Do you only have eyes for a new furry friend? Or are you still on the fence? Adopting a puppy is a lot of responsibility so here are five things you should know before making the decision.
1. Puppies Are Essentially Babies
Your heart may say yes, but will you feel the same way at 3 in the morning, stumbling to the door as you lead your whining puppy outside to go to the bathroom? Getting a puppy is essentially like adding another baby to your family.
In fact, in some ways, it’s much more complicated than it was raising your babies – puppies lope around the house peeing on everything, and no diaper ever fits them. In other ways, it’s much easier – they grow up a lot faster, and you can put them in a crate!
All that is to say puppies are time-consuming. You’ll need to dedicate a great deal of effort and attention to your puppy – time spent during the workday and in the night to let your puppy out of the crate. Of course, this time dedicated to your puppy is precious and rewarding – the two of you will form a lasting bond. However, if you currently find yourself overwhelmed with your life responsibilities, do yourself a favor and wait a bit before adopting a puppy.
2. All Puppies Are Unique
You might already have a specific dog breed in mind that you want to adopt. Or maybe you’re open to learning about different types of dogs as long as they fit well with your family. The global organization Fédération Cynologique Internationale, also known as the World Canine Organization, recognizes 354 dog breeds worldwide. This number doesn’t include any mixed breed dogs or designer cross-breeds like Goldendoodles. That’s a lot of dogs to choose from!
When considering what puppy is right for you, make a list of the right traits for your household. Do you need a smaller dog to fit into your tighter living space? Or are you looking for a dog with a gentle temperament? Perhaps you can’t stand the thought of having a dog add to your already messy house. It’s okay; some dogs don’t shed. Think about the features you need in a dog before making your decision to adopt. Your household is unique, but you can find a puppy that’s the right fit.
3. Get Your Puppy Proper Care
Before bringing your puppy home, you’ll want to make sure you have a veterinarian appointment set up for their first examination, so make sure you research potential vets before getting your pup.
It’s wise to have your puppy checked by your vet within the first couple of days to get a baseline of your puppy’s health. Bring all paperwork and vaccine records to the appointment, as the veterinarian will want to have all these details on file. While meeting with the provider, feel free to ask any questions you may have about your puppy. Specifically inquiring about what to look for if your pup is experiencing pain is helpful information for you to have for future reference.
Ensure you make the veterinarian appointment as positive an experience for your puppy as possible. Try bringing your pup’s favorite treat with you and give it to them after the veterinarian sees them. You want your puppy to associate visits to the practice with good memories, since they’ll be returning, especially within the first year of their lives.
4. It Can Take Time To Adopt Your Puppy
Now that you know you’re ready to adopt a puppy, you have the right breed in mind, and you’re established with a veterinarian practice, you’re ready to go! Now you need to adopt the perfect puppy.
However, sometimes the process of adopting your puppy can prove to be quite the challenge. So many people want puppies that certain breeders have waitlists up to a year long for certain litters. Here are few tips to help you with the wait:
- Adopt a mixed-breed puppy. You can find them at shelters or discover more information listed online in pet rescue groups.
- Go with a reputable breeder. The wait time with a breeder will likely be long, but know that it will be worth it. Do your research to ensure the breeder you find has the experience, all the necessary paperwork, and a good reputation. If you have to wait a year for your sweet puppy, make every second worth it!
- Avoid backyard breeders. Stay away from backyard breeders or those who breed puppies for a hobby. It’s likely they know less about what they’re doing, and as a result, the health of your puppy could suffer. Ask your breeder about their breed registration papers – if they can’t produce these papers, they’re likely a backyard breeder.
- Don’t support puppy mills. Puppy mills typically supply puppies to pet stores. Be cautious not to buy a puppy from a pet store, as they usually are not bred or kept in sanitary conditions, significantly affecting their health. However, adopting a puppy from a pet store that’s linked up to a Humane Society or SPCA is fine.
5. Puppies Require Lots of Supplies
Before you get your puppy home, you’ll need to buy a whole host of supplies to provide for your pup. Here are a few essentials:
- A collar and ID tag.
- A standard 4-6’ leash.
- Pet bowls for water and food.
- Puppy food.
- A dog bed or dog crate with room to grow.
- Dog toys, including a chew toy and ball.
- A comb or brush for grooming.
These supplies are a great place to start. In time, you’ll learn more about what your puppy likes and dislikes and know what to get them.
Your Puppy And You
Now that you know just what it takes to adopt a puppy, the choice is yours to make! Will you go out and find that perfect furry friend for your family?