5 things to consider before getting home a new puppy
Take it from us: getting a dog seems like an easy decision until you factor in the time commitment, cost and responsibility that comes along with that cute puppy face and wagging tail. It’s a good idea to see whether you are ready for a dog or not before you go and get one home. Here are top 5 things things to consider before you get home a dog
1. Time commitment
When you bring a puppy home, you’re making a commitment of at least 12 years. That’s more than a decade of your life! In this time, you may go through significant life events, relocate, find a new job, finish your education, or have your life do a complete 180. See, the circumstances of our lives are not under our control, but a promise made needs to be a promise kept.
Your puppy will depend on you for over a decade, and you have to be there for him/her. Dogs also require a daily time commitment, especially for walks and exercise. There will be vet visits, some planned, some unplanned, and you will need to put your dog first when making social and travel plans.
You may choose to shell out money for a pet-sitter or dog boarding. As dog parents, we can tell you that all these adjustments are worth every second spent with your dog, but only you can evaluate how much time you can dedicate to yours.
2. Your Space
While we believe that there’s a home for every dog, not every dog does well in every house. Evaluate your living condition to see if it suits a dog. Do you have a lot of furniture or some delicate decor that won’t survive a young, boisterous dog? Are you okay parting with your favorite pair of slippers once they become your puppy’s new chew toy?
If you rent your current home, check with both the landlord and any resident’s association before you make your decision and get their approval in writing. We often hear of dogs being given up due to disagreements with landlords or even neighbors after the dog has gone home.
We suggest you ask around for reliable vets and groomers too. Not every city has specialized veterinary care; knowing the dependable vets in your area will make being a dog parent much more effortless.
If you share your living space, ensure everyone living there is comfortable with a dog coming home. We all love seeing videos of people falling in love with dogs they didn’t want, but in reality, it could mean a dog being given up. It could also force a change for you, so do not rely on the mere possibility that others will come around.
Be sensitive to the requirements of the elderly, infants, people with allergies or people who will be unsafe around a young, energetic dog. Dogs have a way of making people fall in love with them, but it becomes a challenge when someone in the family is uncomfortable with their presence.
We know your dog can have a bad-health day out of the blue. We strongly advise you to assign a local emergency contact person for your dog’s care. This is especially important if you travel a lot and intend to board your dog often.
If we had a dollar for every time we said how expensive taking care of our dogs was, we’d still have nothing! If you choose to buy rather than adopt, you’ll easily spend above Rs.10,000 just to get the dog. Beyond this, you will spend money on your dog’s food, grooming, healthcare, emergencies and more.
Remember how we said that bringing a dog home is a commitment of 12 years? Well, it’s also an expense for 12 years. Although the expenditure lessens for a bit as your puppy grows up, caring for dogs becomes more expensive as they roll into their senior years. Our two cents: begin saving for their senior years, as well as emergencies, as soon as you bring your dog home.
If you believe in dogs, that’s all you need to believe in. In all seriousness though, introspect and have a chat with the people in your house about the extent to which you all can adjust personal beliefs for the sake of the dog. Dogs benefit from a meat-based diet, so if you live in a vegetarian household, figure out a way to feed your dog meat while keeping others happy.
Female dogs menstruate, and while menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of across all species, everybody will have to be okay with this biological function. While you can train dogs to relieve themselves outside, puppies might pee or poop inside the house, even on valuable belongings.
To take it a step further, you’ll also need to pick up after your dog (really puts the stink in it, huh?). These are simply a few examples of ways that people’s beliefs can be challenged by the presence of a dog in the house. We know that people feel strongly about their personal beliefs, so it is best to pre-emptively discuss these and avoid clashes in the future.
The above list will get you started on some standard things to consider before bringing a new puppy home and preparing in advance. Your particular circumstances might offer other avenues of consideration too. We sincerely believe that every dog parent’s goal is to provide their dog with the best, most comfortable life possible. That endeavor begins by honestly evaluating what we can offer them.