It’s puppy season! If you take a stroll through your local pet supply stores or swipe through your newsfeed, I’m sure you‘ve noticed few more little fluff balls being carted or carried around. Christmas puppies are everywhere! Likewise, there are also many people beginning to look to add a special furry companion to the family.
“Adopting a dog of any age, whether a puppy or an adult, is a commitment for the life of the dog.”
Puppies bring joy to your world, but also can be your worst nightmare. There is a lot that we can learn from puppies; Puppies teach us patience. Puppies teach us how to handle a living, breathing, feeling machine without breaking its parts. Puppies teach us to give more of ourselves and therefore not be so selfish. And puppies teach us responsibility. It’s wonderful how puppies allow us to become better versions of ourselves. Of course, the key to a happy and healthy human-puppy relationship starts with preparedness, realistic expectations, patience and most importantly consistency. Everything that you thought was so adorable and cute about the puppy can also be the same characteristics that will drive you insane (think chewing on chew toys versus your shoes). But, the big question is... are you ready for a puppy?
Adopting a dog of any age, whether a puppy or an adult, is a commitment for the life of the dog. Just like humans, dogs go through their own equivalents of childhood and adolescence. Most dogs tend to reach maturity between the ages of 18 months and up to 3 years depending on breed/breed size. Raising a puppy can be a bit stressful for a family so before getting yourself a puppy, take a second to consider a few things like your financial situation, your physical capabilities, the size of your home, how active you are, the size of your family and the age and temperament of your children. Here are a few things to think about before you bring a puppy home:
“Puppies are forever, Not just for Christmas.”
Annual Costs: $1,500-$5,000 (or more). Annual costs include veterinary care, food, training, grooming, treats, toys, and dog sitting or doggie daycare (like Buddy Sweets!) when you are away. Injuries and illnesses add to the total.
Scheduling Meals and Potty Training: A puppy must be fed three to four times a day and provided frequent trips outside for elimination purposes.
Human Stress Factors: It can be frustrating having dog hair on all of your clothes and stress full dealing with common problems that may come up like flea/tick infestation, skunk spray, “accidents” on the carpet, or any medical emergencies.
Neutering and Spaying: Being a responsible pet parent also means you’d want to consider spaying or neutering your puppy. If you are willing to accept the responsibility of more puppies- it's your choice.
Long Term Commitment: There is a great quote “Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas.” You will be making a long term commitment to care for a dog for its entire life. It’s a huge commitment to adopt a living, breathing thing that is dependent on you.
Consider a Mature Dog: If the requirements and responsibilities of raising a puppy seem a bit overwhelming, consider adopting an older or senior dog instead. Though many people find joy and companionship with older dogs, sometimes you won’t know the dog’s history that could help give insight into any potential behavioral issues that may arise.
Are you still thinking about getting a puppy? Read on!
Where Do I Get My Puppy?
Great! You’ve decided to get a puppy! But where do you go to find a puppy? The good news is you have plenty of options: Shelters/Rescues, breeders, private individuals, pet stores* (*new laws have passed in CA.), and sometimes Veterinarian offices.
”The greatest influence you will have on your dog’s behavior is the environment you provide.”
Adopting From Animal Shelters
Adopting from an animal shelter means you are saving a life. In the United States, about 50% of all dogs turned into shelters are euthanized due to overcrowding. Adopting a puppy from the shelter gives you the advantage of putting you in a position of tremendous influence over your puppy's behavior even though you might not know the puppy’s history or ancestry. If the puppy was born at the shelter, shelter staff would be able to tell you about his mother’s tendencies and temperament.
If the shelter doesn’t have the puppy you are looking for, ask about a waitlist so the staff can contact you when a dog comes in that meets your criteria. Also, be sure to check back often too! According to The Humane Society of the United States, 25% of shelter dogs are purebred; if you are looking for a particular breed, you never know what you might find at a shelter.
Additionally, there are breed-specific rescues if you have your heart set on a specific breed. These rescues are dedicated to helping find homes for specific breeds. Individuals in the organizations often foster the puppies and are able to get to know the pup very well being able to describe her personality and temperament. Animal shelters often turn purebred dogs and puppies over to these rescues knowing they are in good hands. Most rescue organizations have a website where they post all of the animals that have available for adoption.
Buying from breeders.
Lately there has been a lot of negativity towards breeders. There is nothing wrong with adopting a dog from a breeder so long as you support responsible breeders. What makes a breeder responsible? When looking into breeders, it is important to consider the following:
If any of the red flags pop up, definitely reconsider that breeder. One of the best reliable sources from responsible breeders is the American Kennel Club (AKC.org) The AKC has a program that encourages responsible breeding! Don’t forget to do your research about the breed you are looking to get!
Adopting from family/friend or veterinarian.
Other options include asking friends or family if they know anyone that has or will have puppies that will be ready for adoption. Sometimes accidental litters happen in families where their pets are not spayed or neutered. Adopting from a friend or family member will help ensure those puppies don‘t end up on the street, you know where they came from and chances are you know the parents very well!
You can also check with your local veterinarian. Although not as common, some vets do take in relinquished animals and do their best to find them good homes. Likewise, if the vets have assisted in any deliveries of litters of puppies, they’d be able to point you in the right direction (with the pet parent’s permission of course).
There is a lot to consider before you even start actively looking for a puppy. If you decide to get a puppy or adopt another dog, you are placing the responsibility of another life into your hands. You need to be ready; financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. A great idea would be to write a pros and cons list if you are having trouble deciding if a puppy is right for you. You are more than welcome to contact us at Buddy Sweets where we can help you with all your puppy finding needs (and more).
If you already have a puppy and you are looking to make sure your puppy has the best of the best, check out our holistic and all-natural pet nutrition and health & wellness products!
Take advantage of our introductory offer: 20% off your first pawTree order! Just use INTRO4U at checkout.
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