They say a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, and if I had £1 for every time one of the kids has asked when we can get a puppy I’d be considerably richer than I am now.
Living in a fourth floor flat with no garden getting a puppy is a no-no for us at the moment, but one day it’s something we’d love to do.
I always say we’re half way there as we both work from home, but I imagine having a puppy to be a bit like having another child, albeit a four-legged one, so we want to wait until the kids are old enough to get involved in the walking and training and looking after process too.
So, what do we need to consider before getting a puppy? This collaborative post reveals all!
7 things to consider before getting a puppy
1. Think about your budget
Even though there are so many wonderful reasons to get a pup, there are considerations that you’ll want to keep in mind from the start. Puppies are expensive – whether you’re looking to get a cockapoo, pug, golden retriever or another breed. Make sure that you have the money to spend on the puppy at the start as there’s nothing worse than promising your family a puppy, only to realise that they are more expensive than you initially thought. Alongside the cost of the puppy itself, you’ll also need to budget for pet food, a bed for them, treats, leads, puppy training, vet costs etcetera, and whilst there are plenty of pet shops out there (take Time for Paws for example) with various deals on offer, what you spend can rapidly ramp up in no time.
2. Consider timing
If you have a lot of holidays coming up, then it’s not the best time to take on the responsibility of a dog. But if you don’t have any coming up or are willing to cut down on holidays in the future so you can care for them, then it could be the right time. Of course, you can leave your dog with someone you know or at boarding kennels when you go away, but you should make sure that you don’t do this until they are at least four months old. Make sure that your puppy has settled in and is used to you – as well as ensuring that you’ve found the best person to look after them.
3. Consider adopting a puppy
Before you jump in and buy a puppy, why not think about adopting one instead? There are thousands of rescue centres around the country to choose from. There’s also something wonderful about adopting a puppy and finding it a forever home. Giving them another chance to lead a happy life, it can feel rewarding and more special than simply buying a puppy.
4. Who is going to look after the dog?
When getting a family dog, think about who will look after it. Although your little ones might promise they will take on all the responsibilities, after a few days you’ll likely find that you are the one that’s caring for it! Before bringing a puppy home it’s a good idea to talk about what responsibility each family member will have. That way, you’ll know that each job is equal and it’s fair.
5. Is your home environment suitable?
Another key consideration is whether your home environment is suitable for a puppy. For example, if you and your family live in an apartment, it might not be the best environment for them as they’ll have no garden to roam around. Assess your home and think about how a puppy would find living there. If you are lacking in space, you might also want to opt for a smaller breed of dog – like a terrier or pug, as a great dane or labrador will simply be too large for it.
6. Think about the breed
Following on from above, the breed of the puppy is also a consideration to keep in mind. During your research stage, pay attention to what the best breeds of dog are for families – for example, golden retrievers are known to be gentle and great for families with children. Of course, not every dog is the same. And at times a breed won’t define the dog’s nature. But it’s still essential to discover what breed might be suitable for your family before you bring a dog home.
7. Think about pet proofing
Although a puppy is small, make sure that you pet-proof your home ahead of its arrival. Not only could you consider getting a stair gate, but covering all the plug sockets and moving wires is a good idea so that they can settle in without any issues.
Have you welcomed a puppy into your family before? I’d love to hear about your experience!
This is a collaborative post.