On your homestead, you will often find need for various animals, some livestock, some domestic. There are “rules” for bringing any type of animal home: things you need to bring home with them for proper care, considerations of what to feed them (and how to store and keep that food fresh), where they will sleep, and of course, proper training. Some things are more important than others. Here are some things that you will want to consider when bringing a puppy home.
Who wouldn’t want to bring a puppy home with them? After walking around an outdoor show where these little cuties are being shown, visiting a local pet store where they are being adopted out, or after seeing other dog walkers with their pups at the local park, your heart might melt at the sight of them. They are irresistible, and as a consequence, you might be tempted to get a puppy of your own. If you do, there are some things to think about before you make the commitment.
#1: You actually have the time to commit to a puppy.
Puppies need a lot of time and attention. They need to be played with, exercised, and properly trained, especially if they are a more active breed. If you don’t have the time to commit to your new puppy, then you will see the consequences. Without sufficient exercise and potty training, you are going to find those nasty little accidents around the home. Without mental stimulation, your high-energy puppy will get bored and sabotage your shoes and furnishings.
No matter how adorable they are, puppies are hard work, and it requires a full-time commitment to look after them. When we brought out Bella home, it was a very big commitment for me personally. Since I was home taking care of the farm, naturally, her care fell to me as well. If I were to liken it to anything, it would be akin to having a new baby in the house. I am glad I spent the time, because having a trained dog that is otherwise difficult to control is definitely the way to go.
Help is available, of course. You can hire dog walkers and trainers to alleviate some of the pressure. But if you are out a lot of the time, and don’t have the time or energy to commit to your puppy, then you might consider waiting until your lifestyle changes before bringing a new pup home.
#2: You can afford all to cover all the puppy’s needs.
It doesn’t seem like they would be, but puppies are expensive. On a basic level, you need the funds to buy food, chew toys, bedding, and toilet pads. But then there are those other expenses, such as buying what you need to puppy-proof your home, including indoor and outdoor safety gates and dog-proof furniture.
There are also veterinary bills to consider, which will include the expense of vaccinations, as well as any emergency care your dog will need should they fall ill or become injured. And then there’s flea and worm treatments, microchipping, insurance, and the cost of boarding kennels should you be away for long periods of time. In short, puppies are not cheap, so you may want to check your finances to see if you can budget a puppy in before committing.
#3: You’ll be able to manage the stresses of bringing a puppy home.
On the one hand, dogs are a great stress-reliever. There are studies to prove it. In our family, Bella is someone we can hug and love on when we feel we need that extra boost of affection. She is a very affectionate breed for the most part, so it’s a great give-and-take relationship.
However, dogs can also create stress in your life, so you need to be prepared for the challenges ahead. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time maintaining your home, as there will be instances of muddy footprints, potty accidents, and chewed furniture.
There is also the risk of flea infestations, which is why you need to commit to a regular schedule of flea treatment. However, in our experience, and because Bella is a primarily indoor dog, we have largely been able to avoid the use of flea treatments. We have probably only had to treat her once or twice for fleas she picked up from one of our indoor/outdoor animals.
When your dog is young, you will inevitably have to put up with boundless amounts of energy. Can your nerves withstand the pressure? If you enjoy a clean and tidy house, and have a low threshold for stress, then you might consider getting a pet with fewer needs before bringing home a puppy!
We aren’t trying to deter you from getting a puppy; there are advantages in doing so, but you do need to be prepared. We knew when we were considering our new puppy that there would be work involved, but if we’re honest, it was a lot more work than we had first anticipated.
As the saying goes, ‘a dog is for life,’ so consider your situation, and ask yourself the questions we raised before bringing a puppy home. This isn’t only for your sake, but it’s for the sake of the puppy too, as he needs to be happy in your home as well as you.
Let us know what you think, and if you have any further advice for our readers, please share your wisdom with us.