Things to Consider Before Bringing Home a Puppy
It has been a rollercoaster of a seven months since we brought home our sweet puppy! Life with five young kids and a puppy is just as exciting as you are imagining, but I will tell you that I almost lost my mind for the first few months. While it has gotten easier, it is still not ‘easy’ with a nine month old puppy and young kids. Yet, I would not trade our pup for the world! That being said, I have learned that there are a few things you should know before bringing home a puppy of your own.
Do you have the money?
This sounds like a no-brainer here, but so many families underestimate the costs of having a puppy (or dog in general). There will be puppy well-checks, surgery expenses for being neutered/spayed, food costs, doggie daycare/boarding potentials, and the list goes on. You will spend money on toys, treats, and accessories. You will replace shoes eaten, and need to invest in a great carpet cleaning vacuum. There is no excuse to not know these things. Advice from a veterinarian, "You should have at least $1,000 set aside after purchasing or picking up your new puppy."
Think about why you want a puppy. Have you considered rescue/adoption?
This is a very personal, family decision. We had a rare experience and rescued a dog once and it did not go well. With children, we could not shake our previous experience and wanted to know that we were the dog’s only home. We also wanted to love the dog from birth (which we did because we were sent photos as she was born and videos every day until we picked her up!).
Does everyone love dogs?
Is anyone in your house a non-dog-lover? If someone is not ready, reconsider.
Research your breeds.
Every breed is different, and each comes with different needs and possible health problems. Some breeds are known to cost more throughout adulthood. You want to understand and be prepared for a lifetime of dog love.
Will your dog need to be run miles? Will he need to be near you more often than not? Knowing your breed will help you prepare for your puppy.
Research your breeders or options.
Make sure you know where your puppy is coming from.
Consider Pet Insurance.
Not a necessity, however, a dog getting sick, growing older, or getting hurt never quite seems to be in the budget. You may not want to add $50 to your monthly budget, but it could possibly spare you thousands in an emergency situation. It is worth looking into.
Know your life will change.
Puppies need walked, a lot. They cry at night. They are sad and lonely. They need a smooth transition into your home. They need your love and attention just as a newborn baby does.
Puppies grow up.
That puppy Instagram account you follow? It is absolutely heartbreakingly adorable. (Yes, I’m a follower.) You need to know that your puppy will grow up - FAST. All those cute puppy pictures are taken during the times of teething, potty-training, and shoe-eating. Before you can bling, she will no longer be a little pup. Make sure you are not just in love with #puppiesofinstagram.
Note: I’m telling you this because every week, puppies are dropped at a shelter because families have decided that having a dog is not what they thought it would be.
Before Bringing Your Puppy Home
Know what food your dog has been transitioned to. You want to mix it in with the brand/type you plan to use and wean her from it.
Know what shots, if any, have been given. Request all paperwork be available at pick up.
Have a training plan ready to go, and you need to start from day one.
Prepare your home by having a small area designated for your puppy. A puppy makes a spotless home impossible. You will clean up pee puddles. You will have teeth marks and chewed rugs. Your couch may never be the same.
Have a veterinarian lined up for a health check.
Understand that you are going to love this tiny ball of fur so much, but she’s also going to get on your last nerve…. And then of course, she’ll slobber you with kisses.
"I think Consistency is so important with Potty training , obedience and feeding. It also helps show the puppy you’re in charge. We got two puppies within 4 months! Started with the dachshund and realized we missed having a big dog. We were already in puppy mode so it really didn’t make things much harder." - Starr
"A lot of work, a lot of love, a lot of snuggles and laughs. Totally worth the chewing days, because the life long friend is priceless" -Lindsey
"They are just as much work as having another kid, but worth all of it!" - Laura
They’re like newborn babies, waking often throughout the night in the beginning, but it gets better quickly! - Christina