Bringing Home a New Puppy: What You Need to Know

14 September 2011 ~ 1 Comment

So, two and a half years ago I decided that I want a soft, cuddly Corgi puppy. I chose a name and also got a few pet supplies. This was my first time getting a puppy and I had no clue what owning a dog means. I’m sure this scenario sound familiar to a lot of first time dog owners.

Getting a puppy doesn’t mean getting a new plush toy. It actually means commitment and responsibility, above all. Many people don’t know this, and when they comprehend it, they realize that having a dog is too overwhelming for them, and so they decide to give him to a shelter, or sell him. How sad is that?!

Here are a few facts that you need to know BEFORE bringing a puppy home:

Puppies don’t come cheap:

Besides the money you will pay a breeder or shelter for your puppy, you will need to take into consideration other expenses, as well. A young dog will require frequent visits to the vet, for exams, vaccinations and other medicine, like heartworm medication. These are needed for a healthy puppy; if, God forbid, your pet gets sick, your vet bill can easily go through the roof.

A dog also needs food, which can be expensive, if you choose to feed your dog premium dog food, a crate and/or a dog bed, food and water bowls, collar/harness, a leash, toys and treats.

Add to these the cost of puppy classes, training and grooming, and think twice before buying a dog.

A puppy will require patience…and cleaning stuff:

The first weeks with a new pet can sometimes be too much for new dog owners. From personal experience, I can say that having a puppy is like having a newborn child. Puppies have a small bladder, so I had to take my Corgi out every couple of hours, to prevent any accidents inside the house. But as much as I tried, accidents still happened, more than once… on the living room carpet (this is the part where the cleaning stuff comes in handy). I just had to tell him “No” whenever I caught him in the act, and get over it, because accidents are bound to happen before you start housebreaking him.

Some dogs also shed and get dirty. If you’re not willing to deal with frequent coat brushing, baths, teeth brushing, the occasional carpet cleaning, and cleaning the house after your dog, then, maybe, you are not ready to commit to owning a dog.

A new puppy needs to socialize:

When you bring a new pup into your home, he’ll usually be scared. He is in an unknown place and he’s missing his mommy and brothers. He may act shy or aggressive.

You need to start the process of socialization at an early age, to make sure that when the dog is an adult, he’ll behave properly in every situation. It is recommended that you enroll the puppy in obedience classes after he’s 16 weeks old (at 16 weeks old, puppies have had all their vaccines, including rabies, and this is also the age that obedience classes start accepting new “pupils”).

Besides puppy classes, you can socialize you dog by introducing him to family, friends, as well as other animals, and spend as much time with him as you can (I am always talking, singing to my dog, playing hide-and-seek etc.).

A puppy needs to be entertained:

When a new puppy gets bored and he’s left unattended, he starts doing bad things, like chewing on your shoes, furniture etc. Therefore, they need lots of exercise and play times. A puppy shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time, and in the event that you need to leave him home for a couple of hours, it is best to crate him, to make sure that he (and the rest of the house) is safe.

If you are really prepared to deal with all of the above, plus a cute dog that will love you unconditionally, forever, then welcome to dog ownership. I must say that having my Corgi greet me every morning is one of the most wonderful things in the world for me. I hope you’ll feel the same about your dog!

One Response to “Bringing Home a New Puppy: What You Need to Know”

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