My husband and I have always had dogs. We lost both of our dogs a few years ago within months of each other. Our Beagle and Lab had both lived a full life, but it was still very hard. We knew we would get another dog, eventually. But less than a month after our Labrador passed we ran into a family of Beagles. We were informed that they were having a litter in just 6 weeks and if we were interested, we should speak up now. I didn’t want a dog right away, but before i knew it we had our name on the list for not one, but two beagle puppies. My husband wanted them to have a playmate. Little did we know bringing home puppies would test us in good and bad ways. So I am here to help you. In case you were thinking of getting a puppy, here are some things I wish I knew before getting a puppy.
1.) They’re expensive:
The first thing you should know about getting a puppy is that they are expensive. If you are rescuing from a shelter the price is going to be more reasonable. IF you are looking for a puppy from a breeder, ask around to multiple breeders what their prices are. Even then it depends on the breed of dog. Know what you are going to spend before you pick out your puppy. Keep in mind. Once you have your puppy home there will be multiple pet visits that you will have to go in the first 3 months, not to mention food and materials needed for your pups.
Puppies need things to keep them entertained , happy and healthy. Food, treats, bones, leashes, kennels, begs, blankets etc. Plan ahead and buy some of these ahead of time to ease your expenses so you are not buying them all at once. A kennel is key in those first few months at least at night or when you are away. Puppies are curious and you don’t want them destroying your house. Don’t forget a leash and collar. It is nice to have those on hand when you walk out of the shelter or breeders.
3.) Babies, toddler and Puppies, Oh my!
Most puppies need to stay with their mommies until 6-8 weeks old. They can be weened from her milk and have to be healthy enough to leave her. Puppies are like babies at first and then quietly graduate to the toddler phase. As a Baby,, they don’t know how to control their bladder and can pee at any moment. There will be times where you will have to get up at 2 or 3 am for the first month or so and take them outside to pee. This shows them that Outside is the place to pee. By doing that they should know that they don’t have to pee in their kennel or somewhere in the house. Eventually, they will figure it out and you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night.
I would recommend finding a dog trainer. There are certain things you can do yourself, but a trainer will help your dog achieve goals that will help you both out in the long run. For training at home, keep dog treats handy for when they do something you like and you want to reward them. Make sure you don’t reward them for something you don’t like. If you don’t like it, its okay to walk away from them so they get the picture you are not in the mood to play or approve of what they are doing.
Puppies have ENERGY. They love to run and play. Dogs need a lot of attention. They need to go on walks, if not just to exercise, but it helps to know the neighborhood. If they are familiar with where they live, it will decrease their chances of running off or increase their chances of coming back if they do get away. They need time to play with you and other dogs. Look at dog parks around your area so they can socialize. It is so important. Or if you live in an apartment or an area where you can’t really give them the freedom to run, a dog park is a great and safe place to let them off leash and run out some energy in a fenced in space.
Just like babies, puppies going through teething too. They have puppy teeth and then they get big teeth. During their teething, they will chew on things like shoes, pillows, furniture and toys. It is a good idea when purchasing you materials to get teething toys. Hard bones for them to chew on, ropes and toys specifically for them. It will help keep you house in order and keep them happy.
7.) Fun, Adorable and Time Consuming
Let’s face it everyone thinks having a puppy would be great. After all, they are adorable, goofy and playful. But they are hard work and they are time consuming. In those first few months it is hard to leave them alone for long periods of time as they are trying to figure the bladder thing and you don’t want to make them feel lonely. Make sure it works with your schedule that you or someone can check up on them once or twice a day if need be. But once you have them, you will love playing with them and cuddling and loving them is one of the best feelings you could ask for at the end of a long work day.