Is a puppy right for me?
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Far too often dogs end up being rehomed, dumped, neglected, surrendered to shelters and pounds when so much of the heartbreak could have been avoided if the humans did their research first. Here are a few things to consider BEFORE you add to the family;
Can we afford it?
Food, flea and worm treatments, vaccinations, registration, spay or neutering, microchipping, grooming, bedding, collars/harnesses, leads, toys, poop bags, emergency vet appointments, supplements, short and long term medications, boarding kennels or house sitters, replacing what they may destroy, insurance to name a few. Remember your time as well - training and exercising. There is no such thing as a free dog.
What life stage suits us?
While puppies are cute, they are a LOT of work. Do you want another child - because it can be similar!
Teenagers are fun, but can be challenging. Puberty anyone?
With an adult, you can see what you're getting. Physically anyway. Very few dogs come perfectly out of the box "trained" grateful you adopted them.
With a senior, the time may be limited but it's precious. Vets, medications, but you'll usually get more sleep than with a puppy!
Purebred, designer breed, mixed breed?
Tiny, small, medium, large, extra large?
Grooming, training, exercise?
Adopt, shop, rescue?
Every dog is an individual. Genetics, environment, nutrition, nature and nuture all play a part in the dog you have in front of you.
What's the plan?
If a dog really is the right choice now, will they still be in 1, 3, 5, 8, 11 years time?
It can be extremely difficult to find a rental property that allows pets.
Are you adding a human to the family? Because very few people can take on a puppy and a baby at the same time - these people are rare superhumans.
Puppies are not puppies for long. If you aren't ready for the responsibility of a 10+ year commitment, then perhaps you could foster or pet sit in the mean time? There are lots of owners, puppies and dogs who would appreciate it!
Can you give a dog everything he/she needs and deserves?
Your 3 month old does not need a puppy to grow up with.
Two puppies is not better than one puppy. Refer to the rare superhuman comment, siblings can be best mates or worst enemies.
Your current dog doesn't need a doggy friend because they are lonely, they want you.
Your 8 year old is not the owner - YOU will be.
Please be honest with yourself, are you really going to get up at 5am before it gets too hot, to take your Husky for a walk? Does the thought of cleaning the gluey slobber out of a water bowl gross you out? Are you honestly ok with fur being everywhere, having brown patches on your lawn or needing to apply sun cream to your dogs nose? If vomit and poo scares you, or you care about how big and dirty they are, consider a pet rock instead.
If you've read this far, done your homework, and everyone in the household is on the same page, then get ready for the best relationship ever!