Welcome to the world of puppies. Choosing a puppy is a big deal. Do you know what breed you want? Have you considered breed specific traits? There are so many breeds of dogs so it can be overwhelming to choose.
Size can be a very important factor in deciding what puppy you want to bring into your home. If you want a dog that can sit on your lap, then you’ll probably want a small dog. You may want a big dog that can keep up on a walk or run, and you may just want a dog that with you. Size is really based on your lifestyle and preference.
If you’re in an apartment, don’t get an energetic puppy. It can be hard to control the energy and if they get bored they will find something to do. A lot of this is chewing things. Anything and everything they can find has a chance of being chewed on. It could be furniture, pillows, shoes, etc.
Energetic breeds need mental and physical activities. You should have a decent yard where they can play or you can go to a dog park. A daily walk or two can help the energy level will keep the dog happy. In some cases, it can be OK to have an energetic dog in an apartment if they satisfied with indoor play and get to go on walks.
Shedding and Maintenance
Some dogs shed. A LOT. Dogs that shed a lot can leave hair all over and they will need regular grooming. Most dogs shed some but there are a few breeds that don’t. The most popular of these breeds are a poodle or a poodle mix.
All dogs need regular maintenance which typically includes baths, brushing, trimming nails, and keeping ears cleaned. This should be a routine based on the puppy’s grooming needs. Some dogs do require more extensive grooming including hair cuts on a regular schedule.
Intelligence has a huge impact on the training of a puppy. The higher the intelligence, the easier it is to train a puppy or dog. Some people think bigger dogs are smarter than little dogs but it hasn’t been confirmed. There are plenty of articles on the internet about the top intelligence breeds. Many of the breeds that are consistently at the top of the list are dogs that are trained to do jobs. If you aren’t training your dog for a job, then it’s completely up to you how intelligent the dog is.
Did you know there’s breed specific health issues? It’s very common to see a bulldog that has respiratory issues. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia. Some traits that can be breed specific include ear infections, glaucoma, skin allergies, and joint issues to name a few.
Be prepared for this before you get a puppy. Most of the health problems can lead to expensive visits to the vet.
In some neighborhoods and counties, there can be a restriction on breeds allowed. There are even restrictions at the state level. And chances are if you live in a gated community or an apartment, there will be breed restrictions. Some restricted breeds include Pit Bull, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman, and many others.
If you don’t have a restriction you also need to check with your insurance agent if they have restrictions on breeds. Most insurance companies have a list.
Breed is important but it is not everything. After reading the above items, it is important to factor all the items into what breed you want to get. You need to do research on the breeds you’re interested in and review the traits.
Mixed breeds can be amazing dogs. Many times they inherent the good traits from both parents and not the traits that lead to health issues. You can go to your local rescue and choose a puppy or dog to take home. Most of the time, the rescue has many dogs but occasionally they have puppies. Search online or go to your local shelter to meet the dogs in person.
It is extremely important that the puppy has been socialized. This starts with the breeder. The breeder needs to have the puppy play with other puppies and dogs as well as interact with people. It is the new owner of the puppy’s responsibility to continue socializing the puppy once the puppy is brought home. Socializing should be done until at least 16 weeks.
Check out Mom
You want to see the mom and (dad if possible). See the parents will give you a good idea of how big the puppy will get. It will also indicate if it’s a legitimate breeder or a puppy mill. Always see the pups & mom in person before purchase.
Where to Buy
I’ve touched on this by discussing the breeder. It is highly recommended to purchase straight from a breeder. The pet shops that do sell puppies have a history of bringing in puppy mill puppies. They can come with serious health problems you won’t discover until you go to the vet.
The other place I recommend is a rescue. They are normally very transparent about all the dogs and puppies they have.
Rescues has come up a couple of times in the review. Rescues can be amazing dogs. There are also breed specific rescues that you can search for online. Your choices are pretty open if you choose to rescue a pup.
An Adult Dog or Senior Dog
While we’re discussing other options, you always have the choice of adopting or rescuing a full-grown dog. You could even adopt a senior dog. Senior dogs might need special care, but they are normally good dogs.
What is the Cost of a Puppy
Puppies aren’t free. You must consider the costs and this can change some based on the size and needs of the puppy. The initial purchase or adoption will have a cost. Your puppy will need food and that’s a monthly expense. The items you’ll need day 1 are food, food & water bowls, collar and leash, and you should have a bed, crate, treats and toys.
Throughout the first year there will be a couple of trips to the vet for routine care and vaccines. There will also be heart worm testing and prevention. There is also the cost of spaying or neutering if you choose to do so. You will also have to account for unplanned vet visits if your puppy gets sick or something else is wrong.
Each year after will most likely be slightly less than the first year.
As I said before, this is an exciting choice to be making. Please consider your lifestyle though. Make sure you are fully committed to getting a dog. It will change your routines and you will need to spend a lot of time with a puppy including training the puppy.
Did something else play a factor in your choice? Let me know