Considering getting a puppy and not sure where to start? Fear not! We have put together our own list, from experience, of things you should know before buying a puppy! Especially in lock down, it seems the demand for dogs and puppies is through the roof but you must make sure that you want the pet for life, not just during a pandemic.
- You will lose sleep.
Many people think that having a puppy is easy. Well, to put it bluntly, the answer is no! You will lose sleep when having a puppy because you will need to leave them in a cool place, probably somewhere with hard flooring instead of a carpet in the case of any accidents, and check on them to see if they are sleeping rather than tearing the room to shreds. It is the exact same principle as having a baby… you want them to sleep well and you want to check that they are comfortable and happy.
2. You will be outside a lot.
Many people think that they will be inside with the puppy but the reality is that outside will be your bestfriend! Except when raining of course … But the puppy will need to go outside to be properly toilet trained. Puppy pads are essential inside and they allow the dog to learn that they musn’t go on the floor, but taking them outside is essential to getting them used to their surroundings and understanding that this is essentially their bathroom!
3. Puppy Depression.
Puppy depression isn’t them being sad, it is you being sad! Getting a puppy can seem like it will fix everything and be all rainbows. But the truth is that it may actually make things harder due to the time you have to put into them to create a healthy relationship and also financial reasons. You musn’t get a pup if you cannot get the resources to look after them to the best of your ability. Many humans tend to feel mixed emotions or sadness when the puppy doesn’t instantly fall in love with them. However, the puppy has probably gone through a lot of change already and you musn’t feel remorse. You must keep strong and allow training time, as this will shape them into the dream dog!
4. Research. Don’t just give the dog any food, research into specifics for the breed.
There are so many different types of dog food out there, the possibilities are endless. So of course, you may naturally be confused as to what to feed the little one. However, you musn’t just assume. Always do research beforehand whether it be online, through the breeder or vets or any pets shows. You cannot just switch the puppies foods instantly but you must take into consideration the breed, the needs, the age and whether the pup has had the first jabs or not.
5. Walk your puppy, no matter the weather!
Once vaccinated, be sure to walk your puppy no matter the weather. It is so important to get them learning, seeing how they interact and out of the house. They don’t want to feel like us staying in the house all the time! They want to be sociable and explore this new world of theirs.
6. Be aware that dogs get dirty.
People sometimes assume that the smaller the dog, the cleaner they are. But of course, this isn’t right! Puppies can get dirty, sometimes even more so than full grown dogs because they are developing and learning each day! Puppies tend to have a certain smell to them due to learning how to go to the toilet and keeping fresh. You can buy instant sprays but ensure that you are using puppy friendly products and absolutely no human products. This could really damage their health and irritate their skin.
Photograph by Simon Romsey.
7. Give them alone time.
Owners tend to feel guilty leaving the pup alone. However, this has to be done, especially in lock down, otherwise they will gain separation issues and anxiety when the world gets a bit back to normal and we are all off out working. They will become confused and so dependent on you, they could bark for hours! No one wants that. Just be sure to give them some time to themselves to play, sleep or be calm.
8. Be cost aware.
What each owner buys is always up to them, but you must be sure that you are financially stable to have a puppy. They aren’t just for fun. It is a living animal that you must look after properly. Even though they are expensive, it is worth while as you are giving them the care that they require. Sadly, many people realise they are a financial issue a few weeks in, and either don’t treat them right, or give them away. Remember that some things aren’t necessities but you must buy the best things to support them and train them such as puppy pads, food, bowls and bedding. Toys are good to learn from but you don’t need hundreds… that is just choice!
9. Get prepared.
Rolling on from the last point, it is best to be prepared for the puppy to arrive to its forever home, than to get sorted when it has already arrived. This will allow you time to consider the best space for the animal, set up and be ready whereas if the animal just arrives with nothing, it will be a huge stress to gather all equipment suddenly, while having to look after them!
10. Be aware that puppies are for life, not just for a day or just for a lockdown.
Linking to an article released in issue 14 of Carbon, puppies are for life, not just a pandemic. The demand in puppies are so high right now, the pricing has never been so expensive! But people must realise that puppies aren’t there just to keep you occupied, it really is a commitment and you must make sure you have thoroughly thought about if it will work by planning schedules, researching to enable the puppy to have the best life possible.
Written, Photographed (unless stated) and illustrated by Tara Larkin.