We all want things NOW, don't we? Instant text, drive-thru meals, Amazon packages on our porch same day.
Well, buying a puppy is not one of those things you should get NOW; a puppy is not a drive-thru kind of experience or decision. It is a very huge decision and should be allowed some serious thought and preparation.
Their article will help you navigate through if you should get a puppy, how to prepare your home for one if you decide to get one, which includes the most important items to keep your puppy safe and happy in their new home, and lastly the okay to return the purchase if things don't work out.
Make Sure Your Family Wants A New Puppy
First of all, does EVERYONE in your home want a puppy? Want as in they will accept the puppy, support you as its primary caregiver, and allow the dog to stay in the house.
Which brings up what really should be the first thought, are animals even allowed in your home? Do you own your home, or are you leasing (cause checking on the specifics of a lease agreement is crucial before adopting a puppy)?
Once the logistics of a dog being a possibility are realized, and all present in the home agree on the idea, get to researching.
Make Sure You Know What To Expect With A New Puppy
Research is so smart. Do it. You know you read at least twenty reviews on your most recent purchase of a vacuum, so be willing to devote a couple hours to figure out what breeds of dogs will have the highest probability of compatibility with you.
Knowing ahead of time what you'll expect from your pet will prepare you mentally for the challenges; they won't be shocking emotional roller coasters, unless you are the whimsical type.
In that case, show up to the pet store/animal shelter, and cuddle up next to each and everyone, until one strikes your fancy. Then take that one home with a bucket full of hopefulness!
Puppy-Proof Your Home!
Home prep. Awesome! You've made the rational decision to become a pet owner of a puppy, you should really go buy a bar of chocolate for the day after he arrives, and now need to know what to do to your home.
Think about yourself. What do you use? What brings you comfort? Dogs have much of the same needs. First of all, buy him some food-wet or dry, you decide. Both offer benefits.
While you're at the store, get your future pooch the right equipment they need to puppy-proof your home and keep them healthy with the right food and water bowls, a collar, an ID tag for their collar (be sure to list your phone number on it), a leash, a few chew safe toys and some soft, comforting ones as well, a crate for transporting him safely in the car, and a high-quality indestructible dog bed.
Help Your Puppy Feel Safe & Confident
Okay, okay. That was a lot of information. While most of that is relatively simple to understand, let's focus a little more on at least two of those in the list.
If you have decided to crate train your dog, because you have a full-time job like most people that breathe do, then you have realized what a great tool it is. Crates can help your dog learn bladder control, keep himself in check (be calm, no barking, those sorts of tests) and feel a sense of security.
Crate time rule of thumb: one hour per each month of age, ten hours maximum/day. Each session should precede and succeed an hour of exercise.
Find A Comfortable Bed For Your Pooch
Next, the bed. Most dogs chew. Almost everything...and sometimes forever. And they sleep a lot too. Most dogs sleep up to 14 hours in any given 24hr period. So they need support for their energetic little or big bodies.
Do them the favor of buying them a valuable, unbreakable bed-along with at least 1 spare bed cover. Because with dogs, accidents happen. They just do. And additional accessories are beneficial. Buy it. You won't regret it.
Put their crate in their space (maybe purchase a second bed to go in the box), along with their bed close by, with a few toys next to it, and their food/water dishes within sight as well.
Now It’s Time: Picking Up Your Puppy!
Okay. You're ready to pick up the puppy. But this article won't leave you hangin' entirely. We'll walk you all the way through the home door.
Once at the purchase location with your said new family member in your arms, ask some critical questions to the seller. Have they had their vaccines? Get their paperwork? What is their current eating/exercising regiment?
Help Your Puppy Be Comfortable In Their New Home
Alright, you made it home. Let your dog circle the outside of the house, relieve himself, smell everything, twice, before entering. Immediately show him their space. Training your dog will start the first moment you have him.
Establish a list of words you'll use when directing them. Their will help prevent confusion and help your dog learn their commands quickly. Example: "Fluffy (make eye contact before saying more), sit!"...then offer him a small treat if he listened, followed by "Good dog."
Some common words include: watch me, no, stand, let's go, come, off, out. Patience and consistency are the keys to your success as a pet owner.
Now, print out an awesome selfie photo with your dog, write a thank you card to the one who sold the dog to you, and mails them both to them. A kind, often overlooked, gesture. Do it, they'll appreciate it.
But...say it's been six months, your dog is mostly out of their puppy phases, and you cannot handle the situation one more second. Do not stress. Pet ownership is NOT for everyone. You are not defective, or deemed less-than.
Just prepare the dog to be returned to the original owner, if possible, and jog the experience down as learned.
Alrighty, you made it to the end of the educational sermon. You should be proud of yourself for being proactive on learning how to be a responsible pet owner.
Puppies, and eventually dogs, are amazing creatures. They never talk back, they forgive you almost instantly, and they will faithfully love you forever. Happy dog-parenting!