Looking for a puppy? Take a look at these adorable faces to see if one of them might find a forever home with you. Before you decide to adopt a puppy, however, it’s important that you know what to expect. Bringing home a puppy is similar to bringing home a baby so take a look at these tips and things to consider before you decide to adopt a puppy:
1. The first few nights are going to be a little rough. It’s the first time the puppy has been away from its mother and litter mates. They’re in a strange place with people they don’t yet know. Be prepared to lose some sleep but don’t spend the whole night trying to comfort him. It’s best to have the puppy sleep in your room (not in your bed, however) so it’s not all alone. There will probably be whimpering and crying for at least the first night, but slowly your puppy will get used to the new surroundings and, as their bladder gets bigger, they will be able to sleep through the night.
2. Puppy-proof your house. If you don’t want it to be chewed, remove it from anywhere the puppy can get to it. If it’s within reach and he can get it in his mouth, he’s probably going to chew it. Pay special attention to power cords because, of course, chewing on a cord can prove very dangerous. Remove anything on which the puppy can choke.
3. You’ll have to start crate training your puppy right away to avoid accidents in the house and to give them a safe place to hang out.
4. You’ll need plenty of time to socialize your new family member. If your puppy hasn’t had all his shots yet, be smart about his interactions but it’s important to start introducing him to new experiences as soon as possible. Take him to the pet store (keep him in the cart, rather than on the floor, if he hasn’t had all his shots yet). Take him for rides in the car. Introduce him to people outside your family. Also spend time getting your puppy used to being handled. Touch his feet, nails, tail, belly, ears, teeth tenderly to get him used to what will happen when he’s groomed or goes to the vet.
5. Don’t underestimate the cost of a new puppy; it’s more than just dog food. You’ll have the cost of shots, spay/neuter surgery, microchipping if you elect to do that, flea and tick control, medication to avoid worms, training classes, grooming if necessary, and medicines if your puppy gets sick. Some people elect to purchase pet insurance but either way there is expense involved in raising a healthy dog.
6. It takes time to train a new puppy. Although they aren’t going to learn tricks right away, it is important to train them to do or not to do certain things. What’s cute when a 10 pound puppy does it is not so cute when a 60 pound dog does it. Also consider enrolling him in a puppy class that will help him with socialization and give you tips for training him.
7. And let’s not forget house training! Puppies have very small bladders so they need to go outside much more frequently than adult dogs. The rule of thumb is that a puppy goes on the schedule of his age plus one. So a two month old puppy will probably need to go every three hours. That’s a lot of trips outside for you. Of course, this is just a general guideline. If it looks at all like your puppy needs to go outside, take him. This includes trips outside in the middle of the night until he’s old enough to hold it all night.
Having a new puppy in the house is exciting and they’re undeniably adorable; but keep in mind all the work that goes along with a puppy. If you don’t have time for a puppy, perhaps you should consider adopting an adult dog.
If you feel you’re ready to add a puppy to your household, please fill out an application HERE.