There’s nothing better watching a cute puppy video to improve a bad day – they make our hearts melt, they make us laugh, and they also are a lovable factor in reducing our stress through play.
However, having a dog isn’t a walk in the park – there are a lot of important factors that go into making a smart decision.
From nutritional counseling for puppies to puppy-proofing your home, there’s a lot to think about.
Keep reading to see some of them.
What To Consider Before Getting A Puppy
To make your decision-making slightly easier, we’ve put together the most important points for you into one list.
Have a read, and consider how you feel about them and how you react – these might be telling signs as to whether or not you can handle your puppy love.
1. Puppies Get Into Trouble. Is Your Home Ready?
Little puppies can fit into some very small spaces and find all the things that look tucked away, from your perspective.
Puppies will often eat things in order to experience them for the first time, but this can get them into trouble.
The best defense is a good offence: keep an eye on your puppy and use the following tips to prevent mishaps when your back is turned.
• Put away electrical cords or encase them so they can’t deliver shocks if bitten
• Keep houseplants high up, as some leaves can be poisonous
• Make sure you have locks on your trash can, as well as any cupboards or cabinets that store food, medications, chemicals or small, easy-to-swallow objects
• Do not leave shoes or laundry lying out – they can smell your scent on your items, and will often chew or swallow these
2. Where Should You Get Your Puppy?
Most people start by looking at rescue dogs or shelter dogs, because these animals need a good home.
Others have their hearts’ set on a purebred dog, but if this is your choice, there are a few extra things you need to know.
Don’t buy from backyard breeders or pet stores, as these animals often come from puppy mills.
You may be getting more than you bargained for with puppies advertised online or being sold at a flea market, because you don’t know their health background and could be getting a sick dog.
Instead, you should look for an experienced breeder with an excellent reputation.
3. What Type Of Dog Suits Your Lifestyle?
Whether you’re looking at a purebred or a mixed-breed dog, it’s good to have some idea what type of dog would best suit your personality and lifestyle.
One of the top considerations is the amount of space you have – you might find it unduly challenging to have a large dog in a small condo.
As well, you must keep in mind that large dogs are more expensive to upkeep, as they need more food, supplies and medication than smaller dogs.
Next, consider how active you are – and choose a dog that matches your energy level.
Lastly, you’ll want to give a thought to how much you hate vacuuming – because dogs with long coats or who shed a lot can mean that you’ll be at it constantly.
4. Do You Have All The Supplies You Need?
Dogs don’t need a lot, at first, especially until you learn what your dog prefers and uses – otherwise you could end up with lots of toys they care nothing for.
You will need a collar that can adjust to your growing dog, and make sure you have proper ID tags on them.
Pick up a short leash that’s about four to six feet in length; save the long ones for when they’re older.
Have a couple of bowls – metal or ceramic, but not plastic – for food and water.
Make sure you have the right kind of food on hand – puppy food for puppies, and adjust as they grow.
You may want a dog crate as well as a dog bed, so you can control their movement as you’re training them.
Don’t forget to pick up a grooming brush to keep their coats tangle-free and shining.
Lastly – get a couple of toys to play with, such as a squeaky toy and a ball that’s too large to be swallowed.
5. Are You Ready For A Puppy?
You’ll have heard it before, but: getting a dog is a real responsibility, because you’ll have another life to care for as well as your own and your human family’s.
It’s easy to be charmed by their cuteness, their playfulness and their affection, but they also require regular feedings and daily walks.
As well, you’ll have to have the time and patience to train them – for their safety and for your sanity.
Puppies also require socialization, which means they actually NEED that attention that they lavish on you.
6. Are You Prepared For The Costs?
Everyone loves the idea of having a furry friend to keep you company. But the costs might take you off-guard.
Healthy food, supplies, toys, and vet visits can easily add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars per year, especially if your dog has unique health challenges.
And if your dog gets sick, your veterinary bill could easily be in the thousands.
It’s not fun to think about, but if you’re on a tight budget it may be a good idea to wait to get a dog, or at least come up with a plan to deal with any unexpected costs that may arise.
Contact Bickford Park Animal Hospital
If you plan on welcoming a new ‘fur baby’ we recommend giving us a call first to get your questions answered.
We can help guide your choice of breed, based on our extensive knowledge and experience handling many different dogs.
Call now and let us get acquainted with you and assist you through this exciting new addition to your family.
Bickford Park Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic in Toronto, located across from Christie Pits park, committed to the highest level of caring and treatment for cats and dogs.