So, you have decided to get a puppy.
Table Of Contents
- So, you have decided to get a puppy.
- The simple facts are that puppies are extremely hard work! Is the work worth it? Absolutely!
- Puppies are really cute!
- There are many things you need to be thinking about before you embark on your quest.
- A Rescue Puppy Or One From A Breeder?
- How much does it usually cost to adopt a puppy?
- What is the cheapest way to adopt a puppy?
- Puppy Proofing Your Home
- Bringing Your Puppy Home
- Keeping It Simple
- Affection and kindness.
- Toilet Issues And Why It’s Important Never To React In A Negative Way
- Your First Night At Home With Your New Puppy
- Here Is The Absolute Best Way To Have A Great First Night Together
- Please don’t let them cry out at night. This is cruel and an outdated way of dog training.
- The Future and Raising Your Puppy
There are many, many factors that you need to consider when going down the route of getting a little puppy dog to live in your home with you and your family.
It’s a life-changing decision for anyone, even seasoned dog owners because they will tell you, that every dog is different and they all have their own personalities.
The simple facts are that puppies are extremely hard work! Is the work worth it? Absolutely!
You need to know so much and if you have never owned a dog before then it’s well worth reading on and finding out a bit more about the entire process and hopefully, it will help you avoid the many, many pitfalls that people often encounter and it will give you some great tips and help that will ensure you make the right decisions that benefit you and your new puppy dog.
Puppies are really cute!
Yes, they are and that can be the problem. A lot of people are blown away by exactly how lovely a new baby dog is and they often forget that these dogs grow and, sometimes, quite quickly indeed.
This is why we see so many dogs abandoned or worse every year because people fall out of love with them when they become bigger or become difficult through lack of training.
As an owner and a good one for that matter, (otherwise why else would you be reading my blog?) you need to also engage your head as well as your heart when going down the route of buying or adopting a puppy.
And I say adopting because I want you to realize if you are getting your puppy from a respected and approved breeder, then they will certainly make it clear to you that if for any reason the relationship between you and the puppy fails, they will be taking the dog back.
That’s what good breeders do. They love their dogs and take a huge interest in their welfare long after they have been rehomed.
There are many things you need to be thinking about before you embark on your quest.
All Dogs Are Different: Some Simple Research To Start With
It’s true. Many have similar traits but if you can narrow down the type of dog you want then you will be well on your way to choosing a specific kind of puppy.
What kind of breed are you interested in? And will it match you and your family dynamics?
This is a vital question as we all lead busy lives so make sure you are looking for a dog that fits your lifestyle.
Puppies grow into dogs and some of those dogs get big so you need to know information about the breed and the characteristics of that breed as well.
All breeds are different and some need more exercise than others.
Also, taking on a puppy is a big task in terms of time as well.
In the early days, you need to be spending a huge amount of time with the new little guy or girl and this has an impact too, especially if you have to work.
All of the training needs to start straight away as well and in order to get the best possible start for your new dog, all of this along with everything mentioned so far needs to be happening straight off the bat.
A Rescue Puppy Or One From A Breeder?
As someone who has only ever rehomed rescue Greyhounds, I am a huge advocate for getting your new dog or puppy from a rescue center.
It is always worthwhile checking out local centers near where you live or within a sensible distance from you to see if they have any puppies that have come in or indeed have been born there.
This can happen when dogs are abandoned or when a bitch who is pregnant whilst in the rescue center or shelter gives birth to a litter.
It’s certainly worthwhile asking and also going on a waiting list at the kennel is an option too as the rescue centers never stop accepting dogs.
This is the best route for getting a new dog for anyone I feel and as there are so many dogs literally waiting for a new home, it would always be my first choice.
Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder is more complex and it should be too. It will usually cost a lot more in terms of price as well, especially if you are buying a pedigree breed.
You can check out this article that I wrote that covers everything you need to be doing in order to make the best possible decisions when going down the breeder route and also how to avoid the wrong types of breeders as well.
We have all heard the phrase “Puppy Farm” and this should send a huge shiver down your spine..I know it makes me feel sad and angry when I hear or see anything on the news or in the press about them.
They are rife with unscrupulous types just trying to make money out these wonderful creatures and they happen way too often.
How much does it usually cost to adopt a puppy?
The simple facts about having a dog in your life for companionship walks and general good times are the absolute backbone of what any dog owner should aspire too.
They also cost money. A lot of money.
I say a lot because if you have a dog and look after them correctly, you have to factor in everything that this living creature needs to have a great life with you and your family.
- Food…The right food. Not the cheapest, but the RIGHT food for your dog.
- Neutering, if you decide to go down that route
- Veterinary Fees for yearly and regular immunizations.
- And also all of the regular medications you need at home to avoid flea, tick, and other parasites.
- Equipment. Collars, Leads, Coats, Blankets, Beds, Cages, Harnesses,
- Kennel fees.
My wife and I work so every week, my boy Wilson spends three nights at his local kennel where he hangs out with fabulous owners and other dogs and that allows us to work without worrying about his welfare.
If you are ever in East Cornwall in the UK, these guys are absolutely brilliant and they look after my dog Wilson so well….Pelynt Boarding Kennels
We do this every week. It costs just £45 a week which is superb value..or to look at it another way, around £2160 a year.
in US dollars that’s around $2800 a year…JUST for kennel fees!
This little lot is not just a “one-off” spend….it can last up to 17 years depending on breed and this is weekly, monthly and year considerations that you better realize are coming out of your budget.
What is the cheapest way to adopt a puppy?
I have a simple Pinterest Graphic that you are most welcome to save or repin which gives you an idea of what sorts of things you need to be purchasing in order to cover as many bases as you can when getting your new puppy dog.
To answer the question above though, the cheapest way to adopt a puppy is to do it properly.
You simply can not underestimate the costs of your dog getting ill and you not having adequate funds to make them well again.
This is where insurance is absolutely vital and by having this peace of mind at least you know that you have done your best by them.
Puppy Proofing Your Home
As with most things in life, preparation is the key to success.
Making sure your home is as puppy-proof as possible before the little guy turns up is key to you being able to be as relaxed as possible when the puppy comes home for the first time.
This way is far better than having to race around and remove things from your home that you completely forgot about and now your new puppy is gnawing on them, trying to eat things that could be dangerous to them and this way you are generally making your home as safe as can be for the little guy (or girl!).
Puppy proofing isn’t really any different from making a home “childproof”. Think about all the safety measures you would do to make a home safe for a child and you are well on your way to making the environment safe for little dogs too!
In simple terms, you need to make sure that all the kinds of easily picked up or chewed things are well out of the way.
There are no loose wires dangling around by TVs or any kind of audio equipment or heaters that are plugged into the power sockets etc.
Check your garden or yard doesn’t have any kinds of plants or foliage that could be poisonous to your dog.
Daffodils, Hyacinth, and Lillies are all dangerous to dogs, yet they can be in absolute abundance within our home environment.
Remove your shoes or slippers as puppies love these to chew on these (they love the scent) and also mobile phones and remote control units are favorite chew toys for new dogs!
Children’s toys can also be a favorite too, so if you want to avoid the inevitable tears, then make sure they are out of the way too….if you have children of course!
It’s important to remember that your new dog will see anything that they can access easily as something that is there for their entertainment and this also goes for food too.
If you overlook this, then the consequences can be fatal especially if they eat something like a for humans only chocolate bar.
Please take this on board as I am sure you have heard heartbreaking stories of puppies meeting a terrible end simply because there was no real preparation done by the new owners.
Always make sure that there is no access to household chemicals (like Bleach, Disinfectant, etc) and this is something that can be easily overlooked where the bathroom is concerned as it’s easy to forget that many of us have bleach by our loo for instance.
If there is any medication or pills that are easily accessible they must be locked away as well.
Shut all of this kind of gear away in secure cupboards and pop some childproof locks on as well as it is always a great practice.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
So, you have done everything above so that is great. Well done. No doubt there will be something that you have missed, but don’t beat yourself up over it.
As long as you have done all of the major safety things mentioned and your puppy is as safe as you think you can make it, then that is a brilliant start.
You have now collected your new puppy from the breeder or rescue center and you are now back at your home.
It’s going to be amazing, curious, and can be a quite frightening experience for a little dog too.
This is where having a nice bag of small treats in your pocket can make your puppy feel very happy and content whilst they are using out their new environment.
Try to get your pup into your garden or yard at your soonest opportunity if you have one, failing that, a small walk around your local area (not too far as they are only a pup), just so that they can relieve themselves because they are surely going to be a little nervous.
When your little dog does their business outside, it treats time and praises too.
This is a great way of making them realize that going outdoors like this is a good thing and they get a reward.
This is your first step into toilet training your new puppy, so well done.
This article about toilet training your puppy will really help you with this aspect and it goes into deeper training of this aspect.
The one thing you will find about a puppy is how quickly they form a bond with you. You are super important to them as you are the one providing everything they need in their lives and you have become their mum and dad all rolled into one great big human!
They will follow you everywhere as they are curious and also as a protection instinct too.
This actually is a great thing as it gives you a special opportunity to practice recall and it’s another great step in your training schedule for your little dog.
Toileting and recall are the absolute bread and butter of your early days and weeks at home with your new dog so don’t miss or waste this opportunity to help them and in effect, help yourself by getting them on the right track of training to start with.
Take them out every hour to relieve themselves as puppies are nervous and do need to go a lot.
A good sign for you to follow is if you see them sniffing or circling around the floor a lot, then they are getting ready to go…so get them outside quickly and again, reward with a treat (tiny tidbit) and plenty of praise too.
Introducing where your dog will regularly eat and drink is also vital for them and this is easily done by deciding on where in your home that you want to make your new pup’s eating station.
Make it easy for yourself and convenient for them and you will have got that all-important step boxed off and sorted.
Keep it that way as constantly changing where your dog eats regularly in the home can be confusing for them and if you start confusing your dog early on, it won’t make them develop correctly and the associated negative behaviors will become evident and these are all the things you want to avoid.
Keeping It Simple
By making things simple to understand and to follow for your puppy, you are giving it the best chance to succeed.
Let your puppy explore their new surroundings and call them by their chosen name and when they come, praise and reward with a tiny treat.
Affection and kindness.
With my journey of rescuing dogs over the years, I was once told that whatever you give a dog you get back tenfold.
This is true.
The kinder and more patient you are with your dog the better. By starting positively with good commands, training, and rewards, your dog will blossom into the kind of dog you wanted them to be.
I always reward good behavior and ignore anything negative. It really works.
When your dog does something good always look and act pleased because dogs get this.
They want to make us happy.
Toilet Issues And Why It’s Important Never To React In A Negative Way
Little pups have accidents. Just like human babies, they simply have not been around long enough to understand where to do their business, so guess what? They will do it wherever and whenever they want to !
This is where you come in. You have to realize that a little puppy has a tiny bladder and therefore it needs to empty a lot.
If a puppy goes indoors it is simply what they must do, it really is not their fault and they are never doing it on purpose.
Dogs don’t behave that way. Humans do things on purpose, dogs never do.
The very best advice I can give you is when they do have to go and you don’t get to them in time, just clear up the mess with the absolute minimum of fuss and noise.
Puppy pads are popular but I would stress that you want to be using them for only a short time as the aim here is to get the little guy to do their business outside your home.
I use a cleaning product like this that has a built-in enzymatic cleaning agent in it and it’s important to use this because it removes all of the scents from the poo or pee.
This is vital as dogs and little puppies will always try to do their business where they have done to before as it quickly becomes the thing to do.
You don’t want them doing that in your home, outside is fine, but not indoors.
Avoid using household bleach as this never gets rid of the odor completely and won’t help you when you are training your dog to go outside.
Your First Night At Home With Your New Puppy
Bearing in mind that this is their first time in a new home, you can easily understand and hopefully empathize with your new puppy just how worried they might become when they can’t see you overnight.
This is something I have written before about and it is separation anxiety, similar to when owners leave dogs alone at home.
Your new puppy simply won’t be able to understand that you have gone to bed or you are upstairs or in another room.
They need you.
The first weeks of their little lives have been spent with their mum and other puppies, so to be all of a sudden completely alone is understandably terrifying for them.
Here Is The Absolute Best Way To Have A Great First Night Together
I am a big fan of crates. They are excellent and especially excellent for puppies.
Plus, they are versatile and don’t have to cost the earth either.
Make sure you have your crate in your bedroom and make it super comfy with soft warm blankets and the like.
Before you go to bed, take the puppy out for a last-minute wee or poop and then off to bed you both go.
Place your pup in the crate and position as such so they can still see you and hear you overnight.
This will reduce the chances of your little guy getting anxious and worried, because like I said earlier..you are their mom and dad all rolled into one now!
Pop an old t-shirt with your scent on it into the cage too as this will help them relax if they can smell you.
If it’s wintertime and it’s getting a bit cold at night, make sure there is some form heating available to keep the pup warm.
Hot water bottles under blankets work a treat and are an inexpensive way of keep the puppy warm.
Make sure your puppy has some toys inside the crate too and please make sure the crate is big enough for them to move about easily and not feel hemmed in.
I always think that big is best when it comes to a crate, so get the biggest one you can afford for your puppy as it will be so much better for them.
Please don’t let them cry out at night. This is cruel and an outdated way of dog training.
Reassurance is the key and a softly spoken word can sometimes just let them know that you are there and it’s OK!
Hopefully, you wouldn’t let a baby cry all night so a puppy is no different.
They are crying because of only a few possible things. They are scared, They are hungry or thirsty (always make sure you have water accessible for them overnight) They are cold, or they may already be telling you they want to go outside to poop!
Amazingly, dogs really do not like pooping where they sleep, so if you think it could be this reason, grab that robe and a torch and out into the yard or garden you go!
I have lost count of the 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7am dog walks to the garden or further I have done over the years and it’s just another one of the great things about having a dog….you get to see the stars at night!
The Future and Raising Your Puppy
This is just the start of your journey and life together.
Raising a puppy is like building a house, it needs a great foundation to start with.
By doing the things we have talked about here and trying your best to get them right (no one is perfect, don’t beat yourself up if you a few bits wrong), then you are doing your absolute best by your new puppy.
It’s hard work but at the same time incredibly rewarding too.
Your puppy will of had the best start in their new life and you would have given it to them.
The road ahead is going to be hopefully a very long one and your bond together will of just been given a superb start if you try to implement the structure and advice we have here.