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You Need to know this Before you get a puppy

Puppy

A dog is man's best friend, and there's one for everyone. The mere thought of getting a dog is exciting, but to keep that excitement alive after you've brought home your new pup is demanding. Here are factors to consider before bringing a dog home.

Pause and think

As humans, it's really easy for us to make decisions based on impulses, getting a dog should be a well thought out plan because failure to do so means the dog ends up at the animal shelter –and that only hurts the dog. Before buying a puppy or any pet test yourself.

Are you ready to commit?

Owning a dog is not all sunshine and rainbows. Like every relationship, things do change. Are you ready to stick with your new best friend through thick and thin? Are you prepared to create the time to bond with your pet? Will a dog fit into your lifestyle? How will a dog affect your finances? Trust me; puppies eat a lot. They need quality health checks, professional training and possibly a dog walker when they're old enough. So, are you ready to commit?

Which is right for you?

So you've given it a thought, and the pros for getting a dog outweighs the cons. Before you go out and get one, decide what is right for you. What features or traits do you admire, which do you want to avoid.

  • Size: Dog breeds that are relatively small when mature do better in smaller spaces. Larger dog breeds will require more space, food supplies, and costlier medications.
  • Energy level: How much time will you have each day to exercise your dog? Alternatively, do you want one that grows calm as it ages?
  • Fur type: It is easier to care for dogs with short furs. Find out how often the breed you at looking at sheds their coat and the cost of grooming.

First, find a good vet

Puppies need to visit the vet a couple of times after you've brought them home. We recommend you find and talk to a good vet before you buy a puppy. Your vet will offer you advice concerning vaccination schedule, feeding requirements, and health risk each breed is prone to catch.

This way you don't have to run around looking for a vet when your dog seems ill or vaccination is due.

Where to get strong, healthy pups 

If you followed the previous step and discussed with a vet, they'd probably share a reliable contact or two for strong healthy puppies. This article won't go into the debate of which is better –shelter or breeder. 

Here's how you can Identify healthy pups –and ethical breeders:

  • Environment matters a lot: puppies are prone to many diseases when they are young, many of which affect them long into adulthood. Insist on meeting the dogs where they are bred so you can access for yourself just how sanitary your breeder is.
  • Inspect puppy's cleanliness: When you spot a puppy you like, pick it up and look at the body. A healthy puppy will have a firm stocky body covered with hair and skin that is clean, smooth and devoid of parasites or scratches. The puppy's eyes, nose and ears should be clean and free of discharge.

These are important because the last thing you want is a dog that spends more time in the vet's office than at home.

Visit the seller but don't buy on the first trip. 

Why would we even suggest this when you found the best puppy on earth? Well, it's like this: Remember what we said about impulse? If you walk away from a pup and then come back the next day because you just couldn't take your mind off of it then you are fully ready to bring a puppy home. And also this helps you walk away from a breeder without feeling obligated to buy a dog you do not like.

Get your home pup-ready 

Puppies are very curious in their first year and they'll try to chew on everything on the floor or within mouth reach (including books, cables, furniture, and even footwear). Before bringing a puppy home lift all important items from the floor and ensure exploration areas are puppy-safe.

There's a right way to raise a puppy

You should start caring for your puppy as soon as both of you reach home. 
This includes:
  • Choosing a healthy diet formulated for puppies.
  • Basic house training.
  • Create bonding and play time.
  • Obedience training -can be frustrating, but patience is key.
  • Showing your puppy around so it can socialise well.
  • Create an exercise routine.
  • Keep track of and remember vet visits and vaccine date.

Make sure any other person interacting with the dog in on board and they know what role they play in the pup's care and development.

Would re-homing an old dog be better? 

For people looking to skip the whole puppy stage, then an older dog will be the better option. This has its own issues, but a couple of questions will ensure you are adopting the best fit: "what is the dog's health like", "How does it interact with adults or children", "Is he responding to training", "what is the dog's personality"?

Ensure your puppy is chipped

​A good breeder or shelter will have pre-chipped puppies, confirm that your pet is chipped and your contact information is on the pet's collar. It might seem like a hassle, but chips, GPS trackers and tags increase your chance of finding your dog should he ever get loose.

This simple but effective guide will ensure that you avoid encouraging abusive practices and will increase the likelihood of you going home with a healthy, happy pup.

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