So, you decided that you are ready to become a puppy parent- congratulations! However, before you adopt a puppy, you might want to consider a number of things. Remember, having a dog is a long commitment and you have to make sure that you are able to dedicate yourself in the long run.
1. What's Your Lifestyle?
Does your job require you to travel a lot? Would you have time to play, train, and walk your dog everyday or do you get home really late, too tired for even a 30 min walk in the neighbourhood? It is important to really think about these questions because having a dog really requires dedication. You can't just get a puppy and leave it in your home alone everyday. These animals need social interaction and lots of love.
Answering these questions can also help you narrow down what type of dog to get. If you live in a small apartment or prefer winding down with wine while watching tv over a morning hike, you might want to get a small, calm dog versus a large dog that needs lots of leg room.
2. Do You Have Other Kids in the House?
If so, you need a kid-friendly dog or one that can handle all the rough play from your kids. Best to consult with those running the shelter or the breeder. Why not bring your kids with you in choosing a dog? It will be a good experience for them and you will be able to observe how the dogs are as well.
3. Do You Have Other Pets?
Introducing your new dog to your current pack may require extra training. See how the new dog reacts to other dogs in the shelter. You may also need to stay home a few days just to train both new and old dogs to get along.
4. How Are You Financially?
Some of the expenses you will need to prepare for are routine veterinary check-ups and vaccines, food, accessories such as bowls and collars, toys, grooming, and probably a sitter/walker when you are not available. Imagine all of those times minimum of 10 years. Having a dog is practically having a baby (a cute, furry one!).
If you think you can handle all of these responsibilities, then good job! We are excited for you to have a loving companion for life!
Never buy a pet online or from a pet store in a mall. These are likely to be from puppy mills where the parents of these dogs are kept in inhumane conditions. Aside from that, these puppies will more likely have many health issues. Why not visit your local shelter where you can find both pure and mixed breeds who need a loving home? Ask your local veterinarian for breeder recommendations? Or join dog groups that are full of dog lovers who can probably recommend someone? Also make sure that if adopting from a shelter or buying from a breeder, always ask information about the dog such as behavior, and if possible, the mother, so you know what to expect when you bring your fur-baby home.