How To Know You’re Ready for a Puppy
There are many great reasons to get a puppy! You might want a puppy for companionship, to learn responsibility, to have someone to take care of and dote on, or even to protect you if you live alone or are home alone often. But how do you know you’re ready for a puppy?
There’s a lot that goes into owning and caring for a puppy, so before you decide if you’re ready, here are a few important factors to consider.
Signs You May Be Ready for a Puppy
We’ll start with the signs that show you’re ready to bring a puppy home. If you can check most of these off, you’re probably ready to start shopping for that new pup!
1) You Have Time
Owning a dog is a big responsibility and it takes a lot of time out of your day (and night). For one thing, your dog will need companionship—you can’t just leave them alone all day or they’re likely to get depressed and start making mischief.
In addition, you’ll need to make time for:
- Preventative care visits.
- Vaccination appointments.
- Daily walks.
- Nightly potty breaks.
- Potty training.
- Behavioral training.
While it may not be as time-consuming as a baby, having a puppy is still going to require a lot of effort. If you’re at work all hours of the day and rarely see the inside of your home, getting a puppy may not be the right choice.
2) You’ve Completed Your Research
How do you know what breed of dog is best? How much money is a dog going to cost? How much time will you need for taking your dog out to exercise? What special needs might your breed have that you need to be aware of?
These are all legitimate and important questions to ask as you’re preparing to get a puppy. You don’t want to buy a puppy only to find that you aren’t ready and have no idea how to take care of your pet or manage your time.
Before you take the step of buying a dog, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
3) You’ve Puppy-Proofed Your Home
Before bringing home a puppy, it’s crucial that you prepare your home for its new resident. While puppies can be trained to leave things alone, they’re not going to enter your home already knowing all the rules.
Get rid of poisonous plants, hide dangerous cords, lock up medications and cleaning supplies, and get ready for some big messes. We have a comprehensive list of how to puppy-proof your home and yard so you’re ready for anything!
4) You’re Ready for the Responsibility
Are you prepared to give up your time to care for a dog? Are you ready to wake up throughout the night to let your puppy out for potty breaks? Can you commit to picking up your dog’s poop? Are you ready to learn anything and everything about your new pet?
It’s a lot of work to own a dog. You need to be ready to help keep them safe, teach them how to behave properly, teach them where to poop and pee, and take them out for regular exercise.
In addition, you need to be ready to learn from them—every dog is different, and owning a dog is not a one and done task. It will take years of dedication to learn from your dog and from your vet about all the things you need to do to give your dog a happy and healthy life.
5) You Have a Vet and Trainer In Mind
Before you bring home your dog, you’ll need to be ready to take them to the vet. For the first couple of years, your puppy will need more regular checkups and will also need to get vaccines. After that, you’ll want to take your dog in for regular preventative care to ensure they’re staying healthy.
If you choose to buy a new puppy, you may also want to select a trainer. While this step isn’t necessary, a trainer can be a huge benefit if you’re unsure about how to train your dog to play nicely with kids, obey your commands, poop and pee outside, etc.
If you don’t want to mess with training at all, it’s a good idea to visit the pound or an animal shelter and choose an older, already-trained dog to take home instead.
It’s helpful to have both a vet and a trainer in mind before you get your puppy. Don’t hesitate to visit or call both professionals to make sure they have room to take your dog and provide all the benefits you want for your new pet.
Signs You’re NOT Ready for a Puppy
While it’s obvious that if you’re checking “no” on any of the boxes above, you’re not ready for a new dog, there are a few other reasons you may not be ready that you may also want to consider.
1) You’re Pinching Pennies
If you’re still young and getting your start in your career, you may feel pretty financially unstable. If you’re pinching pennies just to get by or if you’re simply saving everything extra for a new car, home, etc., you’re probably not ready to buy a dog just yet.
While dogs aren’t a huge investment, you will need to pay for routine vet care, healthy dog food, fun dog toys, and potential emergency vet or medication costs. Be sure you have money to spend regularly and a little extra in savings for emergencies.
2) You Dislike Commitment
Every dog has a different life span, but most dogs will live for 10-15 years (or more!). If you aren’t ready to commit to having a pet in your home for that long, you may want to reconsider getting a puppy.
3) Your Family Is Unprepared
Before bringing a dog into the home, it’s important to consider whether your family is ready for that responsibility. Sit down and talk with your partner and children about whether they’re ready to help care for a dog, enforce the rules, and take the time to keep your pup happy.
If your family isn’t sure they’re ready or if your kids are too small and take up too much of your time and energy right now, you may be better off waiting a few more years before getting a dog.
4) You Hate Messes
Puppies are messy—there’s no two ways about it! You can expect poop piles in your yard, pee in your house, mud tracked all over your floors, and water slopped around your kitchen. There are many ways a dog can make a mess, and your new puppy will probably try them all!
If you’re not prepared to clean up a few messes and deal with a house that isn’t always pristine, then you’re not ready for a dog.
5) You Just Lost a Pet
Everyone mourns differently, but it’s important to be very careful when getting a new dog if your old dog just died. You don’t want to get a new dog just to fill the void—that can lead to a bad relationship, especially if you’re always comparing your new dog to the old one.
If your dog dies, take time to mourn them and remember them. Come to peace with their death and make sure you have plenty of good memories to hold onto whether in pictures, videos, or just scenes you can think about (it’s always a good idea to write these down so you can look at them later).
Once you’re sure your heart is healing after your dog’s death, you can start thinking about getting a new puppy to bring that life and joy back into your home.
Ready for a New Dog?
If you’ve read through this article and feel ready for a new dog, congratulations! Now is the time to start researching, shopping, and prepping your home for the new addition to your family.
If you’re ready for a new dog but know that you don’t want to take the time to pick up their poop on a regular basis, we can help take some of the burden off your shoulders. Our team would be happy to serve you by picking up your dog’s poop—just check out our services to learn more.
Now, go out, get that puppy, and start enjoying life with your new dog!