Considering having a pet is often a long commitment because they’ll be dependent on you throughout their life. Some pets are easier to look after, like fish, whereas others will take up much more of your time, like a dog. Deciding to purchase one is not something that should be taken lightly because of this, plus the expense you will inevitably incur as it grows from a puppy to a dog. With this in mind, here are 8 important factors you’ll need to consider when deciding if investing in a new puppy is the right choice for you.
1. Type of Puppy
All puppies look cute; they’re small and furry, but they won’t stay this way for long. Therefore, one of the first things you should consider is what type of breed best suits you and your home. If you live in a small home, adorable French Bulldog puppies are ideal, even when full-grown. Alternatively, if you have a large home then any size will be OK to have as it’s not as much of an issue because it will have enough space of its own.
Other aspects you’ll need to consider include your location and lifestyle. If you’re active and like to go for a long run or walk, then a dog that’s also active, perhaps like a border collie would be an ideal companion for you as they enjoy long walks. If you’re not into that much activity, then a dachshund may better suit your needs.
2. Where Do I Get a Puppy?
After you know what breed you want, the next step would be to find a reputable breeder or animal shelter to give you a choice between buying and adopting. Animal shelters may have a puppy in the breed of your choice just waiting to find their forever home.
It’s also worth being slightly flexible with the breed because you may find a mixed breed that could suit your needs just as well. However, there are some disadvantages of opting for a mixed breed puppy, like not knowing its true temperament, when it’ll be fully grown or what it’s health will be like in years to come.
If you decide to go for a pure-bred, then it’s down to you to ensure that the breeder is reputable and doing things in a regulated and legal way. You also want to ensure that the puppies they rear are done humanely and aren’t neglected. You also need to know the puppy’s history, which you won’t usually get from one that’s been purchased from a puppy mill or market.
3. Puppy Proofing
Your home will need to be puppy proofed to prevent your young charge from ruining furniture by teething or soiling, and from coming into harm from dangerous items. One way to do this is to get down to your puppies level and see what items it can reach that will cause it harm, or they could destroy and remove it. Lock away harmful chemicals, medications or foods that could make your puppy ill and have plants out of its reach.
4. Puppy Supplies
You’re not going to be able to stay with your puppy all the time and, when you can’t, putting it into a crate or cage, at least until it’s trained, is one way to keep both it and your home safe from each other.
Other supplies include necessities, like a hairbrush, leash, blanket and food. You’ll definitely need food and water bowls. It’s a good idea to get metal or ceramic bowls, rather than plastic ones, because your puppy could chew them. You’ll also want to have a few toys to keep it occupied. Some toys to consider would be a chew toy for when it’s teething and a squeaky toy because it may like the noise. You may even want to get it a plush toy, just for snuggling against, which some dogs actually enjoy doing!
5. Finding a Vet
A few days after bringing your puppy home is the right time to schedule an appointment for your puppy to meet its vet. During this appointment, your puppy will be examined to see whether there’s anything of concern or requires treatment that your vet deems necessary to treat. Your vet will also notify you of when vaccines are required and when another appointment should be scheduled.
It’s a good idea to do some research to find a vet that has good reviews and is local to you before you bring your puppy to its new home. This is because you can make contact with them and ask them any questions you need to know before making the decision to have them be your puppies regular vet.
6. Dog Training
Do you know how to train a puppy, or will you need to get help? Without training, your dog will run riot in your home, chewing furniture and soiling wherever it wants. Therefore, you want to get training done, either at a training school or your home as soon as possible.
The first 6 months will be a learning curve for the both of you, but it’s important you persevere and stick to the routine because it will benefit everyone. Having a dog that’s socialized means it’s less likely to get agitated or over-excited around other dogs or people. The sooner your dog is trained the easier it will become to look after it.
You need to be prepared for the fact that costs for having a dog as a pet can soon mount up. As it grows, so do its needs. You’ll need to pay for grooming and vet appointments, vaccinations and medical treatments, which is why insurance is always a good thing to have. It would be inhumane to expect a dog to suffer in pain simply because you can’t afford to treat it.
You also have to consider items that it either outgrows or is no longer fit for purpose due to general wear and tear, like its travel crate, leash, blanket or bed. Another thing you’ll need to consider is when you go on holiday: will it be to a dog-friendly place or will someone be able to look after it, like a kennel or dog-sitter?
You need to be prepared to give up a lot of your time towards your new family member. Your puppy will become just that – it’ll need affection, attention and love. As a puppy, its needs will have to come before your own because it will depend on you for its survival and wellbeing. As it grows, your dog may not be as demanding, but its needs will often be the same. You can’t just spontaneously leave it for days on end, but will need to make sure it’s looked after by someone you trust. However, the hard work you put into loving your pet will bring you a mutual companionship you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Deciding to have a puppy enter your home as a pet and family member is a lifelong commitment that everyone should seriously consider rather than impulsive entering into. Unfortunately, many people don’t do this, which is why there are so many puppies abandoned or dumped at animal shelters. By considering the factors mentioned in this article, you may make an informed choice about the breed and how you can accommodate it, finding the perfect one to give a forever home to.