Raising a puppy is a tremendously rewarding experience, but it is also a taxing one. Puppies require a lot of attention, resources, and patience, which not every person can provide for a puppy. There’s a number of elements of raising a puppy that prospective dog owners need to consider before bringing a puppy home.
The first question you should ask yourself if you’re considering getting a puppy is whether or not you have the time.
Puppies Require Time
Before you think about the breed of puppy you want, or whether to buy a puppy or adopt one, you first need to ask yourself whether or not you have the available time to raise a puppy. A puppy’s early weeks are extremely formative, and are an essential period of time for learning and developing habits. To make sure your puppy gets all the instruction and training they need during this period, you’ll need to have the time available to devote to them.
Some of the time consuming tasks that puppy’s require are:
- Potty training
- Socialization to people and other animals
- Daily exercise
- Establishing a regular feeding schedule
- Behavior training
Puppies Require a Financial Commitment
When you make the choice to bring a puppy into your home, you’re going to need to make a financial commitment to providing your puppy with all of the essentials they’ll require. There’s the up front cost of purchasing or adopting your puppy, but the costs that follow usually exceed that.
There’s a list of essential things that your puppy needs upon coming home. New puppy owners will need a carrying crate, toys, food, dishes, leash, and a collar. Puppy’s will also require a schedule of vaccinations, spaying and neutering, preventive care, and potential medications.
Not all of these expenses will be due right away, but it’s important for a prospective puppy owner to budget and prepare for the financial requirements of raising a puppy. For the veterinary costs of raising a puppy, a great way to offset some of the costs of owning a puppy is to get pet insurance.
Are Your Family Members or Roommates on Board
Before bringing home a puppy it’s important to have a conversation with the people you live with. Having a puppy in the house is a shared experience. If one of the people you live with is hesitant about the idea of having a puppy around, you’ll need to address that. Puppies will have some growing pains when they come home with you. They’ll possibly have a accident or two, chew something that isn’t meant to be chewed, bark when they want attention, or be in the mood to play when others in the house are not. While those may seem like benign parts of raising a puppy to you, the other people you live with may feel differently.
The other thing to consider with the people you live with is whether or not they have an allergy towards pets. Some dogs are more hypoallergenic than others, so there are particular dogs that will get along better with your allergic housemates.
Is Your Home the Right Fit For Your a Puppy
Not all living situations are ideal for puppies. If you rent your current home, make sure to check with your landlord before bringing home a puppy. Not all apartments and townhomes allow dogs, and some that do will require that you register your pet with them.
The amount of space available in your home is also important when you get a puppy. The adorable little furry puppies will grow faster than you think. And when they do, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough space both inside your home and outside your home for your dog to get enough exercise.
Not Ready For a Puppy? You Have Options
Do you love dogs but have learned that you’re not ready for a puppy at this time? Pat yourself on the back for the self realization. Lucky for you, there’s plenty of options for dog lovers to scratch their puppy itch without having to undertake full responsibility of raising a puppy. There’s plenty of organizations like shelters and rescues that need help. You can volunteer to help wash dogs, take dogs for walks, or help out in other ways around the shelter or rescue.
Another option would be to serve as a foster parent to dogs that are waiting to be adopted. Fostering dogs provides the benefit of allowing a potential dog owner first-hand experience of raising a dog, before committing fully to owning one.
To find opportunities to assist and hang out with awesome dogs in your area, check with your local shelter and rescue.