So you want to get a puppy. Maybe the kids have been asking for one every time they see another dog walk down the street. Perhaps you and your significant other don’t want kids, but still want to see something cute and fluffy romping around the house. Perhaps you just want a friend to keep you warm at night while cuddling up to watch your favorite show. While all of these are valid reasons to get a puppy, there are a few things you need to ask yourself before you go any further:
Can I Financially Afford a Puppy?
While dogs aren’t as expensive as children, there is a considerable amount of financial responsibility when it comes to adopting one, especially when you’re getting a puppy. Most people get their hearts set on a specific breed, which is all well and good. However, if you want a purebred puppy, that can get pretty expensive. Most purebreds can range upwards of $1,000 or more.
However, there’s more to it than just simply buying a puppy. There are vet bills for shots, toys, food, a crate, and all the other essentials necessary to give your puppy a happy and healthy home.
If you can’t afford to take your puppy to the vet, then it’s best to wait.
Do I Have the Time to Train A Puppy?
Puppies are a lot of work, anyone who’s ever raised one will tell you that. They need to be trained and cared for almost constantly. Potty training isn’t something that occurs overnight. What’s more is that some breeds can actually be fairly stubborn when it comes to training, meaning you have to establish your dominance before the puppy begins to follow your lead. What about obedience training? This is a must for larger breeds, especially those that have more aggressive tendencies. Do you have time to socialize them around other dogs and people? This will make the difference between an aggressive or yappy dog, and one that is well behaved around guests and other animals.
If you don’t have the time to do these things, then it’s best to wait.
Do I Really Want a Dog in My Life?
This is a question that often gets overlooked. Many people will often decide that they want a dog on impulse. Perhaps they’ve seen a movie, or played with a friend’s dog. Perhaps they’re using a dog as a means of strengthening a new or faltering relationship. But what happens when the novelty wears off, or the relationship comes to an end? Will you still want to own a dog and raise it to maturity? If your significant other leaves, and you’re left with a puppy, can you answer the other questions above?
If the answer is no, then it’s best to wait.
It’s important to ask yourself these questions before you decide to purchase a puppy. Owning a puppy is a big responsibility, not just in caring for another living thing, but also in making sure you’re providing a happy and healthy home for the rest of their days. Purchasing a puppy on a whim, or deciding that you’re bored with it when it’s no longer a puppy is not only unfair but cruel.
If you can answer yes to all these questions, then, by all means, go get a puppy! Just make sure it’s for the right reasons. If you’re unsure, or can’t answer yes to these questions then it’s best to wait until you are ready.