The delirious excitement of bringing a puppy home can often be overshadowed by the anxiety that comes along with it. People question if they’re ready, and feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a tiny energetic creature taking over the house.
To help alleviate the pressure and get back to the excitement, we’ve collected some of the most important basics of puppy preparation. After all, a new puppy can be an extremely rewarding event – if you’re ready.
1. The Entire Household is Committed
Everyone in your household should not only be aware that a puppy is coming, but also prepared. Have a clear line of communication open with kids, spouses, parents, and roommates. Make sure everyone is all-in when it comes to getting a puppy.
If someone has reservations, then hear them out. Everyone deserves the chance to object. If the puppy comes home and someone is resistant to offer care or worse, resentful, then he might not get the care he needs. In addition, puppies are sensitive and will pick up on when someone has negative feelings. You want to make sure the puppy will feel safe and loved in their new home.
2. Your Home is Prepared
Puppies are rambunctious! They chew, and run, and urinate unexpectedly. They’re often compared to newborn babies when it comes to home preparation. For example, any poisonous plants for dogs need to be removed or elevated out of reach. You may even need a baby gate to keep a tiny pup from climbing dangerous stairs that he’s not ready for.
Try making a list of everything you can think of that could harm a puppy and everything that puppy might need. Crates, puppy food, secure gates, anything that a puppy could need or get into trouble with. After making the list, get everything ready that you can to be safe and start puppy-proofing your home.
3. The Puppy is Ready
Sometimes puppies just aren’t ready to leave their moms. Talk to your breeder, and make sure the puppy you have in mind is mature enough to be on his own. Never take a pup before 8 weeks of age. If puppies are taken before they’re completely weaned, they can develop nutritional difficulties or even behavioral problems like anxiety and aggression.
4. Your Landlord Approves
This is a simple one compared to the rest: make sure your landlord, if you have one, is aware and approves of your new puppy. Some landlords make it clear in their leases, and some don’t. Make a point to give him or her a call and ask if it’s okay to take in a puppy. Sometimes, landlords will even require a description or picture of the breed for security reasons. They may even ask for a pet security deposit.
5. Your Finances are Stable
On average, Americans spend $1,641 per year on their dogs. Veterinarian visits, dog food, boarding kennels, and training adds up over time. It comes to about $140 a month. As long as your budget accounts for him, your puppy will be safe to bring home. Just in case, make sure you have a backup plan for a catastrophic financial event. Many puppies end up losing their forever homes because the finances just weren’t there.
Puppies get accustomed to their homes and attached to their humans, so being uprooted can be very jarring and even traumatizing for them. Start with proper financial planning and creating backup plans. By setting up a temporary just-in-case home for him, like with an aunt or a cousin, you can be prepared for anything while keeping your furry family intact.
As soon as a puppy sets foot in his new home, he adapts to fit in. He gets comfortable and joins the family. When dogs are separated from their families, it can be devastating. Before you bring a puppy home, try to cover all your bases to make sure that never happens.