Getting a puppy is so exciting. Just the thought of it sends the feel-good chemicals in our brain running wild.
But there is, of course, a lot of commitment required - you’re responsible for someone else's’ life, and making sure you meet their wants and needs.
Before you make the commitment and bring a little pooch into your life, we’ve compiled a list of the most important things you need to consider before getting a puppy, including preparing for a puppy, and how your current routines will be affected by a gorgeous new addition.
Am I Ready for a Puppy?
Getting a puppy is an exciting time for everyone in your family or household. Who wouldn’t want to play with the cutest little animal on the face of the earth?
Looking after a puppy isn’t as straightforward as one might think. Puppies are a commitment, and require regular feeding and attention. This doesn’t stop once they reach adulthood around the age of 6 months- they need affection, and time and attention to develop good habits.
Source: Leah Kelley
How Much Time Do I Have for My Puppy?
Now is a good time to think about how much extra time you have to devote to a puppy. If you have family around you that can share the task of looking after a pup/dog - even better! Take into consideration your:
• Career - are you in a position to take on more responsibility right now?
• Relationships - consult the views of your loved ones.
• The amount of travel you do.
• Toilet training and behaviour training.
Depending on the size and age of the dog, dogs require anywhere between 30 mins and 2 hours of exercise each day. Sure, some days this is unrealistic, but most days it is your responsibility as an owner to facilitate their exercise.
Like us, they need to move to be happy and healthy. Otherwise you might be left with an unhappy and potentially misbehaving pup! If you think of your current daily routine, would including at least 30 mins to exercise your dog each day fit in?
Experts recommend feeding your pooch twice a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. Their water will need updating regularly and you will need to supply dog food.
It sounds like common sense - but sometimes these things slip our minds! Especially when some of us find it hard enough feeding ourselves!
Is My Home Ready for a Puppy?
You want to consider what your puppy, and soon to be dog will require at home. This is also a good time to check that you are allowed to have animals in your home (you might be renting) and research how big your pup will grow to be!
Would pup have enough space to run around - do you have a back garden? Or a local park nearby?
It makes sense that stairs, balconies, and pools/ponds are kept away from a puppy. Think about your home from the viewpoint of a puppy - what are they going to have access to?
You can install a baby stair gate to supervise your pup when you’re not there. Along with that, a gate and extra toys can discourage your pup from chewing your furniture and other possessions!
Another thing to consider is where your pup is going to sleep. It is recommended that allowing them to sleep in a crate suitable for their size will encourage them to sleep but not soil the area. Keep the crate in the living room so puppy feels a part of the family, and don’t lock him/her in it.
Which Puppy for Me?
The final question to ask is which puppy would be best for you, your habits, and your lifestyle. Different breeds require more or less exercise. For example, non-active dogs include:
• English bull dogs
• Shih Tzus
• Chow chows
• Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
• Basset Hounds
• Boston Terriers
Dogs that require a lot of exercise are:
• Russel Terriers
• Rhodesian Ridgebacks
• Siberian Huskies
• Labradors/Golden Retrievers
• Border Collies
• German Shepherds
For a full list of the most active dogs, you can view our fun interactive graph that shows the best dogs to run with!
Hopefully this guide has helped you decide whether or not you're ready for a puppy. It's a lot of hard work initially, but the rewards of raising a well-trained and well-looked after dog are ultimately worth the ride!