17 Important Things to Know Before Buying a Puppy

You’ve entertained the idea of owning a pup, and you just can’t wait any longer. Sadly, for many people, rushing into this without the right preparation has left them overwhelmed and devastated. So you don’t get heartbroken yourself, here are 17 things to know before owning one.

A Dog is a Lifelong Commitment

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Getting yourself a dog isn’t the same as getting a toy, as a lot of people see them. While toys and other material things can be discarded, a dog is like a child that will be with you for at least a decade of your life, as PetMD shares. Chihuahuas will even be by your side for 20 years, so make sure you’re ready for this responsibility.

They’re Lifetime Costs Too

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Alongside committing your care and attention, you also commit a part of your income to them forever. Dogs need food and water every day, as well as a comfy place to sleep, toys, grooming, and periodic checkups at the vet. The AKC says you spend an average of $15,000 over your pup’s lifetime.

Breed Research Helps

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Do you want an intelligent toy dog to keep you entertained or a guard dog that can follow you hunting? Making your own research gives you an idea of the range of breeds you should go for. You wouldn’t want a low-maintenance breed and then get yourself an Akita. Research helps.

Find Vets Near You

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The health of your pup in its early and later stages of life is extremely important. You should know all the veterinary options around you and how close they are to you. This helps you understand how vet appointments can fit into your schedule and how long it takes to get your dog in for emergencies.

Screening Vets is Important

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The veterinarian you go to also provides you with all the information you need to know about your preferred breed or what breed may suit you. It’s a lifelong commitment after you get your puppy, so it’s important to ask around for the best vet to guide your decision. Ask your friends or look for reviews online, and make sure you do an interview first before adopting.

Health Insurance Helps

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An unexpected health crisis can be costly for you. MetLife says diabetes, hip replacements, foreign object removal, and recurring bloating come with the most expenses—expenses that could go up to $7,000. Pet insurance is one way to hedge against these unplanned burdens.

Puppy-Proof Your Home

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With an inquisitive puppy running around your home, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Exposed electrical wires, toxic chemicals, and high falls are easy hazards to spot. But even pennies can give your pup painful zinc poisoning when swallowed. Hence, find and take care of every possible hazard in your home that is harmful from a pup’s point of view.

Pups Are Time-Consuming

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Even low-maintenance dog breeds need a lot of care in the early stages of their lives. Understand that when you get a pet, you’ll have to spend a lot of time and energy watching it, cleaning up after it, and taking it to the vet.

Training Is Important

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You don’t want your grown dog to take a dump in the living room, do you? Puppies learn using patterns, and it’s important to start training them from the moment they step into your home. Potty train them to excrete outdoors, teach them to be sociable, and teach them specific commands to obey. If you don’t have the time, puppy kindergartens can be of use.

Be Careful About Breeders

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Dog breeders can get you pups with unique genealogies, physical features, and behavioral traits. However, they may also lie about pure breeds and vaccinations to get that extra money off of you. You also don’t want to have to visit the vet every week due to a pup’s genetic health issues. Hence, before buying from a breeder, make sure they are trustworthy and reliable.

They’ll Need Exercise

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Dogs need physical and mental stimulation, which is usually achieved through exercise. You’ll need to set aside time for walks and games to keep your dogs happy. Some even like to do yoga. Keep in mind, however, that some breeds need less exercise than others, and overextending them can lead to joint injuries and heat sickness, as PetMD shares.

Contracts of Sale Are Common

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Be prepared to put pen to paper to finalize your adoption or purchase from a vet or breeder. In fact, you should actually push for this. Contracts of sale or transfer protect you and the breeder in case of any future problems. They don’t just set the price; they also document health, gender, lineage, AKC registration, and even conditions through which you may return the pup.

Start With Basic Pup Supply

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Just like we have preferences as humans, so do pups. When stacking up your pup’s supplies, start with what they’ll need first and not what you think they want. Buy simple puppy food, water bowls, water bottles, collars, training treats, and crates. Also, get simple beds and toys that every dog is comfortable with.

Collar Tags Are Good, but Microchips Are Better

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CNN narrates the story of a dog that went missing in the wild for seven years. Your pup may not be so lucky. One solution is installing dog tags into your pup’s collars, which allows you to know exactly where they are. But what if the collar gets detached? Microchips under the skin are excellent for both tracking and identification.

Consider Sociability

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Some dogs can be easily trained to relate to strangers and other pets. Other breeds may need more intense training or may be entirely antisocial. Before buying a dog, learn how friendly it can be around children, visitors, and other animals. This determines if you can keep it as a family dog or not.

Compatibility is Important

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If you’re not the only one who’s going to be around the pup every day, it’s crucial that you also carry along your co-inhabitants in the purchase or adoption process. For one, you’ll know if they’ll like the breed or the indirect responsibility that comes with the pup. You also identify any health-related incompatibilities, like allergies, for example.

Think About Neutering

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Neutering is our vet term for castration—the process of removing your pet’s reproductive organ. Yes, this may sound painful, both physically and emotionally. Nonetheless, it decreases the chances of testicular, ovarian, and mammary cancer in your dog. Spaying, as it’s sometimes called, can be done to your pup at around four months old.

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