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Before Getting a Puppy or an Adult Dog

Updated on May 6, 2016
Maggie Magz at 5 weeks old. Visiting her at the breeders.
Maggie Magz at 5 weeks old. Visiting her at the breeders. | Source

This article was inspired by a recent hub written by Giselle Main, which got me thinking about some of things that I would advise people to consider before making that huge commitment of bringing a dog into their family and home. First let me state that I am not an expert just an animal lover and that I have had dogs all my life.

Dogs Require Attention and Training

When you first bring that cute little puppy home you are going to want to house train it immediately. Some people use newspapers or potty training pads. This is fine but the dog eventually needs to learn to go outside to do its business.

Housebreaking or Potty Training a Puppy

Personally the way in which I train my dogs is taking them outside every hour on the hour and walking around with them until they go to the washroom. The general rule when they are puppies is to take them outside 20 minutes after they eat. Once the dog matures and is housebroken it will not need to go outside as often. A good rule to follow is to not let the dog drink water past seven at night, enabling them to go all night without needing to urinate. Be prepared however to get up early in the morning to take the puppy outside.

Maggie Magz at almost 8 weeks old
Maggie Magz at almost 8 weeks old | Source
Bruce at 8 weeks old
Bruce at 8 weeks old | Source

Obedience Training

I highly recommend a basic obedience class for you and the puppy. This will teach the dog how to behave around other dogs and learn basic training. When the basic training is over you should continue to work with your dog on a daily basis. This gives you and your dog time together and the dogs really enjoy training, walking and playing with the people that they live with.

Dogs Can Be Expensive

  • Bringing a dog into the household basically means another mouth to feed.
  • Veterinarian Bills
  • Unexpected vet bills should your dog get sick or have an accident that requires a trip to the vet.
  • Prescription medication for animals is expensive
  • Costs of Spaying or neutering
  • In most places it will cost you yearly to licence your dog

Cannot Always Travel With a Dog

You cannot always take your dog with you when you want to go away for a long weekend or on a vacation. So this will mean either getting someone into your home to look after your dog while you are away or putting them in a kennel while you are traveling.

Mutual Decision

Before bringing home a dog everyone in the family should agree that they want a dog. So many times one person decides that they want a dog but their spouse or partner does not really like animals. This can become quite a problem and upset the household.

Rules To Make And Things To Consider

Where will the dog sleep? Will he or she have a place in the kitchen, sleep in a crate, have a doghouse outside or sleep on the floor in your bedroom.

Who is going to feed the dog? I really feel that one person in the household should be responsible for feeding the dog. I have heard of dogs getting fat because one person feeds the dog and goes off to work and when the second person gets up they do not know that the dog has already been fed.

Are you going to allow the dog to sit or lie on furniture? This is important because once a dog is allowed on furniture it is hard to stop them from sitting or lying on the couch. It may become confusing to the dog as well. “You let me up here when I was a cute little puppy and now that I am 2 years old and weigh 100 pounds you won’t let me”.

Pooper Scooper

Flexrake Standard Poop Pet Scoop/Spade with 3-Feet Aluminum Handle
Flexrake Standard Poop Pet Scoop/Spade with 3-Feet Aluminum Handle
This is the style that I have and I really like it.

Cleaning Up After The Dog

This is strictly from my own experience. I have not one but two Newfoundland dogs. If you are unfamiliar with the breed they are over 120 pounds each and have a lot of fur. Even though they are groomed I still have to sweep and vacuum on a daily basis. Okay some days I don’t but still. Their hair gets everywhere and I am forever picking it up. My male drools, and when Newf's drool it flies on walls, sometimes it will fly as high as the ceilings. It gets on clothing if you happen to be in the same area as him. So be prepared to be washing walls more than if you didn't have a dog. Don't forget what goes in does come out and you get to pick it up and dispose of it.

Lifespan of a Dog

Dogs can live anywhere from 5 years up to 27 years in some breeds. If you are thinking about getting a purebred you can always find out what the life expectancy of said dog is. Make sure you are willing to commit to keeping this dog for its entire lifetime.

I hope that this article has not discouraged you from getting a dog. If you have any comments, questions or anything to add please do so in the comment box below.

Recommended Reading

Teresa Coppens has some excellent advice when it comes to raising a gentle dog.

© 2011 Susan Zutautas


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