Getting a puppy is great, but dogs are a lot of responsibility.
A puppy is an excellent addition to any family, but there are some things you need to consider before you bring one home. This article will outline the x most important things to think about before getting a puppy.
The first thing you need to think about is the breed of dog that will fit into your family. As the folks at Petclassifieds explain, different breeds have different temperaments and energy levels.
Some dogs require a lot of exercise and stimulation, while others don’t need extensive playtime to be happy.
Also, some breeds are better with children than others.
No matter what breed you choose, make sure you know what you’re in for because each breed has its unique personality, and it is up to you to pick one out that fits your lifestyle.
Here are some popular breeds and their characteristics:
The Labrador Retriever is very family-oriented. Chances are, if you’re looking at getting a new puppy, the Lab is already on your mind. They love to run and play but can be calm as well. Labs have even saved children from drowning!
The Golden Retriever is a close relative of the Labrador Retriever, but they have subtle differences. These dogs are even more family-oriented and love to play. Just like Labs, they also need a lot of exercise.
The Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds. They form strong bonds with their owners. Beagles love to run and play outside, but they can also be calm inside the house. They make excellent pets for active families.
The Poodle is another one of the most popular breeds in America. This breed is fantastic with children and loves to play around. However, they require extensive grooming every few weeks.
A Bulldog is an excellent pet for individuals looking for something low-key. These dogs love to lounge around and do not require extensive physical activity. They’re easygoing and get along great with children, but they can also be stubborn at times. Also, Bulldogs snore loudly and drool.
The second thing you need to consider before getting a puppy is the dog’s life span. A dog’s life expectancy varies depending on the breed’s size and its health history. Generally speaking, large-breed dogs tend to live longer than small-breed dogs.
If you are looking for a pup who will stick around for a long time, consider getting a Lab or Golden Retriever. These breeds have a median lifespan of 11 and 10 years, respectively.
You also need to take into account how much a puppy will grow.
For example, a Rottweiler weighs around 100 pounds when fully grown, while a Chihuahua only weighs about 6 pounds.
If you are unprepared for a dog that will be large as an adult, you should avoid breeds like Rottweilers and instead consider small breeds like Chihuahuas.
Puppies require specially-formulated food. They need food that is higher in calories and protein.
If you are not prepared to buy a large bag of puppy food every month or so, you should avoid getting a pup that will grow into a large breed.
Some people believe that puppies cannot eat three meals a day. However, the opposite is true — you should start by providing your puppy with three small meals per day.
Watch your portions. Overfeeding may lead to obesity and other health issues.
On the other hand, a lot of people recommend free-feeding puppies. This means that you leave food out for your dog at all times so it can eat whenever.
However, many studies show that this is not the healthiest option. Instead of leaving food out all day, it may be better to only free-feed your dog once or twice a day.
This will help regulate their eating habits and prevent them from becoming obese.
Here’s what you should feed your puppy:
Dogs need high-quality protein to help them grow and stay healthy. Look for puppy food containing animal-based proteins, like chicken or beef.
Puppy food should also contain complex carbohydrates, essential for energy and development. Good sources of complex carbs include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Vitamins and minerals
Your puppy’s food should contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals that they need to grow up strong and healthy.
Calcium and phosphorus
Not all premium puppy foods contain enough calcium and phosphorus. This mineral has been linked to bone health, so your pup must get it from dog food.
Another critical thing to consider before getting a puppy is how much time you’re willing to spend training and socializing. All puppies need training and socialization, regardless of the breed.
If you are not prepared to set aside time each day for basic obedience training, then you should reconsider getting a pup.
Socialization is how puppies learn how to deal with other animals and people.
If your puppy does not go through this process, then the dog may grow up to be fearful around strange animals and people, which can lead to aggression problems.
Here are some training and socialization tips:
Visit the vet
Take your pup to the vet during their first week at home. This is a great way to socialize them and get them used to the vet’s office.
Take daily walks
If you already have an adult dog, take your new puppy for a walk with the older dog every day. This will help your new pup bond with your other dog while learning how to walk on a leash.
Introduce your puppy
Help your puppy interact with as many animals and people as possible before the dog reaches 16 weeks (the typical age that they are considered fully vaccinated). If you do not introduce them to other animals or people, they may become fearful or aggressive later in life. Before your puppy completes its vaccines, only let it interact with fully-vaccinated dogs.
Start obedience training
Take your puppy to a puppy kindergarten class and start working on basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down at home. You can teach your puppy commands by using verbal cues and hand gestures. Most dogs are food motivated, so positive reinforcement training using treats usually works quickly.
Think before getting a puppy
Getting a puppy is a big responsibility. You need to be prepared to feed your dog, train it, and socialize it.
If you can’t handle all of that, you should avoid getting a puppy. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, then a puppy can make a great addition to your family.