So, you’re thinking about getting a puppy. With those irresistible puppy dog eyes, playful personalities, and unconditional love to offer, we can’t blame you for wanting to bring home a fluffy bundle of joy!
That said, adopting a dog is a serious decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Whether this is your first dog or you’ve adopted several pets in the past, there are a few important things to consider before bringing home a new dog.
Read on for 5 important things to consider before adopting a puppy to make sure you’re fully prepared to give your new dog the love and care that he deserves.
Caring for a dog is a daily, long-term commitment. When you bring adopt a puppy, you’re essentially adding a member to your family. Before you make the decision to get a dog, you’ll want to be absolutely sure that you have the time, energy, and budget to care for your new furry friend.
Your dog will need food, exercise, and bathroom breaks every day—it’s not negotiable. (Not to mention quality time with his new favorite person: you!)
Training isn’t optional, either; you’ll need to potty train your puppy, along with teaching him basic commands.
In addition to having the time to care for your new pet, you also need to make sure that you can reasonably afford all of the expenses involved: food, treats, bedding, grooming supplies, toys, leash and harness, collar with ID tag, vet visits, and more.
Think about what your typical weekend looks like, too. Are you active and outdoorsy with expectations of bringing your dog along on your adventures? Or do you prefer a more sedentary, relaxing lifestyle? Either way, choose a breed that matches your activity levels—don’t expect a Pug or French Bulldog to keep up on your hikes, or a Great Dane or Labrador Retriever to be content sitting at home all the time.
Before bringing your pup home, you need to make sure that your home is a suitable environment for a new dog.
If you’re a renter, double-check your lease agreement’s pet policy. The last thing you want is to choose between keeping your new doggo or a forced, last-minute move!
Does your home offer enough space for your puppy to play and grow? Do you have a designated spot for a crate, dog bed, and food and water bowls? Do you have a yard, or will you need to take your dog outside every time he needs to go?
You’ll also need to pup-proof each room of your house, keeping any potential hazards out of reach from your new puppy.
Humans in Your Household
If you live with other people, you’ll need to be sure that all members of your household are on board with the idea of having a furry, four-legged roommate.
If you have children, do some extra research to find out whether your potential dog has any history with children. Consider your children's ages, and personalities, too—some may be too young to handle a small puppy, or perhaps even too loud and energetic for an anxious dog.
It’s also a good idea to check that no one in your household is allergic to dogs. (If this is the case, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic dog breed instead.)
When it comes to caring for your dog, you need to clearly establish the breakdown of responsibilities. Who is the dog’s primary caretaker? What is expected of others in regards to your dog’s well-being? Make sure everyone is on the same page before you introduce a new dog to the household.
Pets in Your Household
In addition to making sure all the humans in your household are on board, it’s important to consider any other pets in your home.
If you have other pets, do they have any history of getting along with other animals? How do they typically respond to other animals in their space? Do they have a safe space to escape to if the new pup is too rambunctious and overwhelming?
Be prepared for the possibility that your new dog and your current pets may or may not get along right away, and have an idea of what you’re going to do if that’s the case.
Your Potential Puppy
You may want to pick out the first puppy that steals your heart, but your decision should be a bit less spontaneous than that.
Be intentional about where you’re getting your puppy from—is it a reputable shelter, or a puppy mill? What kind of support does the pet shop or adoption agency offer to you as a new pet owner?
Obtain as much information as possible about your potential pup’s history, including any homes he’s lived in. Having an understanding of his health history, along with grooming requirements and what to expect for his breed as he gets older, is also a good idea.
Some breeds may be prone to certain personalities, but remember that every dog is different. When you adopt a puppy, you’re not getting the full picture. The only way to know who he’s going to be when he grows up is to wait and find out!
Puppies may be a “blank slate” in terms of training and bad habits, but they also come with a lot of unknowns. If you’re not so sure about the thought of bringing home a puppy, consider these 5 reasons to adopt a senior dog.
Once you bring home your new puppy, keep him healthy with regular vet visits, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise. With PetHonesty’s daily 10-for-1 Multivitamin, your dog will get a well-rounded blend of vitamins and supplements to support his overall health.