Puppies are adorable and the thought of having one as a new member of the family, is an exciting prospect for many. However, all young animals can be hard work, and if you’re serious about adding a pup to your family, you should give it some serious consideration and ask yourself these five questions:
- Can you devote enough of your time to your new best friend? Puppies are very demanding of your time, and not devoting enough of it to their needs, can quickly result in a puppy with behavioural problems that could stay with them until adulthood, if not addressed soon enough.
- Do you have the funds to support a puppy for the rest of its life? There’s much more to caring for a puppy than simply buying it a collar and feeding it every day. Your puppy should be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age, and this can be costly, then there are vaccinations and other veterinary costs associated with keeping a pet. Insurance bills can mount up if your pet is sick, and if it develops some behavioural problems that you’re unable to address alone, then you’ll need to add the costs of a dog trainer or behavioural specialist to your list of expenses.
- Do you have the patience for a puppy?Puppies can be angels at times, and teeny weeny mischievous devils at others! Are you ready to reinforce training methods over time, spend hours cleaning up after your pup and devote hours of your time each week to exercising the little rascal?
- Is your home suitable for your new puppy? Have you thought about the size of your puppy when they grow up and whether they will have enough space in your home? If you live in a small apartment, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a pet dog, but a large one will quickly make space an issue and if you have no outside yard or garden for it to play and exercise in, then you’ll need to take it for walks far more frequently than you would a smaller dog. Some dogs also don’t like to be kept inside all day, and will yearn for some fresh air and space to frolic in.
- Where will your pup go when you’re not at home?
Whether you’re jetting off on vacation for a fortnight in the sun, or working long hours at the office every day, you’ll need to think carefully about what will happen to your pup when you’re not at home. Pet sitters may be an option, or boarding kennels, but whatever you choose, you’ll need to think about the cost associated with having someone else take care of your pet. Pets left home alone all day long quickly become bored and tend to destroy whatever they can get their paws on, or they may become depressed from not interacting with you or anyone else for hours on end each day.
Puppies can bring a world of joy to your life, but they are also your responsibility for the rest of their lives, and adding a pup to your home is not a decision that you should take lightly.