Spring is in the air and so is puppy fever!
Whether you recently moved to a new city, taking the next step with your significant other or looking for a fun companion for your children, you might have come down with puppy fever. You can’t seem to shake the idea of including a little furry friend to your family.
Adding a pet in your life can have amazing benefits for your physical, mental and emotional health. But you do have to plan for a few sacrifices and/or long term adjustments when it comes to daily scheduling, travel and household dynamics.
If you’ve been hit with puppy fever, you should ask yourself “Is the idea of a puppy more attractive than the actual reality of having one?” Now, some people say, “It’s like having a kid, when it happens you’ll just figure it out.” And of course you would! But being prepared and asking yourself and your family a few questions will help you make the best decision.
Let’s help you figure out if right now is a good time to start puppy shopping with four things to know before getting a puppy!
Check out each category and answer the questions to find out. Below is a free new puppy checklist to help guide you through it all and put your thoughts into action.
What kind of lifestyle do you have? Are you a single person living an apartment in the city? Are you a parent to three children? Or are you a recent graduate living with a roommate?
Your lifestyle is the big picture of how you live your life day to day. Be honest, do you have a similar routine everyday or is everyday unknown? Do you have the option to work from home a few days a week, or are you stuck in an office from morning until night?
In the beginning, a puppy will take up a good amount of time. They will have to be taken out to the bathroom in the middle of night because of those small puppy bladders. If you live in an apartment, getting your puppy out of the building before an accident and for potty training may be difficult. It’s definitely doable, but just remember that when they are crying at 3 a.m. and you’re rushing to get your shoes on before they tinkle on the floor.
How active are you and your family? Do you exercise on a regular basis? Does running around with your dog turn you on or off? If you’re looking for a calmer companion, look into getting an older dog instead of an active puppy. Depending on how active you are, a puppy will need lots of walking and playtime everyday.
Mental activity is just as important as physical activity. The best thing about puppies is that you can train them. The worst thing is that you have to train them. I absolutely loved training our Goldendoodle, Luna. She is very polite and listens- for the most part. But we invested in obedience classes, trained her at home, and were as consistent as we possibly could be. Do you want a dog who’s intelligent? Then they will need lots of training. A smart dog with nothing to do will always find something to preoccupy themselves. And what they do find, you may not like, like chewing shoes or furniture. We are firm believers in positive reinforcement training. Call me a hippie. but coming from a place of positivity and love always wins over force, in the long run anyway.
Yuck, responsibility! I thought puppies were all about snuggling and being cute! No one wants to talk about this part. The you have to communicate on a daily basis on who’s going to feed the dog in the morning or who will walk them at night. Maybe the answer is simple and it’s just you. Will you need a dog walker, pet sitter, or dog daycare? What days of week do you need them? If you have children, will they be a part of caring for the new puppy?
No matter your family dynamic, it’s important to have these things lined up. When we adopted Luna, we were asked all of these questions before bringing her home. The knowledge of your household environment and lifestyle will be important when it comes to picking the right breed for you.
So are you ready for a puppy?
After going through the list, do you think you're ready for a puppy? Personally when it came to choosing a Goldendoodle, we knew we wanted a medium sized dog to play and wrestle with, we wanted a family dog with a friendly disposition. We also knew we wanted a dog that is smart, easy to train, and doesn’t shed. We absolutely made the right decision, and she adds fun and happiness to our lives everyday.
If most of your answers on our "four things to know before getting a puppy" checklist bring you to the conclusion that right now is not the best time to get a puppy, that’s okay! You are putting the puppy first. Maybe it would be unfair for the puppy due to a lack of time in your schedule. Or between vet appointments, food, training classes and dog walkers, not being able to financially afford taking care of pet is your reasoning. The more research you do the better off you’ll be when the time is right!