Adopting Your First Puppy? Here's What You Need To Know

Collaborative post by another author. There are so many reasons to get a puppy. For one, they can lower stress. Secondly, puppies keep you active, can help you make new friends, and of course, become the perfect canine companion by your side. Whatever type of breed catches your eye, bringing a puppy into your home and raising them can provide so much love and joy between both parties. However, you do need to know what you’re getting yourself in for!

Puppies may look cute and sweet, but they are a challenge to look after. Unlike cats who often like to be left to their own devices, puppies need your constant attention and care. If you’re adamant you want to adopt a puppy, here is what you need to know before sealing the deal.

A young child playing with a new puppy on the floor
A puppy is a great addition to the family if you have done your homework to ensure they are right for you.

Assess Your Situation

Once you’ve got into your head that you want a puppy, we don’t blame you if you start your search within seconds. However, before you get all excited about the idea of welcoming a puppy into the home, you need to thoroughly assess your current situation to determine whether it’s the right move to make.

The last thing you should do is bring a puppy into your life if you’re not fully ready and committed to one. Rescue homes are filled with dogs who have been given back from their owner as they just weren’t prepared for the duties and responsibilities required to care for a puppy. Sit down with your family and have a discussion on whether it’s the right time to adopt a puppy. 

Find a Rescue Home

Once you all agree that a puppy is the way to go, it’s time to look into rescue homes in your area. You’ll want to make sure that any puppy you adopt has been checked over medically, got the necessary vaccinations, and is in good health all around.

If there’s one piece of advice we can give, it’s to not buy from a puppy farm. Those that run puppy farms don’t value the lives of the dogs they’re breeding from or the puppies. Many of the mothers are abandoned once they stop being useful for breeding. In fact, some puppies sadly will die due to poor health and the conditions they’re kept in. It’s always best to adopt a puppy from a rescue home or someone you trust.

Choose the Right Breed

When adopting a puppy, you need to have a long and hard think about what breed is right for you and your home. There are dozens of dog breeds. You may have your eyes set on one, whereas one of your loved ones may like a different breed. Remember, puppies may look cute and innocent, but some breeds are more prone to challenging behaviour than others.

To help you find the right dog breed, there are certain questions to ask yourself. These include how much experience you have with dogs, whether you’ve got the time to put into training your dog, as well as what your home is like. If you’ve got a small home, for example, you may want to start things off by bringing a smaller dog into the home, rather than a great Dane running riot! They might be small and cute as a puppy, but some breeds can grow to a considerable size.

You Will Need to Cover Vet Bills

An important thing to consider when adopting a puppy is the cost of vet bills. As your puppy grows up, they’ll cost money to feed and look after. However, it’s vet bills and medication where your wallet can take the biggest hit! They will need regular check ups, vaccinations and treatments, but it's unexpected medical problems or injuries that can really cause problems financially. To protect against this, lots of puppy owners take out insurance. Purely Pets Dog Insurance specialises in dog insurance. They provide cover for a wide variety of breeds, including spaniels, labradors and pugs. Purely Pets have 15 cover levels to pick from which give you the freedom to pick the appropriate level of cover for you and your puppy.

Should your puppy fall ill, or you have any concerns, you don’t want to be worrying about how you’re going to afford the vet bills. When you’ve got insurance in place, this can bring peace of mind as cover for certain accidents, injuries, illnesses, and even dental may be covered.

You Will Need Training Classes

When you adopt a puppy, it’s safe to say they’ll need lots of training. While many dogs have training as a puppy, training is an ongoing process. Don’t expect your puppy to automatically understand and obey your every command. Instead, allocate time to fully train them so your dog knows the rules of the house and respects your boundaries.

You may like the idea of training your puppy yourself. This can be a brilliant bonding experience. If you feel you don’t have what it takes to train your puppy, there are bound to be dog trainers in your area who you can look into. Make sure to remain patient during the training process. Your puppy may not pick up cues overnight, but you’ll start to see drastic improvements before you know it!

Puppies Need Exercise

We all know how excited dogs get when you say ‘walkies!’. There’s nothing that quite beats getting outdoors and going for a walk with your furry friend by your side. As you would expect, puppies need exercise. As they get older, their desire to go for walks will only grow! This means you need to be prepared to take your pooch out at least once each day for a stroll. 

If you’re not good on your feet or the idea of exercise fills you with dread, your puppy isn’t going to benefit. In fact, if they’re left to their own devices at home, they may start showing signs of aggression and agitation. It’s vital that puppies get daily exercise, so if you feel you’re not up to the job, it may be wise to leave getting one for now.

You Will Have Extra Family Responsibilities

As the saying goes, a dog is for life, not just for Christmas! If you’re thinking of adopting a puppy, you need to be fully aware of how much it’s going to change your day-to-day routine. With daily walks, grooming, feeding, and everything else that goes into raising a puppy, you need to have the time and patience to do all these tasks.

When you live with loved ones, you all need to come together and play your part in raising a puppy. It’s helpful to work out a schedule, so your puppy has all the love and care it desires. Have a sit down with your family and discuss who is going to do what for the puppy.

Know What to Feed Your Puppy

To support your puppy from the offset and give them the best quality of life, what you feed them plays a huge part. You’ll want your puppy to grow up into a happy and healthy dog, so pay close attention to their diet. Before picking your puppy up from a rescue centre or breeder, ask what brand and kind of food they’re being fed on. Once a puppy reaches eight weeks old, they should now be weaned from mum and be eating solid food.

Any reputable rescue centre or breeder will give you a few days’ supply of this food which you can take home with you. There is the option to keep your puppy on this same food or switch them to a different brand once they have settled in. There is a huge choice of dog food available in supermarkets and pet shops, meaning it can be difficult to know what is bed for your puppy. Just look for puppy food that states the age and size of the dog so you can be confident your purchase is suitable for them. It can help to mix their normal food with the new food to introduce them to it slowly. Also, make sure your puppy is drinking lots of water to keep hydrated.

You Will Need Dog Sitters

For those that have a hectic schedule, bringing a puppy into the mix can throw your routine into disarray. Whether you’re constantly going to and from the office, running errands, or going on trips away, someone is going to need to look after your puppy when you’re not there.

If you live with others, they can naturally take over the reins while you are away. However, those who live on their own need to look into dog sitting arrangements. You may like the idea of having someone come stay at your home to look after your puppy, rather than sending them off to the kennels. The choice is up to you.

There is no denying that a puppy will enhance your life. But, you need to be fully up to the job of looking after it and training your pooch to respect your home, other humans, and dogs. We’re not going to lie and say it will be an easy ride, but if you are fully dedicated to welcoming a puppy into your life and have a good idea of what this will entail, you should find the experience joyous, rather than a nightmare!

Just make sure that you have the money, resources, and time to care for a puppy. As they settle into family life and express their personality, you’ll be thankful you did your research on the best practices for caring for a puppy.

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