A puppy is an investment you can’t afford to make without understanding all the details.
Buying a puppy is one of the most exciting parts of owning a pet. But it can also be a little nerve-wracking. After all, you’re investing in your future companionship and happiness.
Choosing the right one for your family can be tricky, especially if you’re new to dog ownership or simply know little about dogs yet.
How do you choose a good breeder? How much should you spend on a puppy? What different puppy breeds are you considering?
If you are wondering about all the factors that come with getting a new puppy, read on for a short and simple guide.
Consider the Commitment You’ll Need to Make
Before you start looking at options for puppies, consider how much time and energy a puppy will require. A dog is not just a pet. It’s also a member of your family who needs attention and care every day.
Do you have enough space in your home? If you live in an apartment or condo, your landlord may not allow dogs or even certain breeds. Ask before purchasing a puppy so that you can get permission first.
Do you have other pets? If so, do they get along well with each other? A puppy needs time bonding with its owner and training before you can trust them around other animals in the house.
Think About if You Have the Time
Puppies need attention and care throughout their first year, which means you will spend plenty of time training and playing with them. If you’re unable to commit to this kind of schedule, then you may not be ready for a puppy yet.
If you’re considering getting a dog from a breeder or adopting it from a shelter, ask yourself if you’ll have enough time for training exercises like potty training and grooming sessions. If not, then it might be best to wait until later when your schedule is less demanding.
Figure Out the Breed Characteristics You Want
Puppies come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Some are playful, while others are more laid-back or calm.
You should find out as much as possible about what breed characteristics to expect when shopping for a puppy. Look at articles about different breeds to see if there’s one that matches your lifestyle.
Consider the Cost for a Dog Over Its Lifetime
The cost of dog ownership may seem like a lot of money when you first get your puppy, but it’s important to consider the total cost of owning a dog over its lifetime.
The ASPCA estimates that the average lifespan for an American dog is about 10 years. Multiply that by the number of years you plan to own your new pup, and you’ll get an idea of how much it’ll cost you over its lifetime.
This doesn’t mean that you should never buy a puppy because of the cost. Just be realistic about what your budget allows and make sure you’re prepared.
Choose a Breeder That’s Right for You
Local dog breeders will welcome questions about their breeding practices and will be happy to show you where their puppies live. Ask for references from other owners who have purchased from them in the past and ask if they belong to any breed clubs or organizations that maintain ethical standards for breeding dogs.
If possible, visit the breeder’s home and meet both parents of your prospective puppy before deciding whether to buy one of their litters. If they live far away or don’t allow visitors, look for another breeder. It’s important that you feel comfortable with both parents before committing to buying one of their puppies.
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Prepare Your Home for Your Furry Friend
The most important thing you can do before bringing a puppy home is to prepare your home for their arrival. If you have older children in the household, make sure they understand that this is not a toy, and it needs special care and attention.
Make sure that all family members understand the puppy needs constant supervision at all times, especially when outside or when sleeping. Your puppy may get into things that could be dangerous to him or her if not watched closely, such as electrical cords, garbage cans, and pesticides.
Find a Veterinarian for Your New Family Puppy
The next step in buying a puppy is finding a vet that fits your needs. Before bringing your new puppy home, make sure you know of at least three reputable veterinarians in your area who specialize in small animals. You want to be sure that all of them will be available for emergencies 24 hours a day, every day of the year, especially if you work long hours or travel frequently.
Introduce the Puppy to His or Her New Surroundings
Your first order of business should be to introduce your new puppy to the rest of your family. If you have other pets in the house, make sure you introduce them to each other at the same time.
This will help avoid any issues that might arise from jealousy or territoriality down the road. Remember that puppies often feel insecure when they’re around other dogs, so make sure the animals do not overwhelm them.
It’s also important that you give yourself some time before introducing your puppy to any children under 5 years old. Young children get excited around puppies and may inadvertently hurt them while trying to play with them.
Buying a Puppy Is Exciting for the Whole Family
If you’ve purchased a puppy, it’s important to understand what that means and what it doesn’t.
Buying a puppy is not like buying a car or even a couch. Your dog will be with you for the rest of his life, so you must do your homework before deciding to bring one into your home. Take your time during the buying process so that you are happy with your new friend for many years to come.
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