Dogs are just the best.
You know what is even cuter than a dog? A puppy. Which is probably why we have National Puppy Day.
Anyone who has had their dog since they were a puppy knows that while they are beyond adorable in every way possible, they are an insane amount of work.
Which is why you should always think twice about getting a puppy! Obviously there are tons of little puppies that need homes, but sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to get a dog that is no longer a puppy.
So in honor of National Puppy Day, here are a few things to think about before heading to your local animal shelter and picking out the cutest puppy you ever did see.
1. Figure out if you have the time to handle a puppy
Honestly, this is the biggest thing you should think about. Sure, you can leave your house for hours at a time when you have a dog that is potty-trained, but puppies are a whole different story. Puppies need to go outside at least once an hour during the day, sometimes more. Plus, add them waking up in the middle of the night and it’s like you have a newborn baby at home.
Unless you want to have a dog that is not fully potty-trained, making sure you have the time to be there for your puppy is essential in the first few months of their lives. I’d even say the first whole year of their lives, honestly. Obviously things come up, but if you’re not committed to being at home pretty often, maybe don’t get a puppy.
2. It’s going to cost money
When you adopt a dog, you’re more than likely not going to be spending a whole lot of money on it. If you’re lucky, your adoption fee may even get waved. That being said, it’s the rest of the dog’s life that gets expensive. You have to think about dog food, treats, grooming and of course, the vet.
Vet bills are insane, and they seem to never end. Sure, you can get pet insurance, but you’re still paying money regardless. Getting a puppy is a huge financial responsibility, and if that’s something you cannot commit to, it’s probably not a good idea to get a puppy.
3. You need to actually train them
This might be the most important thing to consider when getting a brand new puppy. As annoying and time consuming as it can be, training your puppy is essential when you become a new dog owner. I’m not talking about just teaching them how to sit and stay, too.
There are so many aspects when it comes to training your dog, and if you don’t do it when they’re just a baby, it can be disastrous as they get older. Take it from someone who didn’t do a lot of training with their dog as a puppy. I took her to puppy school at a PetCo, but didn’t do enough after the class to reinforce the thing she learned.
4. You need to have patience
Having a puppy (or a young dog, really) is all about having patience. They are going to do things that are going to make you want to scream endlessly. From having accidents in the house to destroying your shoes (or anything else they can get their paws on), bad things are going to happen.
My best advice is to just roll with the punches those first couple years of their lives. They are certainly not going to be perfect, but realizing and accepting that will make your life SO much easier. Plus, if you took my advice from above, hopefully the training will negate some of these annoying accidents.
5. Be ready to love them with your entire heart
If you’re not ready to love a puppy for the rest of their lives (and beyond) then you really have no business getting one in the first place. That puppy is going to love you so hard, and you need to show that love back! For most people, this will come easy and not be an issue, but I think there are people out there who regret getting a puppy once they realize how big of a commitment it is.
If you’re prepared to do all the things I listed above, then loving your puppy unconditionally will come very easy to you. Just make sure you have unlimited snuggles, treats and an adorable name picked out for the new member of your family!