Getting a puppy can be an exciting occasion for your family. You now have a new family member in your life that will be there to keep you company, protect you and simply put a smile on your face.
But you can’t just go out and buy/adopt any puppy. You have to be prepared. Before you get a dog, the following are six things that you must know and do beforehand.
1. Be sure you can afford it.
Dogs are expensive, so before you buy a dog, it’s important to make sure you can afford it. There are initial costs for buying a dog, including the dog itself, food, dishes, collars, ID tags, toys, crates and leashes. Plus, the dog will need food all the time, and they’ll also need to get vaccinated and visit the vet on multiple occasions. If not done already, they’ll also have to be spayed/neutered. All of this adds up to a pretty penny, so before you buy a dog, make sure you know the full cost of owning a dog and ensure you can afford it.
2. Know where you want to get the dog.
You have the option of buying from a pet store, buying from a breeder or adopting from an animal shelter. Before getting a puppy, it’s important to know where you want to get the dog. Do you want a specific breed? If so, a breeder may be your best option. If you don’t truly care about breed, then rescuing an animal from an animal shelter is the best option. You’ll be helping a dog in need and providing funds to the shelter to keep their operation afloat.
3. Purchase everything you need first.
Before getting a puppy, it’s important that you have everything your dog needs before bringing the dog home. The last thing you need is to show up with a dog without any food, water bowls, toys or even a crate for them to spend time in. Your local pet store should be able to provide you with a list of everything your new puppy will need, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you have questions.
4. Be sure you have time to spend with the dog.
If you have a busy lifestyle and are barely home, getting a dog is not a smart investment. Dogs need you in order to survive and they cannot be left home alone for long periods of time. You need to be home to feed the dog and to let him or her outside.
With a new puppy, you also have to understand there is plenty of training that will be needed. Your puppy will need to be housebroken and taught not to chew, and they may also need to attend obedience classes. It’s very important that you have the time to dedicate to housebreaking and training your dog. If you don’t, you’re going to end up with a dog that doesn’t know right from wrong, and that will cause problems down the road.
5. Have a plan.
Who will be responsible for caring for the dog? Are you going to feed the dog, or will that be someone else’s responsibility? Also, will you keep the dog at home while you’re at work, or will you send the dog to doggy daycare? Having a plan in place before you get a dog will keep everyone in your family on the same page so that the dog can have a happy transition into their new home.
6. Know what type of dog you want.
There are hundreds of different dog breeds out there, and it’s important for you to have a general idea. Do you have a specific breed in mind? Do you have a specific size in mind? Do you want a hypoallergenic dog? Do you want a puppy or an older dog that’s already been housebroken? It’s important to think about what type of dog will work best with your family and your needs and lifestyle before making a purchase. Your dog will spend the rest of his or her life with you, so make sure you choose wisely.