of a tightly held leash) may be required once they've locked on to a target, for the dog's own safety. There is also no need to restrict yourself to a large breed, as dogs of all sizes may benefit from the space, and peace and quiet. However, just as every household is unique, so too is every dog, so research for a good match is imperative. Jennifer Hoyden is a freelance writer with a diverse background that includes editorial, trade and advertising. She especially enjoys covering fashion and beauty, for humans and animals (separately). Jennifer is also a passionate dog lover who can play well with cat people. Like this article? Get more tips in the Tips & Treats section.