Everything you need to know before adopting a puppy
Adopting a puppy is an exciting experience and one you’ll never forget. However, preparing your home and making sure you have everything in place for the new arrival takes time and money. Here at Meatiful, we’ve put together a useful guide to make bringing home your new pup easy-peasy.
Your breed’s needs
Before adopting a puppy, it’s important to consider what breed would suit your lifestyle and current situation. Dogs’ needs vary massively from breed to breed so you need to make sure you do your research. For example, if you live an active lifestyle and enjoy long walks in the countryside, a Border Collie may be a good fit for you. If you’re more of a home bird, you might want to opt for a breed that doesn’t need as much walking, like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Be mindful that some dogs shed more than others and some breeds require a lot of upkeep to maintain their coats. Figure out what suits you best and go from there!
Puppy-proofing your home is an absolute must. Puppies are mischievous and curious by their very nature so you want to make sure you’ve taken all the steps to ensure your house is a safe environment for your new dog. Don’t leave electrical cords exposed (puppies LOVE to chew), keep human food out of reach and invest in baby gates so your pup doesn’t go wandering off upstairs when you aren’t looking. The steps you will need to take are different depending on your home, so you need to use your best judgement. Remember, leaving your favourite slippers lying around probably isn’t a great idea with a new puppy in town.
There are a number of medical costs associated with getting a puppy. Pups need vaccinations, may need to be neutered or spayed and some breeds are known to have underlying health conditions. Factor this into your research when you’re deciding what breed to get and weigh up the pros and cons of your chosen breed. Even if you do everything in your power to keep them safe and sound, all dogs suffer injuries or get sick, so having pet insurance is also an absolute necessity.
Puppies can take a while to settle into their new home. Frequent barking and whimpering isn’t uncommon for a dog in new surroundings and they will likely require a lot of love and attention to ease them through the transition. Look at it from your pup’s point of view; a new home and family can be quite scary! Prepare yourself for some sleepless nights and align the adoption time for when you can get a few weeks off work.
Puppies need A LOT of training. Many pups aren’t housetrained when you first take them home so prepare yourself for a few accidents. Keep your puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take them out to go to the toilet every half an hour or so. If they’re sleeping in a crate at night, line it with training pads and be sure to check in to ensure they’ve not left a big mess. Many people swear by baby monitors when they take home a new pup; it’s a great way of keeping an eye on your pet at night without frequently checking on them.
Exercise is important for all animals but you want to be sure you don’t over or under-do it. Again, this goes back to your initial research; you need to know how much exercise your breed needs, then try to meet those needs as much as possible. Dogs can become frustrated and develop unruly behaviour if they don’t get enough exercise. Conversely, if they’re getting too much exercise, this can also be harmful as it could impact their joints and muscles.
Having a puppy isn’t far away from having a human baby. Would you leave your baby home alone? Didn’t think so! If you need to leave the house and can’t take your puppy with you, especially in the initial weeks, make sure you have a puppy sitter that the dog knows and trusts. Puppies become very attached to their owners quite early on and being left behind can cause considerable distress, leading them to act out in frustration.
Everyone wants their pup to be a social butterfly, but getting them there needs effort from you, the owner. Puppies, especially when they start to get a bit bigger, don’t know their own strength and may jump up on people or nip them playfully. It’s crucial that you deter them from doing this as early as possible so that by the time they reach adulthood, they know what’s allowed and what’s not. Make sure they meet other dogs from a young age and try to socialise them with children, even if you don’t have any. You want to make sure that they’ve had experience meeting all different kinds of people so that they don’t grow up having anxieties.