Puppies are so cute and so very easy to fall in love with that it can be easy to bring one home from the shelter or anywhere puppies are available, without really thinking it through properly. That is one of the main reasons why we have so many animal shelters filled with abandoned dogs - people just don’t take the time to think about what they are doing.
This time of year, shelters see an influx of puppies that were adopted or purchased as gifts, and now the reality of pet ownership has set in and many families realize that it's too much work and responsibility. If you want to be responsible and you want to ensure that you don’t end up taking on a pet you can’t handle, only to have to give him up further down the line, no matter how cute they are or how much your kids want one, you should consider the following VERY carefully before you bring a Puppy home.
Why Do You Want a Puppy?First and foremost, you should seriously ask yourself why you want a puppy. Is it because your kids are pestering you for one? Has your beloved old dog just died and you’re looking to replace him with a new bundle of fur? Do you want a pug puppy because they look so cute? None of these are particularly good reasons to jump in and buy a new puppy. It takes much more consideration than that since dogs can live for 15 years or more. You need to be absolutely sure that you want a puppy for the right reasons and that you’re willing to take on the role as their caregiver before you even think about buying or adopting one.
Do You Have the Time and Patience for a Puppy?Puppies are almost as much hard work as newborns. You have to keep a very close eye on them, potty train them, deal with separation anxiety issues, socialize them, teach them the right way to behave and so much more. All of this while you have an exuberant pup who demands attention and requires regular walking. Can you handle this, look after your family, and hold down a job? If not, then the time probably isn’t right for you to bring a puppy home.
Can You Afford a Puppy?Even if you adopt a puppy, you will have to feed him, provide him with food, pay for vet bills or pet insurance. That’s all before you think about spaying or neutering, tagging, training, toys, Advecta to prevent fleas, amongst the numerous other things you’re probably going to need to pay for to ensure that your puppy is safe, happy and healthy. If you’re currently on a tight budget and you really don’t have much disposable income, then it might not be the best time to add an additional mouth to feed into the mix right now. Consider it carefully.
Can You Cope with a Puppy?Puppies are undeniably cute, but they can also be little tyrants, peeing on everything, chewing your favorite furniture, digging up your garden and leaving muddy paw prints over your just cleaned carpets. If you’re the kind of person who can’t deal with this kind of destruction and you aren't capable of teaching a puppy to overcome these issues or you don’t have a whole lot of patience, a puppy probably isn’t for you.
Are Your Kids Good with Animals?
If you’re a parent, then you need to think very carefully before bringing a puppy into your home. Some kids are great with animals; they love them, and they instinctively know that they must be treated with respect, whereas others are not so good with them, feeling scared of them or being inclined to treat them like their own personal playthings. It is not good for the puppy or the child, and it could actually be dangerous, to bring them together when your kids aren’t yet equipped for life with a pet.
Is Your Home Suitable for a Puppy?Dogs, and especially puppies, need to be in a safe environment. If your house is always a mess with things all over the floor, he could easily choke or eat something that could be very dangerous for him,. Not only that, but puppies need space to play and exercise and if you don’t have the space, it may not be fair for any puppy you bring into the environment.
Can You Be a Responsible Dog Owner?Not everyone is cut out for dog ownership. Some people aren’t very good at laying down the law when their puppy is behaving badly; some people tend to be couch potatoes who won’t give their dogs the amount of exercise they need to be healthy; some won’t scoop the poop; others will not take the time to train their dogs. Be honest, will you do all that stuff and more? If not, then dog ownership is unlikely to be for you and bringing home a puppy probably isn’t the best idea for you, the dog or your neighbors.
Who Will Have Your Puppy When You Vacation?If you vacation regularly and that is a priority in your life, it’s important that you consider what will happen to your puppy when you go away. Would you be willing to book dog-friendly breaks only? Do you have a family member who would be happy to take care of the pooch while you’re gone? Can you afford boarding kennels or a dog sitter? Would you be happy leaving your dog with a third-party? You need to think about this BEFORE you bring a puppy home.
Will the Rest of Your Family Be Happy?Of course, unless you’re single, you do need to have a full and frank conversation with any members of your family who live with you or who will be affected by your decision to have a puppy in any way. Just because you love puppies doesn’t mean that everyone else in your life will, nor does it mean they’ll be willing to deal with doggy potty training or taking the pooch for walks when you’re too busy to do so. If there is any resistance to the idea whatsoever, unfortunately, getting a puppy is unlikely to work out well.
If you ask yourself all of these questions before you bring a puppy home, you can be much more confident that you’re making the right decision for you and any potential pet you might be interested in.
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