With the holidays just gone, you may have noticed rescue organizations reminding you that “A puppy is not just for Christmas”. This is because every year, animal rescues see an increase in puppy surrenders after the holidays are over and people realize how much work it is for them to take care of the puppy they impulsively got for Christmas. Puppies can be quite irresistible with their round eyes looking up at you like you’re their favourite person in the world, but what do you really need to consider before deciding to bring this furry bundle of joy home?
Winning smile from puppy Sidney (adopted in 2020).
Dogs are a lifetime commitment
When you bring a dog home, you are committing to taking care of them for the rest of their life. For a puppy, this can be over 15 years. Are you ready to include this dog in all of your life’s plans, such as moving, or starting a family? Will you be able to find someone to take care of them if you want to go on vacation? Is someone home during the day if you have to go to work? Dogs are not our whole lives, but we are theirs. They will depend on us for everything, so we need to make sure we can provide it.
Puppies require potty training
A puppy is like a baby and it would be unreasonable to expect them to arrive in your home knowing how they should act. Toilet accidents will most likely occur in the beginning! Luckily puppies naturally prefer to go to the washroom far away from where they eat and sleep, so with a little practice and positive reinforcement, you can definitely teach them where you would like them to go. Pee pads and cleansers can be used to help this process.
Toilet training basics with Poppy the puppy.
Puppies have sharp teeth!
One of the most common complaints about a puppy is their biting, however we need to understand that this is completely natural behaviour, and not a puppy being naughty. Puppies bite each other during play, so it’s not surprising that they will try to play bite with humans as well. We should teach them bite inhibition, and give them plenty of toys that they’re allowed to chew. This can satisfy their needs and avoid unwanted mouthing or chewing things they’re not supposed to.
Training takes time and patience
The early years of a puppy’s life are crucial for them growing into confident and well-rounded adult dogs. After bringing a dog home, it is also important to teach them the skills they need to live a happy life. Positive reinforcement training should begin right away, and not only when behaviour issues start to happen. It is much easier to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. Introduce your puppy to a variety of people, places, and things, to make sure they create positive associations with as many different situations as possible.
Be prepared for vet costs
Hopefully your puppy will remain healthy and not require any vet visits except for regular checkups and vaccinations, however accidents can happen and a sudden trip to the vet clinic may be required. In addition to food, vet care is another big expense in raising a dog. Be sure you have saved up some money for these unexpected costs. If needed you can also consider purchasing pet insurance.
A lot of work goes into raising a puppy, but they bring a lot of joy too! Adoption is the best present you can give to a dog who is waiting for a home. Come to Whiskers N Paws to visit the puppies available for adoption!