Puppies. Who doesn't love them? They're small, playful, energetic, hilarious and mischievous. A once quiet household can come alive with the addition of just one tiny little creature! They can teach kids about responsibility, compassion and can make good reading buddies too! For the adults, they encourage exercise, playfulness and make us talk in high pitched voices we didn't know we had. Puppies are awesome, but before you pick one up, make sure you consider the following:
1. Do I have time for a puppy?
Puppies can be a lot of work, like a LOT of work. Before bringing one into your home, think about how much time you can commit to this new little animal. House training, crate training (if you are going to), basic obedience, playtime, socialization, etc. Puppies can have a lot of energy and without adequate exercise, they may become destructive out of boredom. If you work full time, consider where the animal will be while you are out. Is daycare an option? Maybe you're lucky enough to be able to take it to work with you, or maybe you're working from home and can spend all your time with him! Leaving a puppy crated for long periods of time (even four hours) without supervision or playtime can be detrimental to development, socialization and the bond you want to build with your pet.
2. Can I afford a puppy?
If you get your puppy from a rescue, they usually have their first set of vaccines, are treated for parasites (worms, etc) and have been spayed or neutered by the time you pick them up. Rescuing is definitely the more econimical way to go! If you're buying from a breeder, you may be responsible for all of those initial medical costs. These are essential medical treatments and procedures that will ensure a long, happy life for your pup, but they don't come cheap! Along with the standard medical care and examinations, consider the cost of ownership. Buying puppy food, toys, accessories like harnesses, leashes etc. We all want our puppies to have the best of the best!
3. Do I have other pets that may not be too happy about it?
Picture this, you're an only child, living the good life. You get all the snacks that fall from the table, you get all of the kids' attention, and you get to take up as much of the bed as you want. Then comes a new puppy. Suddenly you have to share the snacks, the kids and the bed! The majority of dogs will take to a new roomate without an issue, but it can cause trouble for some. Consider your current dog's tolerance for other animals. Does he get upset with bouncy animals at the park? Does he just not like other dogs? If you have other animals (cats, bunnies, etc) ensuring the first interaction is done properly is crucial. First impressions only happen once!
Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting event but is also a big responsibility! Making sure your family is ready and able to give the puppy everything it needs will make the experience better for everyone. Be honest with yourself in deciding wether you have the time to spend with your new addition and remember, puppies are for life!
Founder and Owner,
Wiggles and Whiskers Pet Supplies