Are you thinking of getting a new puppy this year? We’re excited for you! A dog adds so much wonder and joy into your life, if you’re ready for it. If you’ve been a dog owner in the past or have one currently, then you know what to expect. But if you’re new to this whole dog parent thing, then you may come face to face with some problems that catch you off guard. Are you ready for all the puppy care?
If you’re not sure, that’s totally okay! Being a pet parent is a lot of fun and it always keeps you on your toes. But it is amazing and the companionship and love that comes with has no equal. So, before you decide to take the leap, we at Doggy Brace compiled a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine if you’re ready for a new fluffy addition to the family.
Do You Know What It Takes?
A dog isn’t a toy. It’s a living companion that requires love and attention for 10-20+ years. It’s a toddler and you need to be ready for everything that comes with it. Do your research, learn how much puppy care you’ll need to prepare for, and get ready for a commitment and a lifelong friend.
If you know what it takes, then you’re one step closer to being ready for a new dog.
Do You Have the Time?
If you’ve got a packed schedule, the answer to “should I get a dog” is probably not. Training a new dog and socializing them with your family, other pets, and other dogs takes a lot of time. On top of that, dogs need love and attention. They’re not always going to want to nap on the couch or the foot of your bed — they’re going to want to run and play too.
Puppies and senior dogs also require a lot of trips to the vet and that takes time. If you’re ready for a dog, then you must be ready to give up some personal time to take care of them. If you can’t do that, then it’s not the right time for you to get a dog.
Can You Puppy Proof?
Puppies are babies. They get into everything they can and destroy anything they want to. Puppy proofing your home is essential to ensuring their safety. Puppies don’t mean to be destructive or disruptive — they’re just curious, energetic, and don’t know better. With training, they will learn.
Put away your shoes (trust us, don’t leave them out!), valuables, food, cleaning supplies, and anything else your puppy may chew on. Also consider covering exposed wires and outlets, make the garbage can inaccessible and use baby gates to protect certain rooms and objects.
Toys will help! If you can teach them what to chew on and what not to chew on at an early age, then your puppy proofing will just be that — for when they’re a puppy.
Are You Open to Learning?
A new dog owner must be open to learning. You’ll need to adapt and change your lifestyle to work with your dog, while training your dog to work with yours. There will need to be compromise.
How do you do that if a dog can’t talk, though? You watch them and learn their body language. Dogs are very good at communicating with humans, but it takes us time to figure out what they’re saying. Same with dogs too — they want to listen to us, but don’t know what certain things mean yet.
You need to take the time to learn what your dog is saying and give them outlets to communicate with you. Some dog owners train their dog to ring a bell when they need to go potty, for example.
Are You Ready to Deal With Poop?
Everything poops. Dogs don’t always know where to poop, though. You need to train them and then you need to deal with the mess.
And with the mud. And fur. And drool. And anything else that can come out of them.
Bottom line: pets are messy. If you can’t handle the mess, then a dog probably isn’t right for you.
Can you Afford it?
All pets, not just dogs, are expensive. From their dog food, to their dog toys, to their vet bills and any other unexpected costs or medications, dogs particularly carry considerable expenses all throughout their lives.
While some puppies may have had their first rounds of shots or may even be spayed or neutered by the time you take them home, you’ll want to check in on these things before leaving the breeder or shelter.
Older dogs often develop ligament problems, hip problems, and arthritis, which comes with medical costs too. If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend at the end of the money, you may want to wait until you’re more financially stable to get a dog.
Have You Found a Vet and a Trainer?
Vets and trainers will be your best friends during puppyhood and when you get your first dog. They’ll let you know if your dog’s runny nose is a concern, and how to successfully get them to sit and stay.
Talk to pet parents in the neighborhood or do some online research to find a vet and a trainer that you can bring your dog to. Feel free to take a visit to the vet to take a look at the facilities in person and talk to your potential vet about any questions you may have about bringing home a dog.
When it comes to looking for a trainer, consider registering for puppy kindergarten or obedience school classes as early as possible so that you can begin socializing them as soon as they come home.
Have you checked all of the above off your prospective pet parent list? If so, we have good news for you: go get that dog!
Or, you can take this quiz if you’re still unsure!