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What to know before getting a puppy

So, you’ve seen the cutest puppy with charming eyes and a bubbly personality…You have to have them, that puppy is going home with you, it’s a done deal! Sound familiar?

We get excited and let our soft natures cloud our judgement. We buy on impulse and deal with the ‘what if’s’ later. But ask yourself this; Are you actually ready for a puppy? This is THE most important questions to ask yourself before committing to such a huge responsibility. You wouldn’t adopt a child without giving it some serious thought and puppies are no different. You need to prepare for them in the same way you would a baby!  

In this blog, we will discuss seven questions to think about before getting a new puppy.

Let’s, dive in…

Seven things to consider… 

  1. Are you REALLY ready for a puppy?

Buying a puppy and taking care of a puppy are two completely different stories. On average, canines have a life span of about 10 -15 years, meaning you’ll have them around for a very long time. To raise a well-rounded dog, a lot of work needs to go into the puppy stage. You need to be accountable and committed. They will need your undivided care and attention, around the clock. You will have to consider the small yet important things; Is their bed clean and comfortable, have you chosen food that’s fresh and nutritious to enhance their growth? Will you be readily available to feed them three to four meals a day, can you afford to feed them this amount of food for several months? Have you thought about the fact that they can’t be left alone for long periods of time? 

Getting a puppy is not an easy task. You need to plan in-depth and invest a lot of your time and money into your potential new addition.

  1. Can you afford a puppy? 

According to research, the cost of taking care of a dog is estimated to be about £1,400 to £4,300 annually. It is extremely important to consider your financial situation. Getting a puppy is by no means cheap and you cannot take shortcuts. You need to have a set budget at hand, for good quality products, before bringing your puppy home.

As discussed above, food will be the biggest continuous expense, however, there is much more that you will need to purchase for your pup. Training equipment, toys, a bed, a lead & collar/harness. If you will be leaving them alone, you will need a crate or baby gate and maybe even a camera!  Additionally, you will need to take them for regular grooming and visits to the vet. All of this is expensive; hence the requirement for a stable income to take care of their needs.

Do not assume that costs will be reduced because they are young, it is highly likely that it will cost you more than the upkeep of an adult dog.

  1. Do you have time for a puppy?

Are you ready to come home at the end of the day and take care of a puppy? Time is essential when it comes to showing them affection and care. Your lifestyle will have to change from the day they come into the family. You will need to spare many hours to keep them company, play with them and (most importantly) train them. Training alone requires several hours in a week set aside. This will keep them fit and healthy, ready to lead a long and happy life. They must also have time to socialise with, not only members of your family but different breeds of dogs. You will need to regularly take them to the park and on various walks to get your puppy used to different environments. This will expose your puppy to various sounds, people and other pets – in turn, making your puppy a friendly and loving dog.

If you will be on the road constantly and have no one to take care of them whilst you are gone, it is recommended that you do not bring a puppy home. 

  1. Is your home spacious enough?

Before buying a puppy, the space in which they will play, run around, go toilet and sleep, needs to be taken into consideration too.

Puppies come in various breeds, temperaments and sizes. Some are hyperactive and small, while others are clumsy and large. A good example of comparison is, a Chiwawa and a German Shepherd. A Chiwawa will generally be comfortable in a small apartment and can thrive in such a space. A German Shepherd, however, needs a much more spacious living area to roam. If you were to house a German Shepherd in a small apartment, this will affect it’s mood – causing your puppy to be unhappy most of the time. For a puppy to grow to their full potential and remain active, they require a home that is spacious and having a garden is a huge bonus!

  1. Can you commit to the puppy’s specific exercise needs?

This is something that you have to look at in great detail, before getting a puppy. Puppies need less working out hours than fully grown dogs. Overdoing it can cause damage to a pup’s muscles and joints. In extreme cases, it can lead to early arthritis, which is something you do not want! 

According to research, a puppy requires 5 minutes of exercise twice a day. When they reach three months, it is advised to train them for 15 minutes, twice a day. Once fully grown, this will increase to 20 minutes. 

  1. Are you capable of giving a puppy company? 

It is human nature to enjoy socialising and interacting with different people, whether at work, in shops or parks. In the same way, you enjoy other people’s company, a puppy also looks forward to having company. Leaving your puppy alone in the house for hours on end, will make them anxious and on edge. Hence, you’ll find them tearing pillows and turning the house upside down!

You have to spare time and fit your new addition into your schedule. They need to feel your affection and attention when in the house. If you are a family, then this will be easy as they can play with the kids and the responsibility can be shared. However, if you are single and cannot commit to setting aside a lot of spare time, getting a puppy may be the wrong idea.

  1. What kind of puppy is right for you?

There are vast amounts of dog breeds for you to choose from. Some dogs are bred for hunting, some are bred for guarding and some are bred to simply just be petted. You have to choose a breed that fits your personal wants and needs.

For example, if you want a guard dog, a Dobermann would be a great choice. They will ensure you and your family are safe at all times. In comparison to a Bichon Frise, who does not have that internal natural instinct.

The only way to feel confident that you have purchased the right puppy for your needs is to take adequate time to research specific breeds in depth.                                  

Verdict

Yes, puppies are adorable and you can’t wait to bring yours home! Nonetheless, you must ensure that both of you are comfortable. You do not want your puppy to suffer mentally or physically. This means taking care of all the factors mentioned above. Do not rush, as this often leads to making a string of poor decisions.

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