Updated: Feb 26
Purchasing or adopting a puppy/dog can be a huge adjustment for many. Especially if this is your first addition to the family there are several things to consider before making your decision. Below is a breakdown of things to ask yourself before committing to adding a new addition.
Does my living arrangement allow dogs?
This seems like it would be an obvious question to ask yourself, however, the number of dogs surrendered to the shelter because the landlord doesn’t allow them is plentiful. If you own your own home the decision is yours but if you’re renting, make sure to check in with your landlord to make sure they’re on board with the new addition.
Is everyone in the home in agreeance with the new puppy?
Not everyone in the home has to particularly “want” the puppy nor do they need to agree to taking care of the puppy BUT they do need to be in agreeance with the addition of the new puppy. If you’re living with your parents and you get a puppy without them knowing or against their will, this could pose trouble for the puppy. Its imperative to make sure that everybody agrees to the new addition.
Are you financially prepared?
Not just for the purchase price. Are you financially able to care for the puppy. Food, accessories, vet visits, accidents, illnesses. Emergencies can run you thousands of dollars. Are you prepared for that? If not, are you prepared to pay for monthly pet insurance so that you CAN afford an accident or illness? The first couple of years of the puppy’s life will require several vaccinations, puppy training and spay/neuter surgery. This does not account for day to day costs and as mentioned, emergency costs. If you don’t think you can adequately afford it, don’t get one.
Do you have the time to devote to training?
Puppy training will be required. Whether you’re choosing to do it alone or committing to training classes, both will take time and effort. You must put in the work to see the results. You can’t just get a puppy and do nothing with it and expect that it grows up with no behavioural issues. Make sure your schedule allows for proper training time and that you are prepared for the work involved with setting your puppy up for success.
Have you done the research and matched a breed to your lifestyle?
Genetics run strong breed to breed. Depending what you’re looking for and the lifestyle you live should influence what breed you’re interested in. Make sure you research breeds and breeders and determine the best fit for you and your family. A reputable breeder will also help pick the best puppy from the litter for your needs.
Do you have a plan for your work day / vacations?
If you’re planning to get a puppy and then leave the next day for your 9a-5p workday, you will need a plan. Dog sitters, dog walkers, doggy daycares. A plan in place to help with your puppy’s potty training and crate training. Make sure you have a sitter (friend, family or professional) or daycare that you’ve researched and checked out so that in case of emergencies, you have somewhere to keep your puppy or somebody to look after it.
Are you prepared for the commitment of a puppy/dog?
Depending on your breed of choice, you could be in for 12-14yr+ haul with your new best friend. Are you prepared for this? It’s not a temporary, fun addition to the family until you’re bored or until behavioural problems arise. Make sure you’re really prepared to have this dog with you for the next several years of your life.
Are you prepared for the extra work involved if you have a lifestyle change?
Planning to get married? Have kids? Job change? Things can change and your days can get increasingly busier than what you may be currently living when you get your puppy. Be aware of this and that it’s not always an excuse to give up/surrender/rehome your dog because of those changes. Of course, we cannot predict the future and sometimes there are things that arise that are beyond our control. For the most part though, you should try to think ahead and adequately have your puppy/dog included in your plans.
Don’t Get A Puppy If:
· You want to become famous on social media. Just, No.
· You saw a famous one of that breed on social media or in a movie and now you want one.
· Your friend has a dog and you want one so you guys can do fun dog things together. Just because some people can fit a dog in their lifestyle doesn’t mean you can.
· Your current dog has issues (separation anxiety etc.), so you think he/she needs a friend.
· Your 4-year-old kid wants one.
· As a gift for somebody that was not prepared/ didn’t expect it/ wasn’t discussed prior.
· You like the image/stereotype of a certain breed.
· To guard your home but then not do any proper protection training with it.
· You want an additional source of income so you’re going to start breeding dogs.
· You’re single and ready to mingle so the dog park seems like an adequate place. Sure that can happen but it’s less likely than the movies make it seem.
The livelihood and success for your puppy depends greatly on you. Make sure you are fully prepared in all aspects before committing to adding one to your family.