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Adding a Puppy To the Family? Answer These Questions First

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A friend of mine got a puppy a few months ago.  The puppy is sweet and very cute, but he does whatever he feels necessary to get familiar with this big world.  Almost from the first day, my friend was putting posts on Facebook asking for advice on how to curb things like puppy chewing.

Adding a puppy to the family is comparable to having a toddler in the house.  Many people get roped in by the cuteness and don’t take time to answer the tough questions that will decide whether a puppy is the right fit for them.  If you’re considering getting a puppy, please take some time to answer these questions honestly.

Do You Have Time?

Puppies need your time, and lots of it. If you’re constantly rushing to get everything done, you may want to seriously reconsider the idea of taking home a puppy. A puppy is a new creature to this world. The dog needs your time and attention to learn how to properly live in it. He is going to need your help learning how to potty train, behave properly around other pets and people, and lots of your attention for playtime. Do you have that time to give a deserving puppy?

Is Your Family in Agreement?

This new family member is going to affect everyone in the family, including resident pets. That is why it’s a good idea to make sure everyone in the family agrees to accepting this new family member.

This ensures he comes into a completely welcoming home and that you don’t create any unwanted issues and tension between family members, and the puppy, too.

Before bringing a him home, take your resident pet(s) to meet the new one.  Watch for any signs of aggression.  If you have senior pets, consider whether a puppy might be too much stress for them. Some older pets welcome a youngster, while others don’t like the constant pestering a puppy brings.

Are You Ready For The Work?

Puppies take a lot of work. Are you ready for that? Prepared to have mop and paper towels in hand constantly?  Will you get up in the middle of the night to tend to your puppy’s needs, to play even when you don’t feel like it, make vet trips, and make trips to the store to buy pet food? Ready to handle emergency situations with your puppy? Are you ready to spend the hours and hours it takes to physically care for him; training, bathing, brushing, feeding, and other care?

Can You Afford a Puppy?

Puppies cost money. Even if you can get one absolutely free, your dog is not going to be free for long. Or, maybe you’re buying a purebred pup. Either way, the expenses don’t end when you take him home, they just begin. You’ll need money for food, bowls, toys, treats, bedding, crates, leashes, collars, grooming, shots, neutering or spaying, licenses, training or obedience classes, routine medical bills, unexpected vet bills, and more. Be prepared for this and honestly decide if you really can afford that furry friend.

Do You Have Support?

We’ve mentioned that it’s hard work taking care of a puppy. Will you have any support to help you when you need a break? Think about this before you take him home and you’ll save yourself a ton of stress.

Support can come in many different forms; the neighbor down the road who walks your dog once in a while, the family member who’s willing to dog-sit when you go out of town, the friend who can offer potty training advice and help.

Once you’ve honestly answered these questions, then you’ll be in a very good place to make a realistic decision about adopting a puppy.

Not sure it’s the right time? An alternative to consider is a young adult dog.  They’re often potty trained and a bit calmer.

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