When you’re writing a first draft of a story or novel, it’s fine to write fast and just get the story or idea down. If you can’t think of a particular word., then substitute the more generalized form of it and move on.
When you revise; however, replace all those generalities with specifics — the more specific the better. Your goal is for your reader to see the story, to experience the story, and to be in the story. Specific terms will bring that about. Your reader will see “dog” easier than “animal” and will see “cocker” easier than “dog.’ So, as you do your revisions, choose the most specific word that will help your reader picture your story.
One more word on specifics. Don’t substitute a string of adjectives for doing the work needed to find that right word. Adjectives generally slow down writing. Oh, once in a while you need to tell the readers what color something is, but you rarely need more than one adjective to clarify what you are trying to say. So, put on your thinking cap and find that specific word you need.