Bringing home a puppy is an exciting and challenging time. Getting a dog can give you and your family a fun new companion, but a puppy requires a lot of time and effort to raise it correctly. Even as puppies become more independent and well-trained as they age, a grown dog needs just as much love and devotion as a new puppy.
To ensure you aren’t rushing into getting a puppy, our professional staff from Furry Babies Aurora, IL have compiled a list of questions to ask before deciding to adopt a dog.
Am I Ready for a New Puppy?
When thinking about a new puppy, it’s easy to only focus on the positive aspects of adoption: cuteness, cuddles, and a new companionship. It’s important to remember that raising a puppy is not easy. Like babies, puppies are brand new to the world and don’t yet understand or have the capacity to be well-behaved.
Puppies require a lot of time and patience to train. Getting a puppy at just a few weeks of age can mean dealing with house training, puppy bites, chewing toys and shoes, and socializing your pet with people and other dogs. These responsibilities can lead to frustration if you are not prepared.
Ask yourself a few questions to ensure you’re ready for a puppy:
• Does your schedule allow you to spend time training your puppy?
• Does your lifestyle provide free time for you to spend with your dog? To go on walks, to the dog park, or to socialize with other dogs and people?
• Is anything coming up that would make having a puppy difficult, such as a big move, having a baby, or a busy work schedule?
• Do you have the funds to pay for all your puppy’s essentials, like vet bills, toys, food, and a bed?
Which Dog Breed is Right for Me?
Once you’ve decided you are ready to bring a puppy home, the next question to ask yourself is which breed is best for you. Every breed has a distinct personality and characteristics, energy levels, size, training needs, and grooming requirements that impact how you train your puppy and take care of i t as it ages.
Ask yourself the following questions when thinking about specific breeds to help you understand which one is right for you:
• Why do you want a dog? For example, as a companion, for home safety, or to be more active.
• Do you have other pets? Some breeds are better suited to be with other dogs, cats, or other house pets.
• Do you have a backyard? A small or no backyard will make having a large or active dog more difficult.
• What’s your activity level like? Inactive people may find having an active dog challenging.
• What is your experience level caring for animals? Larger or more high-maintenance dogs, like Huskies, may be difficult for those with less animal experience.
• Does anyone in your home have allergies? A pet allergy might mean choosing a hypoallergenic dog like a Bichon Frise to accommodate allergies.
• Do you have children in the house? Some breeds are better than others for families, such as Labrador Retrievers or Irish Setters.
When deciding on a breed, consider joining a kennel club or breed club to help support you in caring for your new puppy.
What Are the Store or Breeder’s Puppy Health Standards?
Unfortunately, many breeders in the industry aren’t careful with the health and well-being of their puppies. To ensure you are dealing with a reputable breeder or store in Aurora, IL you should research the store or breeder’s puppy care standard from the time puppies are born.
Responsible breeders should take care of their dogs, ensure they aren’t overbreeding, and have a licensed vet check on the health of their dogs and puppies. No matter the store’s or breeder’s reputation, ask several questions on puppy care practices and overall routine maintenance of their facilities.
Hearing first-hand how they care for their animals can help you determine if the breeder or store is a good fit for you. Some questions to ask include:
• Are your breeders licensed?
• How do you socialize your puppies?
• What type of food do the puppies eat?
• How old are the puppies? At what age can I take them home?
• What do the parents look like? What are their personalities?
• Can I meet the puppy’s parents?
• How often do you breed your dogs?
• What vaccinations do the puppies have?
• Do you provide a health certificate?
• Are puppies microchipped?
• Are they purebred/what breed are they?
• Are the puppies spayed or neutered?
Asking these questions can help you determine how responsible the store, breeder, or rescue group is. If the breeder is unable or unwilling to answer any questions, they might be hiding information, such as where the puppies are from, potential health problems, irresponsible practices like overbreeding, or not providing adequate vet care for the puppies.
Only work with organizations willing to answer questions and accommodate your reasonable requests.
Do I Need to Puppy-Proof My Home and Backyard?
Just like a baby, you’ll need to ensure your puppy’s safety by puppy-proofing. The only difference with a baby is that puppies are fully mobile at a very young age and will be curious to explore every inch of your house and backyard.
Puppy-proofing your house has twofold benefits: it protects your puppy from injury and protects items in your home from damage caused by your curious puppy. Take the following precautions before bringing your new puppy home:
• Move/hide loose electrical cords
• Place cleaning supplies in a high or locked cabinet
• Move poisonous plants out of reach
• Hide food toxic to dogs: chocolate, grapes, onions
• Keep toilet lids closed
• Pick up and hide small items to prevent eating or choking, such as coins, rubber bands, and legos
• Secure trash cans
• Check the backyard fence for places to crawl through or under
Puppies, especially those under 12 weeks, are curious. It will feel like you are constantly following your puppy around the house to keep them out of trouble. By puppy-proofing your home and yard, you eliminate many issues that may occur after buying a puppy.
What Puppy Supplies Do I Need?
It’s easy to forget how many things a puppy requires. To ensure your new puppy is comfortable and properly taken care of, you should get the following:
• A comfortable dog bed
• Food and water bowls
• Puppy food
• Training treats
• Dog crate
• Dog brush
These essentials will help your puppy adjust to their new environment and meet its needs. As your puppy grows, its needs will fluctuate. Their food, toys and collar size will change, but this preliminary list will help you get started with your new puppy.
Add a New Puppy to Your Family with Furry Babies
Getting a new puppy requires planning and preparation. Thinking about all aspects of puppy care before jumping into adoption is essential. However, if you’ve answered all the questions and are ready to add a new puppy to your family, it’s time to find the right furry friend at Furry Babies.
At Furry Babies Aurora, IL you can search through our available puppies and speak with our pet counselors and staff to help you find the perfect puppy for your family.