So you’ve decided the time is right to bring a puppy into your life – how exciting! But you’re not too sure where to start.
Let’s look at some of the things to consider, and avoid, to ensure it’s a wonderful experience.
Things to consider when getting a new puppy
When getting a new puppy it’s important to take into account the breed, personality and needs of the type of puppy you’re keen on. For example, working breeds need lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise. Long-haired dogs require regular brushing to keep their coats mat free and some breeds need regular trips to the groomer for a clip. Can you provide for these needs? Larger dogs, in general, require more space than smaller dogs and cost more in terms of feeding and veterinary care.
Is your house and yard well suited to the kind of dog you want?
Can you afford the costs associated with feeding and vet care?
If you have your heart set on a particular breed of dog, speak with other people who have the same breed for advice. Contact registered breeders to discuss the health and temperament of their dogs to ensure they meet your expectations.
Most registered breeders go to great lengths to health test their breeding dogs and puppies.
However breeds can vary in terms of health issues so it’s important to research and discuss common health problems or inherited diseases with the breeder before you commit.
If breed isn’t a huge concern for you then you may consider adopting a puppy from an animal shelter or rescue organisation. Adopting a puppy is a wonderful experience as you’re helping an animal in need. Some rescue puppies may need a little extra TLC if they haven’t been well socialised or have had a difficult start to life, however most rescue puppies make wonderful pets.
Puppies adopted through animal shelters or rescue groups are typically wormed, vaccinated and desexed prior to adoption.
Due to their popularity, rescue puppies are not always available, so they may be a little harder to come by compared to purebred puppies from registered breeders.
Things to avoid when getting a new puppy
Getting a puppy from a classified ad is risky and should be avoided as many people have been scammed this way. Puppy farmers also advertise puppies for sale in classifieds ads and on websites and these puppies are often poorly socialised and unhealthy. Puppy farmers are known to put profits before animal health and welfare and should be avoided.
Finally, it’s important not to buy a puppy on impulse.
Instead, do your research and ensure you’re as well prepared as possible. Then you can relax and enjoy getting to know your new best friend, happy with the knowledge that you’ve made a great decision.
Written by Dr Kate Mornement, Vet and Pet Behaviourist