To celebrate the upcoming National Puppy Day, here is a post to help you decide if you’re up for the challenge of raising a puppy. It’s hard, yes, but also very rewarding!
Are you thinking about getting a puppy? That’s great! However, I won’t tell you that having a puppy is always a happy-happy experience. It can be very hard to keep that ball of energy calm and tolerate his rowdy behavior. You need to have patience, a good attitude, and a sense of humor.
Are You Ready For a Puppy?
Sometimes, the time just isn’t right to get a puppy. Are you gone at school or work most of the day? Is nobody at home to watch the puppy? This probably isn’t the best time to introduce a puppy into your life if this is the case.
Do you have time to devote to training and exercising your puppy? Exercising will vary from puppy to puppy, but you should set aside at least 30 minutes to vigorously play/walk with your puppy. Remember, this time doesn’t include petting or just hanging out with your new pal, bonding with him. Training is also vital to having a well behaved adult in the near future. Your puppy is like a blank sheet of paper, waiting to be drawn on. You can neatly do this yourself by teaching him polite commands like Sit and Lay Down or let your puppy scribble on it himself. If you choose the latter, you will end up with a big mess!
What about potty training? Do you have three weeks or more to devote to teaching your puppy the appropriate place to go? He will have to be taken outside about every thirty minutes, maybe more. And to top it off, you will have to clean up your puppy’s messes several times a day that he does in the house will maintaining a good attitude. After all, he’s just a baby.
Do you enjoy keeping your house spotless? Do you have lots of breakable things and nice carpet and rugs? If so, your puppy will quickly damage or ruin them! They get their muddy paw-prints all over your house, chew the fringes of carpets, knock over statues and whatnot, and go potty on your carpet. I’m not going to lie and tell you that puppies are little angels. They can be very destructive!
Are you prepared to deal with teething? Teething is when a puppy looses his baby teeth and the big ones grow in. It can be very painful and uncomfortable for your furry friend and make him want to chew EVERYTHING. Shoes, wires (extremely dangerous! You dog could get an electrical shock!), the kids’ toys, furniture, and anything else within chewing reach will be a victim of your pup’s sharp teeth. You will have to supervise your puppy and accept that some things will be chewed up and destroyed. Love that new coffee table? Prepare for little teeth marks along the edges! One good thing about having a puppy, though, is that you will be forced to keep your house a lot cleaner!
Holidays are not good times to get a puppy. Everyone is busy and has other things to attend to like baking, decorating, or entertaining guests. Your new puppy, still lonely for its mother and litter mates, will feel forgotten and scared. It’s easy to forget such a little thing as a puppy, and it can happen to the best of us. Frightening your dog in such a way will lead to unwanted behaviors in the future. Please wait until after any holidays to get a new puppy!
When you get a new puppy, you are making a promise to him. You’re promising to take good care of and love him for the rest of his life. Are you up for the commitment? Please think of the future before you get a dog! Are you going to move to a house or apartment where they do not allow dogs? Obviously, don’t go out and buy a puppy! Also, you need to think long and hard about the breed of dog you want and decide if it fits your lifestyle. You dog could live for ten years or more, and you want to make absolutely sure that this is the kind of dog you want to spend that time with.
Can’t Handle a Rowdy Pup? Get an Adult!
Puppies aren’t for everyone. They’re super (SUPER!!) cute, yes, but they are also a lot of trouble. If you think that you can’t handle a boisterous puppy but still want a canine companion, get an adult. There are many friendly adult dogs in shelters or rescues just waiting for a home. They’ve passed the teething stage and most of them are already potty trained. Also, by adopting an adult dog, you’re giving him a second chance. Check out your local shelter or Petfinder.com for dogs looking for homes in your area.