Having a new dog is not an easy task. It requires a lot of responsibility and patience from the pet parent, and not all of them can live up to the job.
If you’re already a dog owner and you’re considering having another one, then you already know what to expect. However, if you’re a newbie in the matter, it’s best to do your research before you take this important step.
When getting a dog, people tend to go for puppies. After all, they are adorable, and most people think it’s better that way so they can adapt to you quickly.
In reality, it’s not that simple. Puppies require more effort from you because they need special care. Adult dogs are more mature, they can watch themselves, and they will end up connecting with you just the same.
But at the end of the day, there are many adult dogs and puppies in need of a home, so let’s jump right into this list that talks about how to care for a puppy and find out if you’re ready to receive your new best friend any time soon!
1. Are You Ready For Your First Puppy?
First, think about if you’re ready to receive a puppy in your home. Do you have enough free time? Are you going to be dedicated to their health and needs 24/7 and not only during the first days but the first months?
You might think we’re exaggerating, but did you know that small dogs need to be fed at least 3 times a day? And when they do eat or drink, you have to take them out immediately to effectively train them to pee outside? Whenever they end up peeing or pooping inside the house, will you be willing to clean it? keep in mind, it’s going to be a lot to clean.
There are a lot of things you should be aware of before making such a big decision.
Puppies don’t do well alone for more than a couple hours, and when they are alone, they should be left inside a dog crate, so they don’t make a mess or get hurt. So are you in conditions to do all of these things?
If not, are you at least willing to come home from work every 2 hours to check on your puppy? If not, maybe a bigger dog is the best choice, and if you are willing and excited about these routine changes, then keep reading.
2. Where Can You Get Your New Puppy?
We cannot stress enough how important it is to adopt animals. Unfortunately, the world we live in is filled with abandoned dogs who are still looking for love.
A good way on how to know if you’re ready for a dog is if you’re willing to adopt a mixed-breed dog. If you only care about the race of the dog and their looks, maybe you’re not getting a dog for the right reason.
From local shelters to pet rescue groups, you can find online. There are so many people sharing abandoned dogs hoping to find a loving owner for them, why shouldn’t that owner be you?
There are a lot of street dogs that end up giving birth to a litter of puppies that don’t have a safe home to live in, sometimes they even get lost or end up dying from poor nutrition.
Whatever dog you decide to go for, it will feel like love at first sight. And if you do end up paying for a certain breed, don’t get it from pet stores or flea markets, these people are usually scamming you, and the animals aren’t healthy.
3. What Type Of Puppy Is The Best Fit For Your Personality?
Another important thing you should take into consideration before getting a new dog is your personality and the type of house they’ll be living in.
Are you an outgoing person who lives in a house with a garden? Then maybe you can get an active dog who will grow a lot. On the other hand, if you live in a small apartment, it’s perhaps best to opt for a smaller dog.
Depending on the dog breed or dog breeds (if it’s a mixed dog), you can find out personality traits, average height, weight, and many other interesting curiosities.
There are many websites online where you can find this information about every dog breed in the world.
Do your research and see what might work for you.
4. Getting Your House Ready
Having a puppy in your house is the same as having a baby. Every sharp corner should be taken care of, every electrical cord should be hidden, cabinets or compartments with food, medication, and cleaning products should always be closed. Plants shouldn’t be in reach, and the trash can should always be closed.
Puppies tend to chew on shoes but also smaller items like socks, that they can swallow and suffocate. Keeping your house safe place is vital to maintain a healthy puppy. And of course, your supervision is always required.
Remember that a puppy should be contained in small spaces or areas, and as they grow, you can introduce them to other house areas.
5. Get those puppy supplies!
One of the most exciting yet expensive things to do before bringing your puppy home with you is shopping!
And the shopping list is quite extensive, so it’s best to write down all the things to buy for a new puppy before losing your mind on the pet store or local mall.
We’ll help you with this task by providing a list with the essentials items for dogs:
– Puppy food (opt by food targeted to puppies, even if that means getting the expensive box)
– Ceramic or metal bowls to put their food or water (avoid plastic)
– A plain dog bed that’s big enough for the pup to grow in
– A spacious dog crate
– An adjustable dog collar with an ID tag
– A basic leash (not too long, you want to keep your puppy close to you in the beginning)
– A dog harness (can be more comfortable for the dog)
– Simple dog toys, like a plush toy or chew toys
– A brush or comb for dog grooming
– Some dog treats are ok but consult with your vet first
By the time your dog starts growing, you might feel the need to buy more items or update the ones you already have. This includes purchasing a long dog leash, getting more grooming supplies, buying dog towels, dog shampoo, and of course, a dog toothpaste and toothbrush to keep their teeth healthy and shining.
6. Get A Health Plan For Your Puppy
Even though dogs aren’t big fans of vaccine shots, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take them to their check-up appointments and constantly res-scheduling your dog vaccine.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable for our dogs, but the truth is, they will get over it, and so will you.
What you won’t get over is having your dog sick because you didn’t take him to the vet when you had to.
Puppies especially, need to go to the vet as soon as you get them. They need to be examined, and you should also look forward to the vet’s advice, after all, they know a lot more than you do.
If it’s a mixed-race puppy, they can tell you information that the shelter or the person who gave it to you didn’t even know about.
Look for a veterinarian close to your house with prices you can afford.
If you’re worried about the expenses, consider getting pet insurance, it might be an investment every month, but you’ll have access to cheaper exams, appointments and so on.
8. Train Your Puppy And Have Fun!
Dogs love to be around people, and they love to be active, the best thing you can do is start training them from early on.
Dog training is not easy, it takes time and effort from both parts, but it is rewarding and ends up helping your bond with your dog grow stronger.
Respect and obedience should be taught every single day, but fun times should also be guaranteed.
You should also reward them when they do something correctly but don’t scream or hit them if they do something wrong, instead speak in a different tone and don’t give treats to them after.
It’s essential to have fun while doing all of this, even the tedious chores like cleaning up pee from the floor or vacuuming the hair left behind.
Please always remember that the decision to adopt or buy a puppy should be out of love for these animals, not for Instagram pictures, or for you to get bored of them once they get older.
Having a puppy is like having your child, it’s a decision that you have to live with for the rest of your life, so make sure you want this and that you’re ready for it.