Bringing home a new puppy is the absolute best. But it’s also a huge commitment and something to really prepare for. Whether you’re bringing home a puppy from a breeder or an older dog from a shelter, there are several important things to consider.
- Do you live in an apartment? Is it puppy-friendly?
- Do you have any other pets to consider?
- Which breeds are you considering and have you done adequate research on them?
- How often will you be home to take care of your new family member?
- How much exercise can you provide your pup?
- Do you have the finances?
Remember these things to consider before getting a dog if you’re thinking of adopting. Dog ownership is a big responsibility that also comes with great joy.
Consider These Factors: Care Schedule, Financial Ability, Training, Children, Or Other Animals
Your Puppy’s Care Schedule
What’s your schedule like? Do you work long hours outside of your home? If you aren’t able to take your dog out for regular walks, it might be wise to consider an older dog or a breed that requires less exercise.
Puppies are full of energy, and your new puppy will need constant attention. Also, remember that your new dog will be an incredibly social animal. Dogs are pack animals. If you’re not home, they’ll get lonely, and they may start to act out. Dogs prefer your company.1
If you know you’ll be out and about without your dog, consider adopting a bonded pair. That way, your dogs will have company while you’re gone. Enlist the help of a neighbor or consider hiring a dog walker for your pups if you’ll be gone during the day.
Your Financial Ability To Provide For Your New Pooch
Adopting a puppy is a huge commitment. Depending on dog breeds, your new dog could live to be between 8 and 18 years of age (or longer).2 If you can’t see yourself being responsible for your pet for that amount of time, you might want to think about fostering or volunteering at a shelter. This way, you’ll get to max out on puppy love and companionship, but you won’t have to commit to pet ownership.
If you’re in it to win it with your new pet, you’ll need to be able to buy your dog the right kind of dog food and keep supplies handy. Expect to spend money on the following supplies and services:
- A leash and collar
- Dog food
- Veterinary care
- Grooming supplies
Pet owners will need to replace many of these supplies pretty regularly. So, make a list and be sure this is all within your budget.
Will You Be Training Your Dog?
Training and exercise are essential to maintain your dog’s health. You’ll want to give your dog the best life possible. Walking and training your dog engages their body and mind. Research local trainers and classes to make sure your puppy can reach their full potential.
Also, if you can’t afford to take your dog to training classes, research the best books or watch various training techniques online.
Are There Children And Other Animals In Your Home?
When you bring home your new pet, it’s good to recognize that there will be a period of adjustment. And if you already have other pets this adjustment period may take longer than anticipated.
Each dog is different. And if your pup is a shelter dog or a rescue, they may have trouble acclimating to living with new animal brothers and sisters. Furthermore, kids are spontaneous – and their energy might be a lot for your new pet.
Teach your kids or grandkids to be gentle with the dog. Make sure everyone in your home follows the same training rules you use to teach your puppy how to be a part of your family.3 Patience and positive reinforcement are the keys when it comes to making your new pet feel at home.
If you want to bring home a new pet, see if you can arrange a home visit for the dog before you adopt. That way, you can get a sense of how the dog will fit into your home and life.
Know Where You Will Go For Veterinarian Services (Including Regular Checkups)
It’s incredibly important to make sure you’re taking good care of your dog’s health. Veterinary care can be expensive – even just the regular stuff. Like you, your dog may get sick or injured at some point. Hip dysplasia is common in certain dogs, and that’s just one of many pet health issues your dog may face at some point.4 So, make sure you trust your vet and have some funds set aside for your dog’s healthcare.
Spaying or neutering your dog is often guaranteed when you adopt a dog from a shelter. You’ll want to get them vaccinated, too. And make sure your dog is microchipped. Every year, you’ll need to update your dog’s vaccinations. Plus, heartworm medicine can go a long way to keeping your pooch in good health.
Welcome Your New Pet Home
It doesn’t matter if you’re bringing home a border collie, a Great Dane, or a Chihuahua — your new dog is going to change your life in the best ways. Set yourself and your dog up for success by thinking hard about what type of dog will best fit into your life.
Remember: lots of love, attention, and affection will go far in allowing your pet to feel comfortable and safe in your home.