Are You Ready For A Puppy?
Taking on the responsibility of a new puppy is a huge thing. Are you ready for all of the good and the bad that comes with owning a puppy? Once you pull the trigger, that dog is your responsibility. So, ask yourself a few questions before you commit and find out if you are ready for a puppy.
1) Do You Have The Time For A Puppy?
A dog, especially a puppy, will require a good deal of your time. If you travel often or work long hours, this can be a difficult thing. The last thing that you want to do is buy a puppy and then keep it in a crate all day. This would be cruel and would ultimately leave you with a maladjusted canine.
Make sure that you will be able to give your dog sufficient time. When they are young they need it in order to adjust and to learn the ins and outs of the house, especially potty training.
If you are buying a puppy for a child, go into it with your blinders off. Realize that they may be enthusiastic at first but that the care of the dog is likely going to be up to you in the long run.
Also, take your available time into consideration when choosing a breed. Some dogs, such as Great Danes, need more time than others. Some breeds just consider themselves part of the family and will be heart broken and even destructive if not given enough attention.
2) Can You Afford A New Puppy?
The expense of dog ownership only begins with the purchase price. It will get more expensive from there.
First, you have the obvious expense of food. Depending on the dog, this could be a sizable expense and one that you should not skimp on. Cheap food is cheap for a reason, it lacks nutrition. This can lead to health issues down the road.
Next, you will have veterinary costs. Just like you, your dog needs regular check ups to monitor their health. They will also need immunizations, nail trimmings, vaccines, etc, etc. Over the course of their life, you will spend thousands of dollars on vet costs.
Finally, although there will be other expenses, you have boarding costs. Plan to go on vacation? You will probably need to board your pet or have a dog walker visit your home a few times a day. This can add hundreds of dollars to every vacation or trip that you take.
3) Do You Have The Right Home?
Not every home is right for a dog. Even the smallest dog will need a little space to run around. If you are in a small apartment, consider whether you will have enough room. If you are in a house, do you have a yard or will you have to walk the dog 3 or 4 times a day.
If you decide that your home is suitable, check that it is allowed. Obviously, if you rent, you need to check to see if it is okay to have a pet and find out what fees are involved. If nothing else, a deposit will usually be needed. Own your home, you may not be in the clear. Many HOA’s place restrictions on the type and quantity of pets you can have.
4) Are You A Patient Person?
You are probably aware that puppies do not come fully trained. Even the smartest of breeds can take weeks to properly train and might have little accidents months later. If you are ready for a puppy, you have to be patient to deal with the inevitable mess that will come with your puppy.
Training a dog, especially potty training can be very frustrating. It will take time for them to understand and your reaction to their little accidents can really slow down the process. You need to be calm but persistent. If they have an accident, you need to calmly show them the correct place to go and then reward them when they do the right thing.
If you are the type of person that rushes to anger, potty training a new puppy might not be for you. If you can check off all the other boxes, maybe a fully trained rescue would be more your style.
5) Are You Getting It For The Right Reason?
Believe it or not, some people get a puppy and have no intention on loving them. They often just want to use them for security or as a status symbol. If that is you, do us all a favor and pass on the dog.
A puppy should become a part of your family. If you do not intend to love your animal, find something else to occupy your time, your dog will only end up in a shelter.