Puppies are a HUGE commitment, especially if you've never owned a dog before. If you're thinking about getting a puppy, read this and make sure you're prepared!
Planning on becoming the proud owner of a brand new puppy?
Do so and you’ll join the 60.2 million American households who already enjoy the company of man’s best friend.
Getting a puppy for the first time is an absolute privilege. After all, new puppies are cute little bundles of joy that lighten the mood of even the grouchiest of people!
But they’re also a handful. They require constant care, love, and attention.
It would be foolish to buy a new puppy without knowing what you’re getting into. Indeed, it’s all too easy to bite off more than you can chew. And that’s no good for anyone- you or the puppy!
We wanted to help. Which is why we’ve put together this list of things to know before buying your brand new pup. Interested?
Keep on reading!
6 Things to Consider Before Getting a Puppy for the First Time
The puppy you want is the cutest darn tooting dog you’ve ever seen. But don’t rush into buying it! Heck, having a puppy is one serious responsibility. Here’s what to know about it.
1. It’s a Serious Commitment
Getting a puppy might seem like a no-brainer.
After all, they’re adorable, tiny, bundles of fluffy fur that make you squirm with joy at their cuteness. It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows though.
Becoming a new dog owner is a bit like having a baby. They require constant love and care. And you’re in it for the long haul! You’ll need to walk them 2-3 times a day (or more, depending on the breed), train them to obey commands, house train them, and play with them. It all takes time.
You can’t leave your puppy alone for lengthy periods of time either (dogs have emotions too!). Work commitments and trips away all require planning and preparation!
2. It Isn’t Cheap
Dog ownership isn’t cheap.
Obviously, there’s the initial expense of buying the new pup. That in itself can set you back a few thousand, depending on the breed and pedigree. But that’s just the beginning.
You’ve got insurance costs, vet bills, kennel costs, dog food, dog bed, bowl and all the other dog items you need to provide! The costs quickly stack up. Those are all preliminary expenses too. Then there are unexpected expenses to consider, such as emergency vet procedures!
You need to be able to afford it all.
3. Not All Puppies Are the Same
You’ve found a puppy and it melts your heart.
You’re absolutely sure it’s right for you. But is it really?
After all, every puppy is different. Each has its own personality and physical attributes for you to consider. The right puppy for you is one that matches your current circumstances and desire.
For instance, what size dog do you want? Your pup might be tiny now. But it won’t stay like that! There’s obviously a major difference between a Chihuahua and Great Dane. Can your living space accommodate the fully-grown version of the dog you want?
Likewise, what are the typical characteristics of your breed of interest? Are they immensely energetic and avid eaters? This will all impact the amount of exercise and food they need.
Oh, and what about their fur? Dogs have a habit of shedding the coats in your home. Happy to keep clearing the hair up? If not, then a low-shedding dog may be preferable. But these need to be taken to a dog-groomer more frequently. And that costs money!
4. Your Home Will Suffer
Houses tend to show the tell-tale signs of new puppies.
There will be chewed sideboards, broken cushions, hairy sofas, scratched floorboards, and stains in all the wrong places. Nothing is safe! Are you prepared for that to happen?
It’s worth dog-proofing your house from the outset. Hide your valuables and electric cables. Put food and anything in any way edible out of their reach (especially if they’re harmful in some way). Lock your trashcan or keep it stowed away. Essentially, keep anything you don’t want ruining or raided out of your new puppy’s reach!
And get training as soon as possible. Get yourself up to speed with training techniques! Similarly, dog gates are a useful way of keeping your hound out of restricted areas.
5. You Need a Vet
We already mentioned in passing the need of a vet for your puppy.
For one thing, your new puppy requires initial injections to keep it healthy. You need a vet for that. They can also insert an identifying chip in your dog. Having a chip means you’re more likely to have your dog returned to you if they ever get lost.
However, it just pays to get to know a good quality vet in your area. Your dog gets comfortable with them from an early age; the vet knows the animal and its medical history and needs.
Click the link to learn more about finding the right vet for you.
6. Basic Training Skills Are Important
Think about a new parent.
It would be rare to find a new mom or dad who hasn’t read up on parenting prior to having their baby!
Take the same approach with your new puppy. It will be incredibly beneficial to have a basic understanding of dog training prior to their arrival at your home! Without this, you’ll have a misbehaving dog running riot and no idea how to handle them properly.
You don’t need to be an expert. And you’ll almost certainly learn on the job. But a general understanding will go a long way!
Here’s a guide to get you started!
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: 6 top tips to keep in mind before getting a puppy.
Puppies are heart-meltingly cute, and quickly become the newest member of the family. But you should know what you’re doing before buying one. Dog-ownership might sound easy, but the reality can be very different!
Hopefully, the tips above have given you a better understanding of what to expect. Take the tips into account, and you’ll be on your way to responsible dog ownership in no time at all.