Important Things to Know About Adopting a Puppy
No matter your age, adopting a puppy is one of the most exciting experiences that you can have. Puppies provide endless love, joy, and fulfillment. Whether you want to adopt a puppy partially to teach your children about responsibility or provide a companion for an older relative, it's a great way to grow your family.
That said, it's important to remember that puppies are a huge responsibility, and you shouldn't adopt a puppy on a whim. It takes careful thought, consideration, and planning to bring a puppy into your life. When you know what you're getting yourself into, you can prepare better for your new family member and set both of you up for success and a lifetime of happiness together.
Before you start searching for "where to adopt a puppy near me," read our guide below to learn the most important things to know before taking the leap.
Decide What Kind of Puppy is Best for You
Sure, all puppies are cute, but not all puppies are going to be perfect for you. The best way to decide which puppy will be best for you is to make a list and consider the following questions:
- What size do you want your dog to be?
- Do you want a high-energy dog that will stay active for years or a low-energy one?
- Do you mind shedding, or would you prefer a hypoallergenic dog?
- What types of things do you plan on doing with your dog? (i.e., hiking, camping, running, etc.)
Understand the Financial Commitment
Determining how much it costs to adopt a puppy is only the beginning of the new and ongoing financial commitment you can expect when you bring home a puppy.
While the cost of adopting a puppy will range from place to place, if you go to a shelter, you could pay between $50 and $350 in adoption fees. Typically, these fees cover a wellness exam, their first round of shots, spaying/neutering, a microchip, and admin fees.
Pet ownership also requires you to pay for food, toys, treats, a kennel, water and food bowls, a leash, collar, harness, bed, pet insurance, medication, shots, pet sitters, training, and grooming fees. If possible, try to have extra money in savings in case you have to make an emergency vet visit, too. Owning a puppy is an expensive endeavor, and it's important to understand that your financial obligation is only just beginning once you leave the shelter.
Evaluate Your Lifestyle
Before adopting a puppy, evaluate your home and your lifestyle. If you like to travel a lot, you'll need to find a good and reliable pet sitter or a boarding facility where you can safely leave your puppy.
Beyond that, consider work. If you don't work from home, can you bring your dog to the office, or will you need to go home over your lunch break to walk them and make sure they get enough love and attention?
You'll also have to decide who'll be responsible for feeding the dog, giving it fresh water, and taking it for walks if you don't live alone. Adopting a puppy is similar to having a baby in that you need to be constantly watching it and fostering its growth, especially when you first bring it home. They need lots of love and attention and can't and shouldn't be left home alone all day or in a kennel, so it's important to have a plan for who will take care of the multiple needs your puppy will have.
Prepare Your Home
If you live in an apartment, be prepared to take your dog outside a few times a day to go to the bathroom and get exercise. If you live in a house with a yard, ensure that your yard is puppy friendly and that you have a secure fence so they can't run away. You'll also need to puppy-proof your home to keep your pup safe. Here are a few things you'll need:
- Secure/hide electrical cords
- Lock up cabinets
- Move houseplants
- Get a lid-locking trash can
- Keep laundry and shoes up high
- Keep small toys and other items away
Puppies love to get into everything, so make sure they don't have access to anything that can hurt them. It's important to make sure that your current lifestyle and home environment can accommodate a puppy.
If you're thinking about adopting a puppy, make sure that you give it some serious thought before diving in. Puppies are a big responsibility after all, but they're worth the commitment. To learn more about our puppy wellness plans, get in touch today.