Should I Add A Puppy To My Family?
Dogs are amazing creatures, who wouldn’t want a puppy as a new pet?! Puppies are some of the cutest creatures on Earth! And while they look adorable, puppies are not always as easy as they seem. Puppies are a lot of work and require a lot of responsibility. The purchase of a puppy is not something that should not be done impulsively. It requires a lot of research, thought, and effort before actually purchasing the puppy.
While puppies bring so much joy, happiness, and years of memory, it is important that you, the potential puppy owner, know everything you need to know before purchasing the puppy. If you are seriously thinking about getting a puppy, consider these eight things before you actually get one! If you also need a more intensive guide to adopting, getting ready, and bringing home your new puppy, check out my new E-Book! This E-Book is all an intensive guide to everything you need from before your puppy arrives, to the first 30 days after you get the puppy. Make sure you check it out!
What kind of dog would you get?
The first thing you need to think about and research before actually getting a dog is what kind of dog you would get. There are a large number of different breeds out there that vary in size and stature. Before actually purchasing a dog, make sure you have thought about the behaviors and future sizes of the breed you are going to get.
You would not want to get a Great Dane and keep them in a one-bedroom apartment where you are gone for long hours of the day. And while Golden Retriever puppies are extremely adorable, one must take into consideration the size they eventually grow to in the coming year or two. Along with size comes energy levels. Some dogs are known to be more energetic, some are meant to cattle or hunt, while some are meant to be lap dogs. And while each dog is different, you want to take into consideration the basic traits that tend to come with that breed.
I would relate finding the right breed with something as small as choosing a restaurant for dinner. You want to take into consideration your personal preferences and what you are wanting out of your dining experience. If you do not take these into consideration you would wind up wanting a romantic dinner out and getting your food, you don’t really like at a fast food restaurant. See what I mean? Sometimes all it takes is a little consideration and research to make sure you end up with the perfect pet.
Puppy Versus Adult Dog
So you have thought of the perfect breed to get. You’ve done your research and know that *fill in breed here* is the perfect fit for you! The next thing to consider is whether you want a puppy or an adult dog. Now, a lot of people are going to brush right over this topic because, duh, they want a cute little puppy! Puppies are part of the whole reason to get a dog, right?! WRONG! There are a lot of things to take into consideration before deciding whether to get a puppy or an adult dog. Puppies require a lot more work and effort than a grown dog. They require potty training, obedience training, and you have to deal with all things puppy related.
There are a lot of pros in getting an adult dog rather than a puppy. As I stated before, adult dogs will usually be house trained and already have their teeth. That means you will not have to deal with a teething puppy having accidents all around the house. In addition, puppies tend to have more energy than an adult dog. That means, if you decide on adopting an adult dog, they will usually be more relaxed, tamed, and sometimes even have a certain amount of obedience training behind them. Adult dogs also usually are going to be more grateful for their adoption than a puppy. For whatever reason, the adult dog was either given up, had a tough start to their lives, or have never had the chance for a nice, warm home. That means they will remember the feeling of being in a cold cage alone versus in a comfy home with you, their owners.
However, this is not to discourage anyone from getting a puppy. Each kind comes with their own pros and cons of each. A puppy means you get more time with your new best friend, you get to watch them grow up and help shape their personalities. Best of all, you get to enjoy the adorable puppy phase that everyone loves so much. Neither decision is wrong, but if you are someone who wants a dog but does not want to take the time house-training a puppy, perhaps you should consider adopting an older dog rather than deciding on no dog at all.
Another big thing to consider before actually purchasing a dog is ensuring that you have the time to commit to a pet. First comes the long-term commitment of owning a dog. Small dogs usually live between 10-15 years and large dogs usually live 8-12.
That means if you are planning on adopting a dog, you need to be willing to accept this pet into your life for a minimum of that amount of time. It is not fair for the dog to not take this into account when purchasing it. You cannot simply be done with the dog after 3 years when it is no longer a puppy and have it’s ‘shiny, new present’ feeling.
Another aspect of time that will need to take into consideration is the time actually spent with the dog. Puppies require training, love, and attention. That requires time on your part. In addition, they have to be let outside in order to use the bathroom. If you are not home very often, that is something to take into consideration before getting a dog. Just like a child, dogs deserve to have quality time spent with them. If you know that you have a job that requires long hours from you, that is something you need to prepare for before bringing a child, or in this case a puppy, into your life.
Fortunately, people have gotten smart on this matter and know that just because you work a lot doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the love of a dog. If you are someone who works a lot but still loves animals, you have the opportunity to place your dog is ‘doggy day-care’. Yes, literally daycare for dogs. Whoever started that, was a GENIUS!
So you have figured out that you have the time for a dog, or can make it work. You’ve decided on the age and breed you want and think you are ready to purchase a dog. Not just yet! Perhaps one of the most important things to consider before actually getting a dog is the monetary aspect of getting a dog. If you get a dog you will need to pay for its food, food dishes, leashes, collars, toys, dog beds, treats and so much more.
In addition to being able to pay for the daily aspects of owning a dog, you need to ensure that you are able to pay for its vet bills and any additional costs that come along with dog ownership. Some dogs need obedience training and some require additional vet visits. If you are one of the people described above who is away from their home for long hours every day, you need to ensure that you can afford to pay for the doggy day-care expenses in order to give your dog the best life possible.
The last thing you want is to go through all the time and effort of getting a dog, spending money to purchase the dog, then not be able to afford a good life for it. One recommendation that I like to give is to create an expected budget of what you will spend on your new dog for a few months, set some aside for emergency money and determine if you can afford to own a dog. (The emergency money is very important, you don’t want to have your dog have a horrible illness that you cannot assist with because you cannot afford it).
Are You Responsible Enough?
Congratulations, you have passed everything above to consider getting a dog. Looks like you have the time and money to support your new puppy, but do you have the responsibility that comes with ownership? As I have stated before, dogs can be a lot of work. Puppies require training and attention. Even when get older, you still need to be willing to give them food, brush them, and take them out all hours of the day as needed. The next question to ask yourself is: Can I do that?
Perhaps you are getting the dog for your children. One question to ask yourself as well as the children before adopting is, are they willing to take on the responsibility of a puppy? Who will be the one that takes them out for walks? Who will be the one that gives them a bath? And finally, who will be in charge of feeding and grooming them? All of these questions are things you want to ask yourself before getting a dog. You don’t want to have a dog, then not have anyone take it to the bathroom you will have a mess for the dog as well as a mess for your house!
Dogs require responsibility.
One of the next things to consider before getting a dog is being able to puppy proof your home. Dogs do not understand that the new pillow you bought was extremely expensive. Puppies see a new pillow and go TOY! That means, before getting a dog, you need to devise a plan to puppy-proof your house.
Some people will block their new dogs from certain areas of the house when they first get the dog, some block dogs from certain areas when they are not home, and some even purchase the necessary puppy-proofing material to let their dogs roam freely.
Whichever you decide to do is acceptable, or if you know you are going to love your puppy more than your things then puppy proofing may not be a necessary step. But with that comes the responsibility of that decision. If you decide you do not want to puppy proof your home, you cannot get mad at the dog for eating your shoe or terrorizing the basement. They do not do it intentionally, it is simply free range to ALL THE TOYS!
Training is the name of the game
As I stated before, puppies require training. Heck, some adult dogs even require a certain level of training. If you are considering a dog, you need to be willing to train them. Whether it being house training or obedience training, or any other kind of training you decide…you need to be willing to train your dog. Dog’s thrive on structure and a certain level of structure helps the dog feel more secure in your home.
Most importantly, if you are not willing to train your dog, then your dog will never know to go outside to go to the bathroom. Your house will be a mess, and you will not be a happy dog owner. Your dog does not have to be able to jump through hoops, but you must be willing to do the bare necessities of training in order for both you and your pup to be happy.
The supplies needed
Congratulations! Looks like you have checked all the boxes of things to consider before getting a dog. You’ve done your research, thought about the time and monetary aspect. All that is left is making sure you have all the right supplies before getting the puppy. You want your first night to be all about bringing the puppy home, loving it and getting it acclimated to your house. The last thing you want to do is leave your beloved puppy in order to run to the store to get all the things you need for your first night!
Want to make sure you get everything you need for your new dog? Check out my FREE checklist for everything you need for your new puppy.
A dog can bring a lot of joy to the hearts and homes of people, but they are not something to adopt on a whim. Dogs deserve you to put a lot of thought, effort, and consideration into them before making the ultimate decision to add them to your home.
So if you are thinking of getting a dog, make sure you truly take each of those aspects into consideration before getting a puppy. If not for you, for your future puppies sake!