Thinking of getting a puppy? It’s a big responsibility that shouldn’t be considered lightly. With a dog, they often live for at least a decade and that is a long time. They’ll likely see you through some pivotal milestones in your life and they become a part of your family, just like any other family member.
With that being said, despite the emotional ties they bring, they can be a great benefit to your life in more ways than one. From providing a lot of love and comfort to keeping you active, there are plenty of advantages to having a puppy and watching it grow into an adult dog.
If you’ve never had a dog before, then here’s everything you need to know about buying a puppy so that you’re fully prepared for everything that will be coming your way.
Do your research on breeds
First and foremost, make sure you’re doing your research when it comes to breeds. From little Jack Russels to Labradors and Golden Retrievers, every dog breed is different. They come with their own set of challenges and not every household is going to be best suited for the dog itself.
It’s important that you do your research and understand what is expected when it comes from each breed. You can click here for more information on chocolate labradors for example. There are plenty of helpful resources available online that will give you more insight into the breeds available and how they might be beneficial to your home.
Ideally, you want to whittle down your selection of breeds through research. That way you’ll know exactly which dog breed is best for your needs.
Read up on all of the puppy training books
Puppy training books are extremely helpful to have available so that you can digest everything there is to know about raising a puppy. Raising a puppy isn’t easy and there’s a lot to bringing a dog up, that’s important to know. You’ll want to consider every element of puppy training and any gaps that you may have in your knowledge currently.
From potty training to knowing the right type of food to feed the puppy for their health, there’s a lot to take in and learn about. Every dog breed will have its own puppy training book, so it’s worth exploring what’s available at your local library or online for purchase.
Amazon is a great place for all types of books, so if you struggle to find something in-person, chances are you’ll find it online.
Consider what size dog is suitable for your home
What’s the most suitable sized dog for your home? For example, if you live in a small apartment or flat, then you might not want to have a large dog taking up your property. If you’ve got a lot more space in your home, then you may have a lot more flexibility in the size of the dog.
However, it’s also important to consider the layout of your home and how many household members live on the property too. Will a big dog fit into your home, or will you need to consider a small to medium-sized dog instead?
While it may be a desire to have a big dog, you have to think about their quality of living, and how that might also compromise your living needs.
There are a lot of shelters out there that have plenty of dogs in need of adoption. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the idea of finding a reputable breeder and instead wants to help find a dog that’s been abandoned, then the shelter is your best bet.
Shelters come with their fair share of variety, so you might need to be flexible about the type of dog you want for your home. There may also be some dogs in the shelter that have specific needs and therefore it may be a lot harder to match up a dog to your home than approaching a breeder.
However, it’s a much-needed approach when buying a dog because so many have been abandoned in shelters for a number of reasons.
Find a reputable dog breeder
For those that are looking to hand-pick the type of dog breed they desire, then a dog breeder is going to be the more suitable choice. While you might get lucky and find the right type of puppy in the shelter, it’s not always a guarantee, and may take some time to find the right one.
There are lots of dog breeders out there but not all of them are licensed or are considered reputable in the dog breeding industry. Just like the research you do on the dog breeds themselves, it’s important to do as much, if not more, when it comes to dog breeders.
Be aware that dog breeders will usually be very interested in you and what your living arrangements are like before handing a dog over. Make sure that they are registered dog breeders and make sure to read up on previous client reviews.
Dog-proof your home prior to their arrival
Just like you’d do with your toddlers once they start crawling and moving about, you’ll want to dog-proof your home prior to arrival. Yes, that means getting down on all floors to ensure all rooms are clear of anything that the puppy might be wanting to chew on or try to eat.
From cables to toys and other furniture lying around on the floor, it becomes an opportunity for the puppy to get its teeth on or into.
You may wish to bring some stairgates into certain areas of the home in order to prevent them from getting into certain rooms where you may not be able to control what’s on the floor. For example, a kid’s playroom or a walk-in closet.
Make a list of all the necessities required
There’s a lot that a puppy needs when you first get them. From puppy pads to put on the floor for little accidents, to a dog cage if you’re doing crate training. They may need an abundance of toys, all of the food, and treats to help with training, along with the lead and collar for when they’re able to go out on walks.
Just like getting a baby for the first time, it might be handy to make a checklist so that you’re not missing anything as a result. Be sure to do some research online so that you know you’ve got everything down on that list and you suddenly don’t realize that you’re missing a staple item for your puppy.
Get the dog chipped
In order to help protect your dog from going missing or getting stolen, it’s worth getting them chipped. This probably won’t stop it from happening in most cases but it can help in retrieving the dog back in comparison to not getting them chipped at all.
A microchip for your dog is basically a tracker that will keep tabs on your dog, should it be stolen or go missing. It’s a precautionary measure that you won’t regret doing, especially if it’s something that becomes a reality.
You can get your dog microchipped at the local vet if your dog breeder hasn’t already done it. Microchipping if picking them up from a breeder is usually done before you receive the puppy, so look for this as a good sign in a breeder if it’s already been done.
Be patient with your puppy’s house training
Puppy training, particularly when it comes to house training is a process that takes a little time to master. It’s not something that’s easy and you will likely find the puppy fails to pee or poo at the right times. It’s a part of their learning and it’s something that they will eventually master after a few weeks.
However, when it comes to puppy house training, it can feel like it goes on forever. There’s more to just peeing and pooing. It’s learning not to chomp down on everything they come across around the home and so it’s good to provide them with teething alternatives while their baby teeth are bothersome.
Have patience and this period of puppy training will likely fly by and you’ll have a fully-trained pup eventually.
Remember that owning a puppy is like having a baby
At the end of the day, owning a puppy is a lot like having a baby. Yes, they rely on you just like a baby does. You’ll need to feed them, to assist them in relieving themselves and ensuring they don’t leave a stinky mess behind.
They both need a lot of attention and care so that they can grow up to be well-rounded dogs and humans. So with that in mind, it’s important to know that before getting a puppy, it’s not going to be an easy ride by any means.
Buying a puppy is something that can bring a lot of joy but it’s not something to take lightly in consideration. Use these tips to make sure you’re fully prepared!