Puppies are so cute. Whoever said money cannot buy happiness has honestly never gotten a puppy. They are precocious and precious, naughty yet adorable, cute as a button and yet can drive you up the wall!
I am not going to discourage you from getting home a puppy, but there’s a lot more to being a pet parent than just giving a dog a home. It takes time, effort, money and a lot more. I love my dogs to death, and the day each one of them came home to me was (and always will be) some of the happiest days of my life. But before you take the plunge, here are 6 things you need to know if you think you are ready to bring home a puppy.
That’s my adorable Emma….who is currently a 6 month old Beagle Puppy.
- You will have a ton more responsibilities
Make sure that you have enough time in your schedule because brining up a puppy is no easy feat. Your home is going to be a whole new surrounding and the pet is going to need some time to adapt to it. It is necessary that you have a certain amount of time to dedicate to the little one. If your day is already cramped with numerous obligations, wait for a more peaceful period, which is going to leave a window of time for your little friend.
- You’ll need extra time for training
While you may think you’re ready to take out time every day for the feeding/walking/grooming needs of your dog, your responsibility doesn’t end there. Puppies are notoriously naught and inquisitive. Even if you hire a trainer to teach your pup basic commands, you still need to spend time teaching the puppy about the rules of your house (and honestly, these vary from one family to the other). You’ll need to teach the dog where to pee and poop, what to play with and what not to play with, which furniture pieces are off limits for it, and also need to help your puppy get used to living with other animals, appliances, plants and more. Trust me, it all takes time.
That’s beautiful Xena, who is currently a fearless and ever-loyal 8 year old GSD
- Traveling becomes a BIG issue
While you may be lucky to find a good dog sitter, this will not always happen when you have travel plans. Trvaling with dogs is also a lot more cumbersome than what it appears to be. Your puppy may need to go on several trips before it is properly car-trained, and many dogs have separate anxiety, so they don’t do very well if left alone while you and the family go away on a vacation. What I am trying to say is, it’ll take time…and you’ll have to go through your own trial and error method to figure out how to plan your travels once the puppy is home.
- You will be cleaning up your home a lot more often
Think you only need to clean up the house a couple times a week because you’re pretty neat and organized? Think again! Dogs shed, puppies create messes everyday and I am willing to bet that living with a dog is going to re-define your idea of ‘cleanliness’. Be prepared to clean your home often. A lot more often.
That’s the child of my heart…Ginger…a dog like none other. I think the word ‘docile’ was coined just for this gentle giant of a Neapolitan Mastiff, but she was truly a high-maintenance dog.
- Your expenses are going to go up
Dogs aren’t cheap. And then your dog will need a high quality food, a doggie bed, doggie treats, grooming supplies and some toys, to name just a few things. Most dogs are happy with just the basics, but even these will cost a pretty penny. Add to that trips to the vets, vaccinations and other medical-related expenses. Make sure your budget can accommodate all these ‘extras’.
- Your leisure time will take a hit
After a long day at work, you just want to go back home, pour yourself a glass of wine and settle down with a good book to read. Well, that’s not going to happen, mate! Your dog will demand some time and attention from you….everyday. From grooming to exercising to playing to cuddling and pampering, your dog will make demands on your leisure time. Fail to comply, and you will find that your puppy will find very creative ways to vent out all that energy (and trust me, you’re not going to like any of them).
These are the most important things you should know before bringing home a puppy. In the end, it is important to mention that with all these things comes something priceless: The feeling of pure love only a dog can give, and a timeless bond of friendship.