Do you really think that having a puppy is all play and no pay? Maybe a cute picture you can put on Instagram or Facebook, or perhaps a pet you can cuddle. Well, yes, having a puppy is both of those things. However there’s so much more to pet ownership than that. Unfortunately too many puppies are being bought or adopted, and then returned to a shelter because the humans involved weren’t sensitive to the realities of owning a puppy.

This blog isn’t meant to discourage you from adding a puppy to your household. Potentially a puppy can be the best addition you can possibly make to your life. However, it is vital that you understand and are prepared for the reality of having one in your home. So, take a look at the information I have for you below to prepare yourself properly for puppy ownership. Then once you have done that, decide if it’s time to get yourself a puppy!

Those First Few Weeks

The first few weeks of puppy ownership are memorable. Your puppy will be trying to get used to you just as much as you are trying to get used to your puppy. Keep in mind your puppy may not jump for joy the first time it walks into your home. He or she is walking into a strange new environment. Additionally your puppy is away from his or her mother most likely for the first time ever. You will need to make sure that you’re spending as much time as possible with your pup during the initial adjustment period. Ideally after the first few weeks, you can slowly start transitioning into your regular routine. This will help your puppy adjust to spending time alone. Eight hours is a too long time for a baby puppy to be without companionship! The first time you spend all day at work without your puppy is going to be very hard on both of you.

Your puppy may become anxious or hyper once you are back to full time work. He or she might start chewing or eating everything in sight. He or she may start going potty every area of your house, not on his or her designated spot.

Within the first few weeks after bringing him or her home, you will need to get your puppy to your vet & make sure you are getting their vaccinations . After he or she is vaccinated and after you have waited the allotted time for all the shots given, you can take your puppy outside for walks.

Once you have accomplished these tasks, things start getting more difficult. It’s time to train your puppy!

Puppy Training

Basic behavioral training is the most difficult task you will have with your puppy. You will need to get a dog collar, engraved with details such as your puppy’s name & your telephone number to ensure people are able to contact you if your pup ever gets loose and goes missing. You can take a look at companies such as Genuine Collars for a stylish dog collar. You can use this collar on walks, and begin training your puppy on your own.

You can teach your puppy essential skills such as “heel”, meaning not pulling ahead or lagging behind while on a leash. Another essential command is “come”, teaching your puppy to come back to you when off the leash.

It may surprise you to know that not all puppies respond to treats. If you can’t train him or her using treats and a lot of patience, then it might be worth considering putting your puppy into a basic obedience training class. This can actually be beneficial to both you and your pup. It allows you to build a stronger bond with your puppy at the same time you are gaining more control over his or her behavior. The dog trainer will be there to assist you over the rough spots. Being in a class allows your pup to socialize with other puppies or dogs and can help prevent your pup from acting aggressively while you are out on walks.

Behavioral Problems

If your puppy has a behavioral problem, it must be dealt with immediately. One of the most common behavioral problems that you might see stems from their innate protective instinct. Dogs and puppies with this problem can be aggressive towards other dogs. That’s why early exposure to other dogs while walking is so so important.

Another behavioral problem your puppy may have is chewing on or eating everything in sight. From the sofa, to rugs chairs and beyond, some dogs just have to chew or eat it all. There are sprays on the market that will stop a puppy or dog in its tracks, discouraging your pup from taking another bite out of your sofa, rug or chair. Puppies and dogs literally hate the taste of these repellants. Using these sprays can stop your pup from chewing on the furniture altogether.

The Costs

The costs of owning a puppy may not be as bad as you think. The initial payment might be high, but once the purchase is complete, the rest of the costs aren’t significantly high. No matter where you purchase your puppy, after you bring him or her home there will be a set of initial vaccinations you will have to pay for. Then on a yearly basis you will pay for booster shots.

If you adopt a dog, the fee will be much lower than purchasing one from a breeder. Most of the money you spend adopting a puppy goes towards running the center that you have adopted it from. Puppies are available for adoption as well as adult and senior dogs.

You might possibly consider purchasing pet insurance so that in case of a long -term chronic illness the vet bills won’t cost you a fortune. Beware and read the fine print before committing to an insurance plan though.

Once you have purchased the puppy, paid for the vaccinations, bought accessories such as a dog collar and pet bed, you’ll pay for food and treats each month.

The Lifetime

Imagine the full-grown size of the pup you are considering bringing home. If there is any chance that puppy will outgrow your space, let someone else have him or her. Sending or returning a puppy to a shelter is actually very traumatizing for all involved.

Remember that once your baby puppy grows up, it will be a full-grown dog for the rest of its life. Your puppy won’t stay little, cute and cuddly forever. However your puppy will become the most loyal companion that you could ever wish for.

If you’re going to get yourself a puppy, make sure that you can look after it for many years to come. Be sure you’re willing to commit time to playing with and going on walks with your puppy. Check your finances to make sure you have enough money to afford food, vaccinations and future medical issues. You are making a commitment to take care of your puppy for the rest of its life

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