Getting a puppy is one of the best life experiences you’ll ever have. It’s also the most challenging. While it’s true that puppies are fluffy, cuddly, and downright lovable, they also come with a lifelong commitment. That usually means regular trips to the vet, consistent training, and even dealing with bad behavior, especially as your puppy matures into adulthood.
We know it’s tempting but don’t give in to your impulses. Take some time to consider the numerous factors that may come with adding a puppy to your life. Research what dog breed best fits your lifestyle and living situation. Most importantly, learn about how you can fully prepare your home once you have your puppy with you.
To help you get started, here are the top things that you need to know before buying a puppy.
1. Make sure you’re ready for a puppy.
Many pet owners fall into the same trap: they see a cute puppy at the pet store and make the impulsive decision to take them home without a second thought. Raising a puppy is not an easy task. It’s time-consuming and requires a lot of patience on your part. You may not realize how much dedication your puppy needs from you.
Remember, puppies are like human babies—they have little to no understanding of the world around them. They also do not know your house rules and what behavior you want from them. You’ll need to consistently train and socialize your puppy as often as possible so that they grow into well-rounded dogs. Your puppy will also need food, water, grooming, and exercise regularly.
Think about your schedule and lifestyle at the moment. Are you ready to commit to caring for your puppy? Are you able to spend some time of your week working on training and playtime? Once you consider every factor in your life, you can move forward with making a good decision.
2. Know which dog breed is right for you.
Before buying a puppy, do some research on dog breeds first. This step is highly important. Every dog breed has its own set of characteristics, including temperament, appearance, size, and grooming needs. For instance, the Golden Retriever may share some physical traits and namesake with the Labrador Retriever but both breeds have different needs that make them unique. What makes one dog happy will not necessarily make another dog feel that same way.
You need to find the right breed that best suits your personality, lifestyle, and living situation. Some dogs are a great fit for owners living in apartments and small spaces. Other dogs make excellent companions for those with anxiety. Generally speaking, smaller dogs tend to be bold and stubborn, which means you’ll need to spend more time with training. Large dog breeds require more food, supplies, and exercise. Also, if loose hair or allergies are a problem, dogs with hypoallergenic coats may just be the right dogs for you.
What’s important is that you research, research, research. All dog breeds have something special to offer to their owners, and it’s important to give our furry friends the same love they give to us! By learning about different dog breeds, you’ll come closer to finding your furry soulmate.
3. Puppy-proof your home and backyard.
When your puppy comes home for the first time, they’re going to be curious about their surroundings. They’ll likely explore your entire house (and backyard), taking in all the new scents, sights, and sounds. Unfortunately, your home and backyard are full of hazards that can hurt your puppy!
Whether it’s electrical outlets, chemical sprays, or trash bags, your house is a magnet for serious injuries to puppies so make sure you prepare it for your puppy’s homecoming. Plug up electrical outlets. Store medications and chemical sprays in places puppies can’t reach. Close any rooms you do not want your puppy to explore. Keep human foods like chocolate and onions away. Don’t forget to secure your trash bags.
As for your backyard, make sure that there aren’t any spaces under the fence that your puppy can crawl under. If your grass has pesticides or you own toxic plants, do not allow your furry friend outside. A young puppy should never be left unattended outside so supervise your fur-baby during their outdoor exploration.
4. Buy all necessary puppy supplies.
Puppies have a lot of wants and needs, and they depend on you for all of them! So why not stay on top of your puppy’s wellbeing by having their supplies ready before they come home? You don’t need to go overboard—just start with the basics like food, bowls, leashes, beds, and brushes or combs. By starting with basic supplies, you and your new furry friend can start your lives together on the right foot.
As your puppy grows, you’ll learn more about their personality, likes, and dislikes. You can then opt for specific toys or treats you know your puppy will enjoy. You may also try another type of leash once you start training your puppy or purchase advanced grooming supplies to maintain their fur. For more information on puppy supplies, check out our blog, Your Puppy’s Homecoming: A Readiness Guide.
5. Find a licensed veterinarian in your area.
Your new puppy needs to visit the vet regularly, especially during the first few months home. From the time they’re with you, your furry friend will need a physical evaluation to assess their overall health and what vaccinations they need. As such, it’s a good idea to find a licensed veterinarian near your area before you buy a puppy. Research what reputable vets are in your area and what prices are affordable for you. Take a look at online reviews to get a better picture of what you can expect.
Once your puppy is finally home, you won’t need to scramble around, looking for a good vet. During your puppy’s first vet visit, be sure to bring all the necessary documents and files about your puppy’s health status and vaccinations. Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and determine the best vaccination schedule for your puppy. You will likely need to take your pup to the vet every couple of weeks or months for their vaccinations and other health evaluations.
6. Search for a place to find your new puppy.
When you know what puppy you want in your life, the next step is finding a good place to do your search! Depending on your preferences, you may need to think about one important question: should you adopt or buy a puppy? Both options are equally respectable ways to find your furry soulmate. Check out our blog, Should I Adopt or Buy A Puppy? to learn the pros and cons of each option. If you decide to buy a puppy, there are many wonderful pet stores and breeders alike that deeply care for their animals, and provide them with the respect and love they deserve.
Of course, you can’t just purchase a puppy from anyone. You need to make sure that the pet store or breeder you find cares for their puppies. These places or individuals should also be experienced in raising and providing quality care for their puppies (as well as their parents, if applicable). At PuppyBuddy, we go above and beyond state and federal regulations to work with reputable breeders that provide optimal care for their dogs. Through our careful, selective screening process, we ensure that every puppy in our store comes from a loving, healthy background.
Buying a puppy should never be a decision made on the spot. As a dog lover, it’s important to consider your puppy’s needs before your own, and think about whether you can commit a lot of your time to them. Once you add a puppy to your life, that’s it—they become your responsibility, and they’ll depend on you for their happiness. If you’re ready to make that next step in buying a puppy, we’re sure you’ll find the right one! Our staff and team at PuppyBuddy are dedicated to helping you find the perfect furry companion for you.