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Guide to Getting a New Puppy

Guide to Getting a New Puppy

By Lisa Selvaggio

Are you thinking about getting a puppy that will be your constant companion? Spring is a great time to do just that, as the weather makes it easy to take your puppy outside for training and play. But before you bring a puppy home, check out our short guide below, which showcases some information on what to expect and how to prepare for this new adorable addition to your family.

Different Dog Breeds, Different Needs

There are many canine breeds to choose from, and each has its own unique needs that should be considered. Here are a few things worth thinking about to help you determine what type of dog would be the best match for your lifestyle:

  • How much time do you have to devote to your pet? Are you always busy at work and away from home for long stretches of time? Are there other family members who can be there for your pooch? Some breeds prefer being the center of attention and might even suffer from separation anxiety, while others are known for being more independent, so those are traits to consider. Also, some breeds can be harder to train than others, so they’ll require more of your time and patience as well.

  • Another thing to think about is how well your dog will get along with the rest of the family if you have kids or other pets, or if you are planning on having them in the future. Some breeds get along wonderfully with other animals and with children, while others aren’t as sociable.

  • When it comes to grooming, certain breeds are more high-maintenance than others, and some will shed more than others. Think about the work that you’ll need to put into keeping your pet’s skin and coat healthy, and whether or not shedding would be a problem for you.

  • When it comes to dogs, size matters, as does their activity level and exercise needs. For example, big canines might be a lot to handle, and it may be difficult to live with a large dog in a small home. Also, some breeds require more physical activity than others, so having a yard could make it easier to let your pooch run outside and play to release his energy in positive ways.

Tip: Even if you’re planning on going to a shelter or rescue group (which we always recommend doing because it means you’ll save a life!), ask about a pooch’s breed(s) so you can get a better idea of what his needs will be and whether or not you can fulfill those needs so everyone will be happy.

Puppies Are Full of Surprises, and They Can Be Hard Work!

Puppies are super cute, but they can also be a lot of work, especially in the first year or so as they’re growing into adults. And remember: even if you’ve had dogs in the past, every pooch has a distinct personality, so you have to get to know your pet’s preferences and habits.

  • You might wonder why your puppy is exhibiting certain behaviors, such as chewing on your shoes or staying up at night when he should be sleeping. Keep in mind that he’ll go through different phases, such as teething, as he grows. You need to be prepared for the behaviors that can occur, and you need to be ready to train your dog in a patient and gentle way to avoid or correct negative behaviors. Consulting with your vet to be sure there aren’t any underlying health problems causing those bad behaviors is also wise.

  • It’s smart to take steps in advance to keep your pup out of trouble. This might include tying up electrical cords and keeping them out of reach so he doesn’t chew on them, and locking away anything that could be harmful to your pooch, such as cleaning supplies. You can also move plants that are toxic to canines so they’re out of reach, and you can use a barricade to keep your pet out of certain areas of your home. Plus, it’s a good idea to store valuables to keep them safe from your inquisitive companion.

Tip: All of this might seem like a lot to think about, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed, as there are plenty of resources packed with information, like books, websites, and your veterinarian. These can help you navigate this experience with less stress. And, of course, doing research in advance will help prepare you for what lies ahead so there will be fewer surprises.

There’s a Lot to Think About Before Getting a Puppy!

A puppy will need your attention and affection, he’ll need to learn the rules, and he’ll need to get exercise and be fed a high-quality diet to stay healthy. So, before you make the decision to get a furbaby, give it plenty of thought to be sure it’s the right choice. Then, once you bring your pooch home, enjoy every moment watching your new forever friend grow.

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