This article takes a look at the prospect on how to pick out your first dog/puppy as well as the things you need to know and the steps involved in adopting a pet.
Picking your first dog or puppy is a major decision you and the family need to think and talk over. These four-legged creatures can help brighten your home and life. But picking a pet is a major decision especially if this is your first time to own one. There are benefits for having a dog or puppy as a companion as long as you’re prepared for the responsibility.
Taking care of an adult dog is also a bit different from a puppy. There are also several factors that you need to consider when you choose your first puppy or dog. You need to realize that you’re bringing a companion to your home and it needs to be fed, bath and take cared of. In order to be sure you are ready, here are some of the things you need to know before picking your first dog or puppy.
Top 7 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog
Before bringing a puppy or dog to your home, consider the following factors.
1. Children in the Home
If you have children, pick a pet that’s child-friendly. At the same time, you should also teach your kids to be dog-friendly too. Help the children to train the dog and to respect its space.
2. Long Working Hours
It’s probably not a good idea to have a dog or puppy alone in the house if you are out most of the time. But if you have companions or family members at home, make sure that they care about the pet’s needs.
3. Dogs Need their Exercise
Walking the dog outside is more of a challenge if your couch potato. But ask yourself if you are prepared to accompany your pet in the chilly month of February.
4. Consider the Space Your Pet will Need
You should also consider the living space requirements for your pet. Big dogs take up a lot of space so take note that before you pick one. Ironically, a number of smaller dogs or puppies can also take up more space than you can imagine.
5. Help and a Place for them to Stay
Think of family members, friends or professionals who could help you in the event the unexpected happens. Leaving a dog at home by itself for long periods of time is asking for trouble. There will be times when you need to leave your pet to the care of someone else in case of emergencies. Consider making a list of those possible persons you can contact to watch over the dog or puppy just in case.
6. Consider the Cost of Taking Care of your Pet
Remember, taking care of a dog or puppy will entail some financial cost. Depending on the breed and other factors, your annual budget could go as high as a $1,000 or more. Think of food, vet bills, and grooming costs.
7. Consider those Veterinary Bills and Dietary Requirements
You may not have considered this but medical care can cost you a bundle. To give you a clear picture, you have to pay for pet’s medical exam, vaccinations, heartworm test and possible health insurance. You also have to pay extra for toy breeds and big dogs. It’s no brainer that as your dog grows, the demand for food is also high. Dogs with special diet requirements usually require pricier chow. Toy breeds and big dogs also cost more to feed.
You also need to consider obedience school, professional dog walkers, car-seat tether, wee pads and other accessories. Toy breeds will also need professional grooming and nail grinding to look good.
To know more about the responsibilities entailed in adopting your first puppy or dog, you can watch this video:
Steps in Choosing a Puppy or Dog
Follow these simple steps when you’ve decided your ready to take on the responsibility.
1. How to Choose a Puppy
- Normally, you get to choose from a litter. If the majority of the pups are staying away from you and barking suspiciously, better stay away from them. When there is a puppy in the group that seems to act normal, you still should not let your guard down. It’s probably shy but has the same attitude as the others.
- Leave those puppies that tuck their tails or back away you. Shy puppies can grow into shy adults that could present problems for you. There is also the risk that the dog will snap at you if it’s frightened or startled.
- You could tell if the puppies are friendly when they come and mill around you. They will crawl in your lap or take a nibble on your fingers.
- If you need only one, take the time to observe each puppy if there is a litter to choose from. After a few minutes, you could tell the bossy types and the gentle puppies.
- Pick a puppy that has the personality you are most comfortable with. For example, an active dog will require frequent walks and playtime while a quiet one would prefer lying down instead.
2. How to Choose an Adult Dog
- Consider the size of the dog you want to keep. A small lap dog is easier to handle and you can carry it with you. But you could always pick a big dog or at least a medium-sized one.
- Small dogs look cute but they are also delicate. If they are stepped on, they could incur some serious injuries. They are also vulnerable to colder climates or temperature so you need to make them warm.
- You also need to know if you could keep up with the energy level of the dog you choose. All dogs need to have their exercise but some require more. If you can’t keep up with a very active dog better pick a more sedentary one.
- Dogs also need grooming but others such as toy breeds require it frequently and also costs more. Pick a low maintenance dog if you don’t have the time or the budget for a professional groomer.
- Adult dogs are normally easier to take care of than puppies. But the dogs may have already acquired traits that you may or may not like.
- The breed is also a factor since you probably have a specific dog in mind. Before getting the breed you like, you need to do some research about the type of dog that you like such as having a purebred or a mixed breed.
3. Where to Pick a Puppy or Dog
- Pet stores at the mall or the internet are the most convenient place to get a puppy or dog. But there are other better options available for you such as dog shelters or dog breeders. There are even websites that you can go to when looking for canines up for adoption.
- Pick a shelter close to your home since you may need to visit it for several times. The right kind of puppy or dog for you will probably require more than one visit.
- Breeders usually sell puppies. You could ask for referrals from your local vet or dog breed clubs.
If You’re Ready, A Dog is the Most Rewarding Pet
It’s a big step to pick your first puppy or dog. It’s a commitment that will take some adjustments for you and your family. You also need to consider how having a pet can affect your lifestyle, home life, and work. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of picking between a puppy and an adult dog. You also need to consider the financial cost involved in taking care of pets especially if they are toy breeds. I hope you enjoyed reading this article about picking your first dog and puppy. Please feel free to share your ideas, thoughts, and comments about adopting your first pet in the comments section below.