Things to Consider Before Getting a Puppy

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What’s not to love about puppies?  They make people smile, they look great in photos, and they make you feel loved.  So, it’s no surprise that so many people want to take puppies home.

The truth is, as rewarding as dog ownership is, it is also a lot of work.

If you are considering adding a puppy to your household, here are some points to help you determine if now is the time to bring in a new family member.

Are you Ready for a Puppy?

Is someone in your home willing to take on the responsibility of the puppy?

  • Young puppies require several feedings a day.
  • They need to be walked outside right after each feeding in order to be house trained.
  • Puppies have accidents in the house, requiring patience and cleaning.\
  • Puppies get bored and need mental stimulation.
  • Puppies wake you up during the night.
  • Puppies can be destructive: they chew, lick, and sometimes eat anything they can find.

You cannot leave a puppy alone for more than a few hours at a time.  It is essential to evaluate everyone’s schedule before bringing a puppy home.

Are you Ready to Puppy-proof your Home?

Those little bundles of fur have no idea what is and isn’t dangerous, so you have to safety-proof their environment just as you would if you brought home a baby.

  • Place shoes and other tempting chewable items out of reach.
  • Place all garbage cans out of reach.
  • Use puppy gates to section off rooms that are off-limits.
  • Remove any small objects, such as loose change, ponytail holders, rubber bands, string, paperclips, and jewelry from the edges of tables, counters, and coffee tables.
  • Keep all electrical items and electrical cords tucked out of reach.
  • Close all toilet lids or you’ll be in for a surprise if your toilet becomes your puppy’s water dish!

Do you have the Time and Energy to Socialize a Puppy?

Socializing your puppy is crucial to ensuring you end up with an adult dog who is well-mannered and safe around people and other animals.

Of course dogs can be trained at any age, but the ideal time to begin socialization is during puppyhood.  It is critical that dogs are exposed to positive experiences with people, children, and other animals.

Negative experiences or lack of experiences can result in a dog becoming fearful.  A common reason dogs bite is often out of fear.

How Much do Puppies Cost?

In addition to the items you will need for your new pet, there are routine costs, as well as medical expenses.

Other costs to factor in:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Quality food and treats
  • Safe and durable chew toys– any toys that are easily ripped apart can become accidentally ingested.
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Pet I.D. Tags
  • Local licensing tags and fee – you can find this out from your town hall
  • Dog bed
  • Dog carrier –  for small dogs
  • Crate – for training and safety
  • Dog brush and comb – for grooming
  • Pet-safe cleaning supplies – for the inevitable, accidental messes that puppies make
  • Doggie seat belt – for car travel. There are several on the market that clip right  into a harness.

Where Will you Get your Puppy?

Have you thought about where you will get your puppy?  There are numerous shelters, rescue organizations, and breeders.  

Although shelters have a number of mixed-breed dogs, you can often find purebred dogs in local shelters as well.  The shelter staff and volunteers can give you background and insight into a dog’s temperament and personality.

Even if you are not purchasing a puppy from a breeder, be prepared to pay a shelter or rescue an adoption fee, which goes toward the dog’s initial vaccinations and spaying or neutering. The fee is usually listed on the organization’s website.  

If you have a certain breed in mind, become familiar with the breed’s history, physical traits, and  temperament. Certain breeds are genetically prone to specific health problems.

Whether you are considering a mixed breed or a purebred puppy, you want to make sure you are getting your new furry friend from a legitimate organization or reputable breeder.

This sounds like a lot of effort, cleaning, and patience for a new pet, but the love and loyalty your dog will return to you will be more than worth it!

Puppies and Pet Insurance

A common exclusion for pet insurance providers can be pre-existing conditions. It’s important to remember that signing up for pet insurance in your puppy’s earliest years can help protect them down the line. Get a quote today.  

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.