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If you’ve been considering getting a puppy for a while, I bet you’re full of excitement about the idea. Having a cute little bundle of fur following you around, teaching them tricks and taking them to exciting new places is so much fun!
There’s a lot to having a new puppy, though. Here are some things that are well worth being aware of before taking the plunge and getting a puppy.
Raising a Puppy Can Be Stressful
Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, but it can be pretty stressful, particularly during the puppy stages! Our dogs need us to teach them how to listen and obey to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.
It can take serious time and trial and error to see how your dog learns best. Many mistakes will be made, trust me. They might eat your favorite pair of shoes, pee on your couch more than once, or develop behavioral habits that you’re not sure how to deal with.
Roxy was the cutest, snuggliest puppy ever. One day, we were napping when she was only a few weeks old. Since she was abandoned in a box with her siblings, we’re unsure of her exact age, but she was probably around 6-7 weeks old.
So we’re in bed snuggled up and fast asleep, when all of a sudden, I felt wet…and warm…NOOO. Even though I had just taken her out to potty right before our nap, she decided that the blanket I was under made a GREAT potty spot!
That’s just one example of the many crazy, gross things puppies do. Now, I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but it is important to go into it knowing what to expect.
They Take a Lot of Your Time
If you enjoy regular trips away, late night parties at friend’s houses, and the freedom to come and go as you please, it gets much more difficult when you have a dog.
The first few months of a puppy’s life, they shouldn’t be left alone for more than an hour or two.
Up until they’re around a year old, they’ll need someone available to let them out regularly. Having a dog sitter come in and spend time with them during the day is a great option to get them through long days.
Dogs are social creatures that are highly bonded to their family, so if you live the kind of life where you’re constantly away, it may not be the best time to get a puppy.
Instead, you might consider rescuing an adult or senior dog! Many older dogs are much more adaptable to a busy lifestyle. They still need time, love, and attention, of course. But they typically require much less training and housebreaking than a new puppy needs.
And keep in mind, saving a senior dog doesn’t necessarily mean they’re old! Many dogs are considered “senior” at around 8 years old, but can have happy, long lives well past that.
For example, our Ginger lived to be 15 years old! From 8 to 15 was the easiest, most fun time. We could take her anywhere with us, and she was calm and chill.
She’d still get zoomies and would play with toys, but didn’t need as much constant monitoring to make sure she was staying out of trouble like puppies always seem to get into.
Dogs Are Expensive!
The many costs of owning a dog can add up to serious money! For starters, the cost of food, bedding, and toys adds up. In addition, they’ll need regular veterinary care for wellness checks and to get their vaccinations.
Some dogs require professional grooming to keep their coat from getting matted and from falling in their eyes. You may also need to take them to training classes so they learn positive socialization skills.
Another expense to consider if you rent your home is that you may have to pay extra for a pet deposit.
I still find myself googling things like best puppy food to make sure I’m giving them the best quality food I can. You’ll also need to consider if pet insurance is necessary, and which company you should go with. I’ve put together some ways to save money on pet expenses here!
You’ll also inevitably end up making worrying trips to the vet when they’re under the weather. Plus, there’s always some worry about if you’re doing a good job raising them to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted dogs.
Everyone tells you about ‘parent guilt’- no one tells you the same is true when you’re raising a puppy!
Dogs are Meant to Be Lifelong Companions
If you aren’t committed to the idea of giving your dog the best life for their entire life, I highly recommend reevaluating your motivation for getting a dog. They aren’t disposable things that you can get rid of when going through life changes, such as having a baby.
Now, I’m 100% team dog, obviously! But seriously, raising a puppy is hard work and not something to be taken lightly. You lose sleep, you can get frustrated at times, you might even feel a little tied down where you have to turn down social plans to stay in and care for your pup.
With this being said, it really is all worth it. Dogs are loyal, sweet, and offer true companionship. There’s a bond between you and your dog like no other. Just be aware that it will be difficult at times.
It’s best to go into it in the right frame of mind and prepare to commit to everything that your puppy will need when you bring them into your life.
Have you recently brought home a new puppy? Here’s a list of essentials to spoil them with!