Are You Prepared for a Puppy?
While the benefits of having a pet are proven and well-known, less discussed is the commitment required of pet owners. Many dog lovers grew up learning the ins and outs of acclimating a pet into the family, but a first time owner may not be prepared for a hyper Border Terrier puppy or a clumsy large Great Dane puppy. So before choosing to buy a purebred pup from a reputable breeder, it’s important to know the challenges of dog ownership.
When bringing a new puppy into your home, the first order of business is house training. As a rule of thumb, set aside two weeks for going outside at all hours of the day and night to teach the puppy to potty outside. In places like Southern California, Texas, or Florida, the weather is mild year-round so going outside isn’t a hardship. Not all climates are mild. The weather is something to consider if are thinking about getting a puppy as a Christmas gift. You will need to be patient with the puppy, the sleepless nights and the weather. Also, consider how the puppy will be affected. Odds are it may take longer for the pup to learn because they won’t want to stay outside any longer than necessary.
Don’t be an absentee owner. If you cannot give a dog the time and attention it needs due to work or social obligations, you’re better off getting some fish or a cat. Owning a dog requires a commitment of time to fulfill its emotional and physical needs.
You can get a feel of dog ownership by fostering a dog. The downside being potential for developing an attachment with the dog, which can make it very hard to give them up.
Perhaps the most important decision is determining the breed of dog you want. If you are sedentary, getting a high-energy dog like a Jack Russell would be a bad match. If you are looking for a dog to go on jogs with you, a breed with a natural anatomical disability such as an American Bulldog or English Bulldog is a really bad choice as well.
Keep in mind, a dog come with financial obligations. Besides food, there are toys, vaccines, regular medical check-ups, licenses, neutering/spaying, and the occasional illness or emergency. You have to commit to caring for all the physical needs of your pet in addition to their emotional needs.
Dog ownership is a commitment that should not be taken lightly. However, it can be one of the most rewarding commitments you can make.