Puppies can be wonderful additions to a family and there are oodles of videos on Facebook that are testament to that, but as with lots of social media.. they often only highlight the cute, fun, appealing elements! While puppy guardianship can be a wonderfully worthwhile and special experience it needs to be considered carefully before being embarked upon. It’s potentially a 15 + year commitment.
There are lots of behavioural elements that people don’t talk about that’s involved with living with a puppy. These can include:
- Not sleeping at night and crying. It’s important to work on separation related problems and have the time and energy to do this.
- Having to get up in the middle of the night to let the puppy out to the bathroom (to avoid them toileting indoors). Puppy pad’s can increase the problem as the puppy learns that they get to go on something warm and comfortable on their paws – rather than going outside in all the elements such as wet grass and cold gravel.
- Chewing – puppies explore the world with their mouths and anything (your expensive chews, the table leg, the remote control) can be appealing to them.
- Nipping – puppies can nip through overexcitement and because they’re teething. Their teeth can be very sharp and painful. If you have elderly people in your home this is something to be mindful of.
- The poo eating (coprophagia!) – some dogs eat their own (or other dogs and cats faeces).
Before you get a puppy it’s important to consider:
If your work and social life will fit with having a dog. Will there be any changes in your work, i.e if you’re working from home now.. will you always be able to do that? If not then can you afford (and is there suitable dog care) available?
Can you afford the vet bills and grooming bills, equipment and food? These include vaccinations, any operations? Can you commit to the insurance?
Is anyone in your family allergic to dogs or is anyone scared of them? It’s important this is considered before getting a puppy.
Is everyone committed to training the puppy and caring for them? What about holidays – what do you plan to do then? Is there a friend, family member or suitable professional that can look after your dog?
What is the breed? What were they originally bred to do? Can you commit to their training needs? From a health perspective, some dogs are susceptible to certain diseases and health problems. It’s imperative to check this.
If you do decide after checking this list that sharing your life with a puppy is right for you and for them then join our Facebook group for more top tips.