If you are thinking about getting a puppy for your home, it is obviously going to be important that you look after it as well as you possibly can. That is something that you need to make sure you are able to do beforehand, as we will look at in some detail, and it is also going to be an ongoing thing that you need to think about in detail as you go along. In this article, we will look at many of the things that you have to bear in mind here, so that you can feel as equipped as possible to look after a new puppy. Whether you have had one before or this is your first one, you can be sure that the following advice is bound to help.
Analyze Your Situation
First of all, you need to spend some time analyzing your situation, and working out whether it might be possible for you to have a dog at all. You have to be really careful about this part, as it determines how well or not you can look after your dog, and that is going to make a difference. If there is even the slightest doubt as to whether you can look after a dog, you should say no until another day – unless you can change your circumstance enough that you can make it possible.
The most important thing is that you have a lifestyle where you can walk your dog every day. Some breeds need one walk a day, some need more like three, so you need to research the specific breed of dog you are thinking about. At the very least, you need to make sure that you can take them out to go to the toilet at least a few times a day, even if that is just in the garden or yard – if it is big enough.
If you can’t do that, then they are not going to get enough exercise, and that is going to be a big problem. That’s why it’s non-negotiable. But that’s not the only aspect to your situation that you need to analyze. You also need to determine whether or not you have enough space for your dog to live in comfortably. There is something cruel or unkind about keeping a dog in a small home, especially if there is no garden for them to enjoy. Make sure that you are doing whatever you can to provide as much space as possible.
Again, you’ll have to prioritize this if you want to have a dog at all. You should also consider if this is currently a good time in your life generally to have something living to look after. Can you give your dog the love and attention it deserves and needs, as fully as possible? If not, you need to think carefully about where your intentions lie, and you might want to reconsider getting a dog in the first place. It’s all about working out what is best for the dog.
Puppies: What To Expect
As well as getting clear on what your situation is, you also need to make sure that you know what to expect when it comes to having a puppy. If you go into it blind, then you might struggle to care for them as well as you should. Or you might just find that you get surprised and stressed out by the experience, which is not going to be what you want either. The more clear and aware you are on what to expect, the better equipped you will be to manage the whole situation as fully as possible.
One of the main things that you should bear in mind is that puppies have a lot of energy, and they require a lot of energy from you in return. You need to be ready for that if you are going to look after them properly, and if you are going to avoid the stress of the situation too. That energy can be a joy, as long as you are prepared for it in advance.
You should also bear in mind just how much work it can be to have a puppy. You need to look after them continually, and most people find that having a puppy is surprisingly challenging in this regard most of all. Again, if you are not prepared for it, you might struggle to enjoy it or make the most of it, so this is something that you should be aware of.
And you need to think about the cost of having a puppy too, which can be a lot more than many people usually seem to realize. There are food costs, vet costs, insurance and so on. Plan it all out and budget it, and make sure that you are capable of paying for it all before you even look into getting the dog. And of course, you need to be able to afford the upfront cost of the puppy itself in the first instance too.
Picking A Breed & Breeder
Now that you have decided you are ready to have a puppy, you need to make sure that you pick the right breed, and that you get it from a breeder you can trust. There are a lot of considerations to look into here. If we are honest, most people pick breeds based on what kind of dog they think they might get on with, or which they like the look of aesthetically. There is nothing wrong with that, but you should also consider the practical aspects of different breeds and their needs. It’s a good idea to thoroughly research each breed you are considering to ensure that they are the right one for you, and that you can look after them properly.
As well as finding the right breed, you have to find the right breeder, and that can be even more troublesome than getting the breed and dog chosen. Finding a breeder you can trust is often a challenge for a number of reasons. You don’t really know how much or how little you can trust them, and if you have never met them then this is going to be compounded further. It’s a good idea to find one that has a good reputation, and which is happy to answer your questions as they arise. Again, good research is key – but as long as you find a good breeder, you’ll have some lucky labs on your hands.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
When you have bought your puppy and it is time to bring them home, you need to make sure that you are aware of how that day needs to go. It is one of the most important days of all, and primarily you need to ensure that you are keeping the stress to a minimum for all involved, especially the pooch. There are a few key ways that you might be able to do that. First of all, take everything slow. Don’t rush into any part of the day, and make sure that you are keeping them calm the whole time. Talk to them in soothing tones, and allow them to do what they need to do to remain calm.
When you bring them home, be careful to keep an eye on them, but without overcrowding them, as that can stress them out a lot if you are not careful. Give them a few treats, but not too many, and make sure that they have a chance to explore the house. Of course, you should be careful to keep them away from any dangerous parts of the home, and you might want to consider having stair guards in place if that is relevant in your home, just to be safe.
Basic Puppy Care
Going forward, you then need to make sure that you are taking care of your puppy in all of the normal ways. Much of this really is common sense, but nonetheless it can be worth looking into again to help as a refresher. That way, you can make sure that you are doing what you should be doing, and giving them a great start to their life.
Most important is getting their diet right. It is very easy to overfeed or underfeed a puppy. Again, this depends on breed, so look up the dietary recommendations for your breed, or ask your local vet. As well as that, you should ensure you are taking them for walks and playing with them at home, to help them exercise and for fun. It also helps with developing your bond, which is hugely important for them as well.
Apart from that, make sure you book in to see the vet so you can have their vaccinations and so on done too. Those are a hugely important part of looking after them. As long as you do all that, your puppy should be in good spirits, happy and healthy, and should grow into a happy and healthy adult dog.