Updated: Jan 14
With big adoring eyes, oversized ears and paws that do not quite fit, a puppy is, by far, one of the most adorable cuddly bundles of love we may ever hold in our arms. The clumsy walk, the playful chasing of toys and the unconditional love they will offer to anyone who cares enough to earn their trust is a guaranteed smile.
The puppy is a future companion who will see you through the ups and downs of life and ask no more in return than your continued friendship. It is therefore a small wonder puppy purchases are often an impulse buy.
In this edition of Envi Pet Care Cares, we are going to ask you to pump the breaks a little and consider these five tips before you go ahead and either buy or rescue a puppy.
The first question you should ask yourself is ‘Am I/ Are We Ready for the Commitment?’
For many people, including those who grew up alongside a dog, the work of raising a puppy differs from the housebroken pet you have always known. My dog is thirteen years old now and my daughter seventeen. Soon she will be off to college and one day soon getting a home of her own. Having had a pet dog all of her life she herself as never had to train a puppy to walk on a leash, go to the door when the dog needs the bathroom or concerned with vet visits and the changing diet of a dog as it grows older. Those responsibilities fall on myself and my wife. When the time comes for her to "buy" her own pet puppy in her own home, she will essentially be a first-time puppy owner.
She will need to learn how to learn the puppy needs feeding regularly throughout the day. She will deal with the routine of housebreaking a pet puppy and the sometimes-frustrating little accidents left on the doormats, the crate and the one place you thought you could step safely.
Puppies are babies, they will cry to go to the bathroom, they will cry when they are lonely or bored. This will happen during the night and in the daytime. Although puppies need crate training to gain a sense of their ‘own space’, they cannot be left in their own in a crate for more than a few hours in the day. This will mean coming home from work, most likely finding or hiring a professional home visit such as EnVi Pet Care to ensure the puppy get time out of the crate. Are you prepared to invest so much time in the correct training and care a puppy needs when entering your home? Before you consider the expense, the lifelong commitment in raising a dog and the changes in your home, your fist question should be - ‘Am I ready for a puppy?’
If you are not. do not worry, there are other options for owning a pet dog. Although there are separate considerations for adopting a grown dog, thousands of young dogs are waiting for a forever family in your local rescue center, many of whom are already house broken and with a good history of loving with a loving pet parent: Call them or a visit. If you care enough to know you cannot commit to a puppy, you already care enough to be a responsible dog owner.
Ok, I can commit to the time needed to raise a puppy, but am I the right fit for the breed?
Before my current dog, a Cairn Terrier name Laird Rusty McJock of Montgomery, or ‘Rusty’, I had a close affection for four breeds: Czech Wolf Dog, Border Collies, Siberian and Burmese Mountain Dogs, these breeds are Working dogs and possess a great deal of energy and a need for work. At the time our family knew we could not commit to any large or medium-sized breed. We could commit to raising Rusty. He was small, we have a large yard, for exercise and my wife was home at the time to take care of his training. Our daughter was still in kindergarten and he was the right rise to walk on a leash for her. The two could run each other ragged in the backyard while at play and get pleasurable exercise. When considering a breed, ask yourself.
· What Size dog can I manage in my home and yard?
· Is this Breed going to get the exercise it needs based on my lifestyle?
· Is it a good fit for my family?
If the answer to all the above fits your choice of puppy, then go ahead, make the commitment and love that dog as the part of the family he or she will become.
On this point, if during the process you have any doubt at any moment, move onto another breed. Dogs are as diverse as people; the right fit is out there for you and your compromises should be minimal. Never give into temptation and say I think we can make it work’ and buy the puppy. The adorable little fur ball will never make it work, they are going to have basic needs you need to know you can fulfil; no matter how much you try, you will never fit a square g in a round hole.
Rescue or not to rescue, that is the question!
It’s a good and important question is, (so long as it is not a puppy mill).
However, EnVi will always encourage anyone asking our advice to consider adoption first. Yes, there are thousands of puppies awaiting adoption and pet rescues, the SPCA and other local pet charities can usually find you the breed you want in any of the hundreds of specialty dog rescues nationally. Pet rescue and adoption centers also carry many mixed breeds who are unfortunate, and too often, forgotten in the puppy buying process. Mixed breeds are unique beautiful dogs with unique characteristics.
If you choose to buy a pedigree puppy, do so through a reputable breeder with AKC (US) or (KC) UK or your own nations Kennel Club. Please avoid Puppy Mills and Breeding farms, our nations rescue centers are fighting an endless battle to find homes for the dogs they discard or abandon; they can only remain in business so long as people purchase from them.
Please contact EnVi when searching for a puppy of a particular breed and we can help direct you to a breed specialty rescue center.
Now how about finding a Veterinarian?
When you choose your puppy, one of the first considerations should be a checkup. Any reputable Rescue, Adoption agency or breeder will have informed you of underlying health issues. No reputable charity or business will want to see you saddled with a medical need they do not disclose or prepare you for. However, some dogs do still need a more thorough check up once in a new home. There is no better recommendation for a vet than his or her customers, but do not take their word as gospel. Read the reviews, visit the vet clinic and ask around. A good place to start is asking people walking their dogs around the neighborhood too. The more informed your decision, the better it will be.
Take a tour of the Vet, see how you feel on the initial check up and ask to see brochures and reviews. Vets are professionals who, if asked professionally, will want to answer all of your questions. Take this opportunity to feel comfortable with your Vet.
The considerations above are far from being the complete list of what you should consider when buying a puppy, we do however recommend them as a good starting point on your own checklist.
Breeders, Adoption agencies, rescues and other pet re-homing charities and organizations will always be on hand to help. If you have other questions, please comment below or send us an email.
For more tips and helpful advice, please check back with EnVi Pet Care Cares. we are always updating our content on Pet Care.
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