6 Things to know before getting a puppy

Puppies are adorable little creatures that can offer you more than just companionship. These faithful friends are there through good times and bad and will reward you with their enthusiasm and affection every time they see you. Along with bringing joy and excitement into your life, these cute bundles of fur are also known to help improve mental health by offering unconditional love to their owners. However, do not let their diminutive demeanor fool you. Although they may be small they come with a large responsibility. If you are considering buying your first puppy, it is important to know what is involved. Read on to find out more.

Choosing a Breed

With approximately 200 recognized dog breeds in the world, knowing which one is right for you can be a challenge. When choosing a puppy, compatibility is key. Consider factors such as personality type, energy levels, and grooming needs to determine how well they will match your lifestyle. Another important consideration is the size of your puppy. Keep in mind that a puppy can reach full size in a relatively short time frame, so it is important to research the breed you are thinking of buying. 

Consider your living space to determine whether it is big enough for a larger, more energetic breed, such as a German Shepherd, which will continue to grow rapidly. Smaller living spaces are more suitable for smaller toy dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzus. Visit Golden Day Doodles if you are interested in adopting an Australian Labradoodle. To help you with your decision, here is a guide to the growth stages of puppies based on their size:

  • Toy Breeds: Toy breeds will gain approximately one pound per month, up to around eight months old.
  • Small Breeds: They grow rapidly from around two to six months and are fully grown at around 12 months.
  • Medium Breeds: These breeds will grow the most in the first eight months and will be fully grown at around 12 to 15 months.
  • Large Breeds: Large dog breeds grow quickly in the first 10 months before slowing down for the last eight months.

Along with your living space, give thought to green spaces nearby. Puppies are energetic and need plenty of space to play and run around in. Do you have a backyard or a park where your puppy can go for walks and to the toilet? Also, give thought to any small children in your household and how they will get along with your new family member.

House Training

Unlike bringing an adult dog home, a puppy will need to be trained on everything from toilet training to learning how to sit. This can be a trying time that requires a great deal of patience and persistence, and you can expect some mischievous and unruly behavior until your puppy is properly house-trained. 

From scratching, chewing, play-biting, and barking, disciplining an excitable puppy takes time and discipline. While you are toilet-training your pup, there will be accidents to clean up after and the need to take it on frequent toilet breaks outdoors. Being aware of this beforehand can make the process a little easier and more enjoyable for you both.

Cost

According to some estimates, the likely cost of owning a dog over its lifetime, excluding costly and unexpected veterinarian visits, is between $27,074 to $42,545, depending on the breed. This works out to be around seven times as much as expected.

Aside from your initial purchase, there are many additional costs associated with puppy ownership. These include food costs, grooming, pet insurance, dog toys, leashes, and a bed. There will also be routine expenses such as vaccinations, health and dental checks, and medications. Buying a puppy can be an expensive endeavor, with some breeds costing more than others. It is important to have a good understanding of the costs involved in looking after a puppy over its lifetime. 

Time Commitment

Most dog owners should spend at least two hours per day with their pets; however, this could be much more with a puppy. From house training, playing, and exercising to initial vaccinations and veterinary visits, you can expect to devote a significant amount of your time to your new canine companion.

It is also worth remembering that as your puppy is as yet untrained, leaving it alone for long periods could cause it to damage your furniture and belongings as well as cause anxiety and loneliness. You should also consider who will look after your puppy when you are away for work or vacations, looking into nearby pet care facilities if need be.

Puppy Proofing

Puppies may look harmless, but their curiosity and desire to explore their environment can cause destruction to your home. Chewing your remote controls, scratching your furniture, and slobbering over your slippers are all common traits displayed by puppies. With all of this awaiting you, prepare yourself by puppy-proofing your home with the following steps:

  • Dog gates: While you are house-training, keeping your puppy in areas that are easier to clean, such as the kitchen, is advisable. Dog gates can help you create safe, no-go areas in your home.
  • Keep all electrical cords out of your puppy’s reach to prevent it from chewing on them, and block electrical outlets with outlet covers.
  • A non-toxic, anti-chew spray can be used on furniture to keep your pet from chewing on it.
  • Lock cabinets containing cleaning supplies, medications, and any other harmful or toxic ingredients which your puppy could swallow.
  • Keep houseplants away from your pet so it cannot destroy them or chew on their leaves.
  • Securely cover your trash cans to prevent your puppy from sniffing out old garbage, which can cause gastrointestinal upsets as well as poisoning.

Stock Up On Essentials

Make your new puppy feel welcome in its new home by stocking up on some essentials, such as nutritious puppy food, which is specially formulated to meet its developmental needs. Other puppy essentials you will need include:

  • Dog bed
  • Identity tag
  • Leash and harness
  • Collar
  • Grooming items
  • Treats
  • Food and water bowls
  • Chew toys

By considering the points highlighted in this article, you can fully prepare yourself for taking on the joyful and rewarding yet challenging task of buying your first puppy.

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