If you’re a genuine pet lover, you would know what it’s like to own a pet. Sharing a roof with a four-legged animal can sometimes turn out to be one of the greatest experiences of your life. Dogs, whatever stage of life they are in, will always provide you immense joy and unconditional love. But, is it enough to just bring them home? Guess not.
Pet lovers will always know and understand the importance of adopting a puppy and the responsibilities that come with it. Also, owning and babying a puppy is a big decision. Adopting a puppy is no less than mothering your own child. Therefore it is necessary to learn about the various things that an owner must know before adopting them.
Know the facts!
- You may or may not have dealt with a puppy before. But, those who have said that- “You can own a pet as long as you are sure that you can take care of your pet and yourself together.” One of the biggest advantages of owning them is that they keep your physical and mental health in check.
- The first four months of its life is called the ‘critical socialization window’. This is the time when the pup’s experiences play a dramatic role in its development. During this period, their brain is identical to that of a 5-year old child. Therefore, owners can use this stage to inculcate positive experiences and behaviour so that they grow into well-mannered dogs.
- The upbringing of a puppy is mostly difficult during its first two years. Therefore, before you choose them, learn how to measure their behavioural development and education. Assessing their characteristics depends completely on how educated you are about them.
Things to consider before getting a puppy
Kate Perry, author of ‘Training for both ends of the leash’ asks its readers one simple question-‘Do you have the resources to invest in this puppy?’. If you are a first-time dog owner, there are basic points you must consider before bringing your pet home.
Are you ready?
Before you own a puppy, think twice. There are also several dogs that need adoption. Owners should choose the right one depending on their daily schedule. You must also know that raising a puppy can sometimes get very costly. As responsible owners, you will need to spend money for their regular and emergency vet visits and also for their grooming and entertainment.
What is your family’s opinion?
Taking suggestions from your family is equally important in this case. These furry companions will create a new lifestyle for you and your family. Thus, family support is a must!
Suggested Article: How to Surprise Your Pup On His Birthday
Is it the right time?
How ready are you? Will you have the required time, patience and energy for training a puppy right from the beginning? Before you bring home a pup, make sure you have already asked these questions to yourself. If you are skeptical of your decision, it is recommended you take more time and think again.
Is it the right place?
Some dogs get well with smaller spaces, while others might need larger areas for training and exercise. Also, different breeds are comfortable in different climates. Therefore, consider all these factors before you choose your pup.
Is it the right breed?
There are different dogs- guard dogs, lap dogs, family dogs, etc. Therefore, one can find difficulty in choosing the right breed. Here are some factors that can help you choose:
- Consider your lifestyle. Search for a dog breed which is best compatible with your daily routine.
- What is the purpose of the puppy. You may buy a puppy to make a member of your family, or because you need a guard dog. Having the right kind of dog in mind will help the breeder to select the right pup for you.
- Learn about the breed’s temperament. If you want a family dog, search for breeds that are friendly with kids and other family members.
- Easy socialization is also an essential point when selecting a breed. The more a dog is socialized, the easier it will be to train it.
Where to adopt from?
Owners often get confused as to where they should adopt a puppy. Unfortunately, several places present themselves as reliable sources for owning a puppy but are not genuine. Hence, it is significant to collect all the information about the puppy source before adopting it.
Important points while adopting a puppy
- Always search for responsible breeders. These people take good care of the pets and also provide a loving and healthy environment for them. You can also ask for their license to ensure that they comply with the state regulations. However, breeders who sell less than 25 dogs a year may not require a license.
- Before owning a puppy, remember to ask for its papers. Most breeders test the dog for genetic conditions and get them certified by a veterinarian. You should even see the place where the puppy and its parents were raised. Sometimes, breeders do not keep them in well-ventilated and clean rooms. As a result, there is less space for the pup to play and socialize. If the breeder allows the puppy to interact with dogs of different ages and sizes, the puppy gets better socialized .
- DO NOT get a puppy from a puppy store or from online sources without checking their authenticity. Most of the time, the puppy you get is from a puppy mill where they are not treated well. Also, the puppy has a chance of being affected by several health diseases.
- You can even adopt a puppy from rescue organisations. Adopting a puppy from a shelter means you need to vaccinate it upon completing six months of age. They should also undergo the process of deworming every two weeks till they reach the age of twelve. Also, you give these dogs a new life if you adopt one from a rescue organization.
- Before adopting a puppy from a particular shelter, look for references. You can always ask the breeder to give you references of owners who have bought puppies or dogs from there in the past years. In case, the breeder is unable to give you any, try for a different shelter.
- While owning a puppy from a shelter, make sure it is microchipped and has a vaccination card. A vaccination card carries the microchip number, the vaccination number, etc. The owner also has to complete the National Parks Board (N’Parks) or the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) Pet Purchase Declaration Form before bringing the puppy home.
Official Pet Purchase Declaration form (AKC)
A new puppy is just like a toddler or a crawling baby and will always try to get into anything and everything and even mouthing. So, we try to get down to a puppy eye-level and look for possible hazards. Below are some suggestions to protect both your puppy and your property.
- Hide all phone wires and electrical cords. Tape any loose electrical wires if left open.
- Lock and secure all cabinets, especially the ones that contain foods, chemicals, medicines, detergents or household cleaners or any substance that is potentially hazardous.
- Keep away floor plants,shoes and clothes or hanging fabrics which he might chew on.
- Put away any small or breakable objects on low lying tables,fireplaces or any other surfaces.
- Prevent and restrict access to outside swimming pools, wells or drains.
- Install a proper fencing system and seal all possible escape routes.
Pre Requisites before getting a puppy
Soon as you are mentally prepared to bring home your newest member, start focusing on its physical needs.
Meeting the puppy needs
You should gear up with certain supplies even before the pup arrives. These supplies include-
- Proper nutritional dog food
- A water bowl
- A bed to sleep on, a blanket and a towel
- A flat collar that is to be worn all the time and an anti-pull harness while walking
- Poop bags
- Grooming kit- nail clippers, dog shampoo and brush
Besides these items, owners should also keep toys ready for the training and mental stimulation of the pup. Food dispensing toys like treat balls and training treats like freeze-dried meats are good for the pup. You can even use a puppy carrying pouch for outdoor socialization of the dog.
Here’s a Checklist Before Adopting Your Puppy!
Setting up the puppy home
- Allowing the puppy to move around your house from the very first day may not be a wise decision. Instead, you can make a puppy-proofed area for them. This way, they can slowly adjust to their new home. Keeping them in close quarters should not be a problem for they are den animals.
- Moving around the house makes it difficult to keep an eye on them. As a result, they can develop chewing habits or other potty accidents. Following this method will help the owner supervise his furry companion.
- The playpen area should be near the kitchen, bathroom or an open space. It should also be clean and free of furniture. The entry of this area must have a door or a baby gate. You can use a crate with soft bedding to furnish the playpen area. Daily essentials like the water bowl, toys and potty pad can also be included in the area.
Important Myths regarding Owning a Puppy
There are several misconceptions regarding puppies that can misguide owners into harshly treating their furry companion. Some of them are-
MYTH: Stubborn dogs can be controlled only with assertive training and punishments
REALITY: No dog is born stubborn; some may learn faster than others. But, this does not mean that others will have to be trained severely. Rather, it can show your incompetence in training your pup.
MYTH: If training begins with food, it continues to become a habit
REALITY: Absolutely not. As owners, you should reward your pup after work but this should not turn into a habit. Instead, you can praise them for their deeds rather than giving them treats.
MYTH: Dogs trying to jump on their owners is a sign of domination
REALITY: To be honest, dogs have no interest in dominating their owners. The only reason why your pup would jump on you is because he is excited to see you.
Q. How to say ‘no’ to my puppy in a way he will understand?
Try ignoring its actions or redirecting them to another way. This will set its boundaries and make it realise what the puppy should do and should not do.
Q. What type of commercial food should be given to the puppy?
Commercial food comes in various forms like dry, semi-moist and canned. You can give canned food to your dog for it contains more protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry or semi-moist foods.
Q. Can I leave my dog in the car for some time?
If you live in a place that has very hot and humid climates, you must never keep your dog locked up inside a car. They are very fatal to heatstroke and are also susceptible to brain damage; both of which lead to death.