There is no doubt in the saying that a dog is a man’s best friend. However, keeping a dog as a pet is a long term commitment, a big adventure, and an even bigger challenge. The decision to get a new puppy home should not be an impulsive one. There are thousands of dogs in dog shelters across the country, left there by people who did not realize the implications of bringing home that cute puppy. The problem with cute puppies is that they grow up to become adult dogs.
Irrespective of what you may have seen or heard, owning a dog is not just fun and games. Dogs are energetic and strong-willed animals. They require exercise, training and a commitment to keeping them safe and happy. Keeping a puppy means volunteering to be a dog parent. You cannot give up just because you feel that the pup is becoming a nuisance – just like you would not give up on your kid. Think it out thoroughly and do not let your heart rule your head.
Research Before you Choose
Read everything that you can find about dog breeds, their temperament and characteristics, care and well being, training, and most important – their requirements. Your decision on the type and breed should depend on the outcome of the research. Choose a dog that is best suited to your lifestyle, space, family circumstances, and energy levels. You should also consider whether a pup or an older dog will be better for you. Puppies are cute and fun to play with. However, they are also very energetic and demand lots of attention. Keeping a puppy demands time and energy in training, feeding and cleaning up till the pup is house-trained. If you cannot spare the time and energy, you should think of getting an older dog. While older dogs are generally house-trained and less energetic and demanding than puppies, they may still require some training to change certain habits. Make a list of the ideal characteristics that you would want in your dog. When selecting the puppy, do not compromise on that list.
Another important factor to consider before you finalize your new pet is the breed that you should get. Picking a pup just because you like how it looks is not the way to choose a dog. Each breed has its characteristics, temperament, and requirements. If you are an energetic person who likes physical activity, choosing a breed that is not very active will be a mistake. Similarly, the personality of the breed should also be taken into consideration. And finally, you should be sure why you are bringing a dog – is it for companionship, as a guard dog or just because you find them cute.
Try Fostering Before you Buy
If you are unsure about what keeping a dog entails, you could try fostering one before you buy. Check with your local shelter if they provide such an option, ask a friend if you can keep his dog for a few days or visit a shelter for a few complete days to understand what is required to make this commitment. If you find yourself committed, go ahead and search for your new pet. You can find puppies for sale at PuppyJoy.net which helps connect puppies to loving, responsible individuals and families. However, once you have decided to get a dog, there are a few things that you need to do before you bring home the new member to the family.
Making the Home Puppy-proof
Like any baby, your new pup loves to explore and chew whatever it can find. You need to ensure that there is nothing the exploration areas that could harm the pup. It might be a good idea to create an enclosed area initially so that you can keep tabs on the pup and the pup cannot cause any damage or get hurt. For those with houseplants, ensure that there are no poisonous plants such as poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, or amaryllis in the house. Take necessary steps to keep medicines and cleaning supplies out of reach and block access to balconies, decks and elevated porches. Keep away any item that could be swallowed by the pup. Make sure that all electrical cords are secure – pups love chewing on anything and everything. If the pup has access to the entire house, do not leave the pup unsupervised, as far as possible. Remember, to buy puppy supplies before you bring home the new pup.
Supplies for the new Puppy
While there are hundreds of items available for puppies, there are a few that cannot be done without. Given below is a list of the essential items that your new puppy will need.
*Two dog beds are a better option as there will be toilet accidents which will require the bed to be washed.
*Food and water bowl made of stainless steel, ceramic or plastic. However, remember that a puppy can chew the edges of plastic bowls.
*Disinfectant, gloves, cleaning paper to use during those toilet accidents.
*Puppy food is appropriate for your pup’s size and age.
*Toys that cannot be swallowed to keep the pup entertained and active.
*A collar and leash to get the pup used to these from the beginning.
*Comb, brush and nail clippers for grooming the pup.
*Doggy treats to help with the training regime.
Source out a Good Veterinarian
Just like for your baby, you are now responsible for the puppy’s health and wellbeing. While puppies do not generally fall sick frequently, they do require regular check-ups to ensure that all is well. Puppies also need to get vaccinated against several diseases between the age of six and sixteen weeks followed by annual booster shots. You need to be aware of the schedule of vaccinations, de-worming, and parasite control requirements for the pup. A good veterinarian will guide you through the various requirements, along with advice on looking after the pup.
The Bottom Line
Buying and keeping a dog is a commitment. Once you bring the new pup home, life will never be the same again. Raising a puppy can sometimes be frustrating, but will always be rewarding.