Everybody loves puppies. Well, alright, most people do, but the fact of the matter is, the puppies make people smile, they are incredibly naturally photogenic, and they give you a sense that you are loved. So it must not come as a surprise to you that a lot of people when shown a puppy, end up going home with them. What’s surprising is though, that nearly 3.3 million dogs are being sent to homeless shelters in the United States every year, and the reason behind this we think is that people don’t realize that owning a dog requires a lot of work, and would cost you a lot of money, and most of the time, these costs far outweigh the rewarding feeling of owning a dog.
So, here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself first, before bringing that puppy home.
1. Are You Prepared to Take Care of a Puppy?
Is there going to be someone at home who’s going to take care of the puppy? Because the reality is, that puppies demand a lot of attention. And to at least be qualified to own one, you must be alright with the following:
- Very young puppies would need to be fed several times each day.
- Puppies require to be taken for a walk outdoors after being fed in order to maintain good health.
- Puppies would often have accidents inside the house that would require patience and a lot of cleaning.
- They always need to be mentally stimulated because they easily get bored.
- They will wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Puppies would tear around inside your house and chew anything it finds to destruction.
Make sure that you evaluate the schedule of every member of your household before you bring the puppy home because they cannot be left alone even by just a few hours.
2. Is Your Home Puppy-Proof?
Your new puppy does not know whether something is safe or is dangerous for them and it is a good idea to prepare your home to provide them a conducive environment just as you would as if you’re bringing home a baby. Here are some of the good place to start with:
- Put all garbage cans out of their reach.
- Hide all electrical cords and electrical items out of their reach.
- Put small items like coins and paper clips away from countertops and coffee tables.
- Hide your shoes and other items that your puppy might be tempted to chew.
- Ensure that your toilet covers are on as your puppy might turn it to its water dish.
- Consider using puppy gates to close off the rooms that your puppy shouldn’t enter.
3. Do You Have Time For Your Puppy?
Spending time to play with and training your puppy is vital for ensuring that it will turn out to be a good and well-mannered dog that would be safe to be around other people and animals. Sure, it is possible to train your dog at any age you fancy, but the younger your puppy is, the easier it is to train it. It is very important that dogs are constantly being exposed to children, people, and other animals. A lack of encounter with them can result in developing fear in the dog, and the most common reason why dogs bite is fear.
4. Can You Afford to Have a Puppy?
Aside from the outright cost of acquiring the puppy, there are what’s called routine costs and the emergency costs for when illnesses and accidents arise, and ensuring that you have pet insurance alleviates most of the cost when these incidents happen thus, giving you utter peace of mind. There is also the cost of your puppy’s daily needs like food and water, treats, high-quality toys, a collar, a leash, dog bed, dog carrier for small dogs, grooming kits, cleaning supplies, dog seat belts for car journeys, a pet I.D tag, and local licensing tags and other fees.
5. Where The Puppy Will Come From?
This is one of the most important questions that need to be answered. There are several rescue organizations, shelters, and breeders. Although dogs in dog shelters are mostly mixed-breed, there are still some purebred dogs that you will encounter. The volunteers and staff in the dog shelter would be the ones who will give you the insight and the background of a dog, including its personality and temperament. Even though the actual dog is free from the shelter, you should check the organization’s website because there are often several fees that you are required to pay like the rescue and adoption fee which went toward vaccinations and spaying or neutering of the dog.
Once you answered all these, though it might sound like a lot of work and a lot of costs, at the end of the day, the love and the loyalty that your dog will return would be more than just worth it.
Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: email@example.com