Puppies are adorable balls of roly-poly love – I think we can all agree on that point. But they are also A LOT of work. If you’re thinking about finding a puppy to add to your household, here are a few things to consider before you take that leap!
Finding a Puppy: Are You Ready to Commit?
First things first: take a really honest look at your life and lifestyle before even thinking about finding a puppy. As cute as they are, puppies require attention 24/7, especially during the first six months or so.
If you’re an extremely busy person with little flexibility in your schedule, having a pup in your life will be stressful, for both of you.
Remember – your new addition is just a baby and will require as much care as a human baby would.
Sorry Folks, Puppies Don’t Come with an On/Off Switch!
Puppies are active, curious, often destructive little creatures, and as such shouldn’t be left alone for long stretches of time, even when crated. They need lots of playtime and exercise, regular potty breaks and require feeding more often than adult dogs do.
Speaking of potty breaks, expect to be up with them a few times a night until their systems mature, and don’t be surprised if your new puppy wants to have playtime at 2 am! Puppies definitely think if they’re awake then everyone should be awake.
Another reason to keep a constant eye on your new addition? Puppies chew. Soon their little sharp baby teeth will be replaced by their permanent set of chompers – but while they’re teething expect them to gnaw on everything from furniture to books to electrical cords to shoes to…you get the picture.
Don’t Forget to Factor in the Cost
Importantly, before finding a puppy consider the costs. Proper care of your pup requires routine veterinary visits: regular vaccinations, spaying or neutering (if applicable) and of course you should factor in the high costs of an unexpected medical emergency.
You’ll also need to stock up on all the essentials before you bring home your new pupper.
Having a crate (or some kind of enclosure) is key both for your sanity and your pup’s safety. And you might need to replace it depending on how big your dog gets.
Puppies will grow out of their collars and leashes, and, as some breeds are natural pullers, might require special leads or harnesses when out for a walk. You’ll need age appropriate toys for them, as well as beds and blankets to keep them comfy.
Food, food and more food! Pups eat a lot, and if your pup has any food allergies or stomach sensitivities you might need to buy special (read: pricey) food for them.
And you’ll need lots of special treats, especially when training. Investing in a quality puppy training program will pay off in the long run, and you’ll find it extremely helpful, especially if you’re new to dog ownership.
Maybe Finding a Puppy is a Bad Idea!
No. Not at all. Pups are the most loyal, loving creatures and make amazing additions to our lives. But it behooves anyone considering take the leap into puppy ownership to really consider everything that entails.
Dogs deserve the best chance at healthy and happy lives and deciding to bring a special pup into your life is a huge responsibility. And it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.