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Buying a Puppy, the Basics

Pets are lovely.  We loved our bunnies but sadly had to rehome them when we had to move.  My son is obsessed with dogs at the moment and really wants us to get a little white one.  For us, this isn’t an option, but a few of my friends did get dogs recently.

Getting a dog is a big decision.  You need to decide what type of dog is best suited for you and your lifestyle.  Before you bring home you bouncing, tail-wagging bundle of fur it’s best to prepare your home and family for the new addition.

These handy tips will cover everything you’ll need to help your new pup feel right at home before you start the training process.

Settling In

Any pet that is introduced to a new environment and a first/new family is likely to be nervous.  Although most animals love to interact, it is important to set aside a quiet area where they are able to go and have time for themselves.  Of course, family members of all ages must be briefed on the importance of maintaining this safe space for your pup.  One of my friends added a bed into a high sided pen where their pup could escape the kids.  The pen allowed for the puppy to be contained in an area, handy when they got a little over excited/over- stimulated and need to calm down.

Make sure that any soft toy your pet arrives with is kept in the bed for a sense of familiarity and security.  It can also help to keep your home quiet and calm for the few days whilst your puppy is settling in.

Exercise

For the first few weeks, your pet won’t need much in the way of exercise.  In fact, too much running around can harm their legs and development.  It’s important to follow your vet or the breeder’s advice on when to start lengthening daily walks.  In preparation for their daily walks, my friends bought a no pull dog harness to help keep control when walking.  I’ve been told these are more comfortable for the dog to wear than other types for young dogs.

As well as exercise, pups will also need mental stimulation.  There are plenty of fun toys available.  I noticed that my friends seemed to have quite a few ‘Kong’ toys to keep their fun-loving pups entertained.

As your pet grows, they’ll need more exercise.  Even the most laid back of pets will get bored and destructive if not exercised regularly.

Many pets will be happy with a daily walk, but, for more athletic animals such as whippets or greyhounds the chance for a good run is often necessary to burn off excess energy.  It helps to have somewhere with plenty of space if you’re looking to take in one of these breeds.

Many breeds of dog can make great running companions.  A great way to help keep you active and also save on expensive gym fees.  This is a great way to get those daily walks in for your pet and exercise for yourself.

Food

Dogs will need approximately two meals a day with portions appropriate to their weight and breed.  Like most dogs, they will probably give you an adorable pleading look when you’re eating.  It’s important to avoid feeding your dog titbits.  For a start, not all human food is suitable for your pet and may cause tummy troubles.  You also run the risk of your dog becoming overweight, which can lead to more serious health complications.

Talk to your vet about which food your pet needs and what you might need to change to enrich their diet as they grow older.

Training

Training your dog is important.  It’s best to avoid starting too late, otherwise, your pet will learn bad habits.  Training starts with simple commands such as to sit, go to its bed and not bark when you are not home.  Consistency is key.  You can find a dog trainer who can teach you various useful techniques.

Taking on the responsibility of a pet is an intense experience especially during those early days when your puppy needs almost constant supervision.  I’ve heard it likened to having a young child.  It is a big commitment but also very rewarding.

A dog will add a special dynamic to your family life and will grow to become a much-loved member of your family.  From an exercise partner to a friend who’s there for you no matter what.  Once you bring your dog home it will feel like he’s always been there, a friend and companion for life.

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This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. great tips, wed love a puppy but we are not set up for one yet so will wait a few years

    1. They can be great to have around. I loved it when I had cats 🙂

  2. We’ve always had at least two dogs – the house wouldn’t be the same without them

    1. They are lovely to have around x

  3. These are good tips. When Yoda was a puppy we had a few issues and got a dog trainer to help!

    1. Trainers can work wonders. I bet Yoda is really well trained now!

  4. These are really helpful tips. We’d like to get a dog one day but we just don’t have the time to look after one at the moment sadly…

    1. They can take up a fair amount of time although are really good fun too.

  5. I love dogs. This is a great tip especially those who are starting to get their first furbaby. They are not only stress reliever but they make me smile.

    1. They are lovely to have and good fun!!!!

  6. I’ve never had a dog before since I am a cat person myself. So far, my boys haven’t asked for a dog but this is great information for if they do in the future.

    1. You never know with children. Mine want every pet they can think of lol.

  7. We don’t have any pets at the moment. Puppies are hard work and a real commitment…they are super cute though!

    1. I know what you mean. I’d love one but can’t deal with everything that needs to be done.

  8. Good tips- we have rescued 7 dogs (currently have 3) but I admit all of them except for one has been an adult. That made us realize that puppies are SO MUCH WORK!! Our adult dogs were trained in a heartbeat and we had no chewing incidents… but even with all that work, my kids say that our new puppy is my new “favourite child” 🙂 They do worm their way into your heart!!

    1. It’s crazy how much work puppies can be. They’re super cute but like a little child 🙂

  9. We tried a puppy for about a week but being in a third floor apartment it was terrible. It’s something I’d love to do when we’ve a house. I think pets are a huge amount of responsiblity and it’s not always something you think about.

    1. They are a big commitment. Cute though but not a good idea for everyone.

  10. We want to get a dog when our kiddos are a bit older! Such good advice and tips!

    1. Thanks Neely. Have fun with your new dog when you get one x

  11. These are great tips. There’s so much to consider as it’s such a big commitment. I’d love a dog at some point but it’s not the right time for us yet.

    1. They can be a very big commitment. There is more work then peoples sometimes realise.

  12. I’d say the biggest thing to know is you just got another child. Not kidding. Essentially you set yourself up for 10-15 years of caring for another being. I have a dalmatian so yes exercise and mental stimulation are important. A tired dog is a happy dog, and dog owner!

    1. I totally agree. If you can keep them active enough and tire them out they’re less likely to misbehave.

  13. My daughter has been asking for a puppy for so long. We have not had a dog since the passing of mine 10 years ago. Your post is making me reconsider my decision not to have one.

    1. They can be great companions for children. If you can have one I’d say go for it!!!!

  14. We did all these when we got our lab Coco. What you say about quiet time when a puppy was so key. My kids were crazy about our pup and wouldn’t leave him alone. We had to force the quiet time out for him, and he was much happier after that.

    1. It can make a big difference to their behavior. Glad you managed to sort out quiet time in the end.

  15. It’s such a big decision and doing your research is a big thing, isn’t it.

    1. It really is something people need to put a lot of thought into.

  16. I always love the process of buying a new puppy. They do come with so many small things to think about, though!

    1. They do come with a good range of items but are lovely. Puppies are sooooo cute!!!!

  17. When my daughter was younger, she pestered me for a puppy, and I gave in and got her one. We were not able to spend enough time as my husband & I both worked demanding jobs, and the puppy was extremely destructive when left at home all day, and also terrorised our cats. We ended up rehoming the puppy and since then have stuck with cats as they are a lot lower maintenance and can entertain themselves.

    1. Puppies can create chaos if not tired out enough and kept occupied. It’s harder if you have a full-time job to care for them.

  18. A very handy post. My MIL races dogs in canicross and bikejor and has just bought two GSP puppies to add to her pack, they’re super cute!

    1. Glad you liked it Rachael. Wow, sounds like she loves dogs!!!

  19. We had dogs in my home growing up and they were let outside to run free. Walking dogs is still amusing to me even though I can understand why people do that in urban areas.

    1. It’s great if there is room for them to run around. Sadly there is less space nowadays so people need to make sure they walk their dogs daily.

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