10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting your First Puppy
If you're reading this, it means that you’re probably getting your first puppy, and we’re so excited for you!
We're here to give you tips for bringing a new puppy home!
There’re a lot of decisions to make and factors to consider before you decide to bring home a new puppy.
You need to think about where should the puppy sleep in his new home, who will be around to take care of him, do you have all the supplies on hand and a long etcetera.
We know how hard it is not to get one, who wouldn’t want to have a cute puppy face around all the time?
It’s important we stay conscious and avoid taking home a puppy at the wrong time.
Do your research first.
Learn if you’re ready to have a new furry friend and find out how to take responsibility for your future family member.
Get educated on how to prepare for your new best friend and how to raise them well.
What You Should Think About Before Buying a Dog
A new pet brings a lot of fun and excitement for the whole family.
At the same time, it completely turns your life upside down!
To make sure that your future life together runs as smoothly as possible, you should consider some important factors that come with living with a four-legged friend.
Your life situation will change radically with a dog.
After all, you’re taking on responsibility for a living creature.
Also, you'll be gaining a faithful companion as the newest member of the family.
Do you want to find out if you’re ready for a puppy? Let’s make this easy with our
10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Your First Puppy:
1. Is My Living Situation Adequate for a Puppy?
One of the most important things to consider is the size of the place you’re living in.
Additionally, think about your puppy's new family members— are they okay with adding a resident pet to the household?
Are there younger children in the house?
Are there any allergies in the family?
Will your dog be able to rest in his own safe space in your home?
Are there other pets in the house?
Depending on your living situation, you should carefully consider whether and, if so, what kind of dog would be a good fit for you.
If you’re renting, make sure you get written permission from your landlord to keep a dog.
If you plan to move frequently, remember that finding a place to live will be more difficult if you have a dog.
Moreover, a new environment can be stressful for pets and moving frequently may cause unnecessary anxiety even for adult dogs.
2. Do I Have the Financial Means To Cover All the Costs?
Before getting a puppy, there’s the fact that you will also have to pay for dog food, care, deworming and vaccinations, as well as dog tax and insurance.
In addition, your dog can become ill and a visit to the vet becomes unavoidable - be it for a cold or chronic or severe illnesses that require many visits to the vet or even operations.
Our tip: Find out about special health insurance that also covers operations.
In an emergency, you can then be helped quickly without getting into financial difficulties.
3. Do I Have Enough Time?
Another question to consider is if you have lots of time to devote to your resident dog.
One aspect of dog ownership that should not be underestimated is the time factor.
A dog has individual needs.
Depending on the dog, it's a good idea to plan at least 1-2 hours a day for walking and also take time for other activities.
You might also need a little patience in training.
A dog is a pack animal and usually does not like to be alone.
A general rule is that you should not leave your Fluffy Friend alone for more than 4-5 hours.
If you’re going to work full time, you should check beforehand whether your dog may be allowed to come to work with you or whether you have a person or foster home who will look after him while you’re away.
Young puppies need to be fed three to four times a day.
As part of potty training, they need to be taken outside immediately after eating or drinking so they can do their business outside.
A puppy might wake you up several times during the night for potty breaks.
As we explained in a previous blog, dogs not only want to be exercised physically, but should be challenged and encouraged with mental work as well.
Taking care of a pet takes a lot of work and time.
You need to think carefully about whether you have enough time to juggle your job, family, friends, and free time alongside your dog.
Our tip: Dog sharing - sharing a dog between several people is becoming increasingly popular and offers an alternative to having your own dog.
Maybe there’re neighbours, friends or family members who can help you raise and care for your four-legged friend.
4. Can I Take Care of a Dog in the Long Term?
Puppy owners should be aware that a dog can live up to 10-18 years, depending on breed and size.
The life expectancy of larger dogs is usually less than that of smaller dogs.
Even when your life cannot be planned down to the smallest detail, it’s important to consider this aspect when thinking about getting a dog.
Be sure that you want your four-legged friend by your side in good times and bad - after all, a dog wants to become a permanent member of the family.
5. Can I Give My Dog Good Training and Education?
This one’s more like a general rule, no matter whether you get a puppy, a young dog or an older dog.
Our Fluffy Friends need education and clear structures in their lives.
In addition to basic commands and house rules, it is especially important to socialize your dog.
This is the part where you, as a new puppy parent, take responsibility.
It’s crucial that you know your dog's behaviour and how to deal with it.
The more you know about the dog's past beforehand, the better you can act and respond to him.
A quick tip: Look into the different types of training— from crate training and reward-based training to clicker training and positive reinforcement training.
6. Am I Patient and Consistent Enough for a Dog?
It might sound silly, but, like people, dogs have individual characters, different behaviours and smaller or larger "quirks".
Your pooch won’t always understand your requests and commands straight away, sometimes he may deliberately ignore them or want to discuss them.
Has he once again knocked over and rummaged through the rubbish bin or repeatedly stolen your food from your plate?
Situations like these can be exhausting and a test of patience.
Dogs sense human behaviour - especially nervousness, impatience and fear.
As an owner, you’re constantly challenged to keep your nerve and to show your doggie that he needs to follow consistent rules.
7. What Expertise Do I Have?
Now don’t get me wrong.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a puppy if you don’t have previous experience.
This means that it’s part of the dog owner’s responsibility to know how much we know, and most importantly, how much we still don’t know!
In some countries, it’s mandatory to finish a dog-care course before even thinking of getting a Fluffy Friend.
In these courses, they teach you everything from beginning to end: where to adopt/buy a puppy, how to prepare, what not to do, and so on.
Make sure you do your part and educate yourself as much as you can before you take a new dog home.
8. Am I Willing To Adapt My Lifestyle to the Needs of the Dog?
Keep in mind that having a dog limits your leisure activities and holiday planning.
Even though there are many dog-friendly hotels and guesthouses, make sure that dogs are allowed and even welcome.
Regarding air-travelling, for example, small pets can usually be transported in suitable bags.
Large dogs must be carried in crates in the cargo hold.
Please note that air travel can be stressful for your Fluffy Friend.
Therefore, you should consider whether it makes more sense not to fly or to leave your pet in a safe place like a pet hotel or a trusted family member for the duration of the holiday.
Also, if you have many hobbies or you prefer to spend your weekends away, remember that your pooch will always prefer to stay with you.
Therefore, think carefully about how much you’re willing to rearrange your activities to accommodate your dog and their needs.
9. Can I Cope With Mess, Dirt and Smells?
As you probably also know, dogs love to roll around in the mud, leaves, or grass.
Especially in bad weather, cleaning dog paws and floors are the order of the day.
You can also expect hairy times with most dog breeds - especially during the shedding season (spring & autumn).
New puppies can be destructive, as they want to explore, chew, lick, and possibly even eat things in their environment.
Many four-legged friends also like to redecorate the home by moving loose items from A to B.
If you miss a sock - have a look in the dog basket.
If your doggie is not house-trained, you might step in a puddle when you get up in the morning.
Puppy food, chew toy, treats, and other small items might end up on the fluffy living room carpet.
Some dogs also mark their own home.
10. Is a Puppy the Best Decision?
Maybe you're not in a good place right now to own a puppy.
Remember that you always have the possibility of adopting an adult dog, which would probably make things easier for you.
No matter what age you decide on, it's important to find out exactly what your dog's needs are at that particular stage of life.
The decision for a dog at a certain age influences, for example, how much time you have to spend with your four-legged friend (e.g. for training, playing and occupation) and how high the costs are for keeping your pet.
By now you’ve probably realized that getting a Fluffy Friend will bring about many changes in your life.
There are many advantages to having a dog, including the exercise of walking in the fresh air and the ease of contact with people who love their faithful companions as much as you do.
However, the decision for or against getting a dog is complex and not easy.
It affects the entire family and should therefore be made with consideration for all family members.
I encourage you to take enough time for your decision and let it sink in.
Ask dog owners in your circle of friends and relatives about the possibility of taking their dog into care for a few days to help you make a practical decision.
We hope you enjoyed our new puppy checklist!
What things did you consider when getting your first puppy?
Are you getting ready for a new addition right now?
Tell us down below!
We’re always glad to read your comments! :-)
Until next time, stay Fluffy!
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Words from our author
As a pet owner, I often found myself in a very frustrating situation: going to the internet and finding multiple unhelpful and redundant articles about the care and training of pets.
My mission is to create a community blog where you can find all types of information, training tips and tricks, focusing on natural and organic ways of pet-owning and training.
Understanding your pet is like understanding a whole new world - and I want us to discover it together!