Things to realize before getting that puppy

There are a lot of things that I learned in the process of getting my puppy, who will finally be coming home tomorrow 🙂 Here are a few things worth thinking about before making the decision to get a puppy:

  • Having a puppy is like having a baby. I had to puppy proof my home, just like any parent would child proof their home. I have a baby gate that now stands tall, blocking the stairs in my home. I had to get rid of any hanging wires or cables hanging from outlets or furniture, plants that were on the floor, and any small items that she could swallow. I also prepared a housebreaking schedule for her that consists of times in the day when she has to eat, go potty, and so forth. The toys! She is spoiled with a box full of cute toys for her to chew on, which is important to keep her entertained and useful for when she starts teething (yes, dogs have a teething phase too!). Training a dog is almost like raising a child; you have to commit your time to the growth of this little one (especially during their first three weeks at your home for training). A question to ask yourself is: Do you have the time? And if not, can you hire someone, get a friend or family member to help, or get time off work?
  • Your wallet or bank account will probably cry for the first month before you get your puppy. I didn’t realize how much things a dog needs. Here’s a list of some of the things I had to buy:
    • Play pen
    • Dog bed with blanket
    • Toys
    • Collar
    • Harness
    • Leash
    • Pet I.D tag
    • Treats
    • Food
    • Two bowls for food and water
    • Hair brush and comb
    • Shampoo
    • Nail clipper
    • Nature’s Miracle stain remover spray
    • Dog poo bags
    • Dog car booster seat

So you can imagine that there are indeed a lot of dog necessities. It’s important to think about this if you’re thinking about whether or not you are financially ready to own a dog. Apart from this list, there are also other expenses to keep in mind (vet shots, check up, getting spayed or neutered, and so forth).

  • Do extensive research on different dog breeds. This is very important to do before you adopt that pup. Believe it or not, every breed has their own kind of temperament and factors to think about. For example, Pomeranians are said to bark a lot because they are small dogs that think they are bigger, Poodles are active and intelligent dogs that will be bored if they don’t have some sort of stimulation or activity, some breeds are more hypoallergenic than other breeds, and so forth. These are important things to consider because if, for example, you have allergies and want to get a dog, of course you’d want to look into getting a hypoallergenic dog or if you don’t think you can handle a lot of barking then you would know not to get a Pomeranian. In short, knowing more about the breed before you decide on which puppy to get will ensure that you don’t get any surprises later on and that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
  • Make sure you are adopting the dog from a reliable place. Do some background research on the breeder or the rescue place or wherever you’re thinking of adopting the dog. I honestly almost got scammed once. I found a website that was selling a rare dog that I was looking for and I emailed them to inquire and they emailed back but their email was really fishy. For one, they referred to the dog that I wanted as a “he” when the ad said it was a “she”. That should have been a big red flag to me because as breeders they should really know their dogs.Secondly, they said that they could ship the dog to my local airport for an additional price or ship to my house for an additional price. A breeder that you can trust won’t keep adding additional prices on top of things. Anyway, I did a Google search on this website and a bunch of reviews showed up saying that they scammed a bunch of people. So, do your research. If your gut feels something fishy or wrong about them, don’t proceed to adopt from them. And make sure to ask a lot of questions about the dog; a breeder you can trust will be able to answer each one.
  • Know when the price of the dog is a rip off or not. People these days are selling dogs in the $1000s now. I was truly shocked when I started looking around. I guess some reasoning behind it is the rarity of its breed or its coat colour, and its quality. Before I adopted my puppy, I had to think about what was included in the price (because it was not that cheap). I personally thought the price was fair because the first shots and deworming was included in the price, the breeder herself takes care of the pups from birth until their 8th week, the breeder sends pictures of the pup every week, the pup is a healthy pure bred, and the breeder’s location is in my own city (don’t have to pay extra to travel far to get the pup). If the price is really low, that’s something else to watch out for too. The seller might be really trying to get rid of the dog asap for a reason (perhaps there’s a medical issue that he or she won’t point out at first or a behavioural issue). Before buying, be sure to ask the seller or breeder if the dog has any medical conditions. These are things to consider before really putting your money down.
  • Learn more about dogs and the ways you can train them. When I adopted my pup, I spent almost every night before bed researching more about dogs. I even have a Pinterest board specifically for dogs that has a lot of infographs. This will prepare you for when you finally have your pup in your home. These are a few tips that I learned:
    • Positively reward your dog instead of negatively punishing them. Punishing them will only teach them to fear you and won’t do what you want.
    • Some basic important things you need to teach your dog first is their name, how to sit, and how to be quiet when they bark a lot.
    • Leash training is important.
    • Dogs have to brush their teeth too, and they have their own kind of special toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Do not say their name when you’re mad or to punish them. Only use their name when rewarding or else she won’t come to you when you say their name.
    • When you take your pup from the breeder’s home, rub her blanket against her siblings or mother so that your pup will have their scent even when separated from them. This will prevent your pup from crying on the first night at your home. You can also sleep in the same room as your pup to reduce crying.

There are a bunch of things to learn about dogs before getting one of your own. Although it might seem like a lot, I think dogs are definitely worth it 🙂

Do you have any tips or first time experiences with a puppy? Feel free to share below.