Adding a new puppy to your household is a very exciting time, but there is a lot of planning that needs to go into adding a new furry family member. At Drypet, we want to make sure that you have everything you need and are ready before you bring a new puppy into your home, so we have put together a list of things to consider before you get a puppy.
What Do You Need to Buy for a Puppy?
Puppies will require a lot of upfront costs. Not only will you need to pay the shelter or breeder for the dog, but you will also need to make sure you have at least the basics in your home.
Your puppy will need monthly heartworm prevention and lots of vaccinations. While your pup might have already been given some vaccinations, you are likely to have to get a few more within the first year of getting the puppy. Heartworm prevention typically administered by pill each month. Your vet will probably give you six months of pills at a time.
All dogs should be given some sort of flea and tick prevention. Whether you opt for a pill, collar, or liquid, you will need to keep your puppy treated to prevent bites that could cause Lyme disease and other nasty medical conditions.
Vets will recommend spaying or neutering all puppies that won’t be used for breeding purposes. This not only prevents unwanted puppies, but can also prevent cancers in your dog later in life. Spaying and neutering puppies also means that you won’t have to deal with a female in heat, and your male dog will be less likely to mark its territory.
Bringing a puppy into your home means you are likely to need a lot of new items. Puppies require special food for the first year or so to ensure proper development, which means even if you have a dog already, you will need separate food for the pup.
Puppies going through teething will need soft toys to chew on to ease the discomfort of the process. Soft rubber or plush toys not only provide comfort, but they can also entertain your puppy. Since playtime is important to the social development of puppies, it is very important that you provide toys for your puppy. Having toys around the house may also help prevent the puppy from chewing on your furniture or electric cords.
It is also a good idea to purchase a kennel or crate for your puppy. If you need to leave your home for any reason, you might need to lock your puppy in a kennel to prevent injury to the puppy and damage to your home. If you don’t want to purchase a kennel, consider getting a puppy playpen or puppy-proofing a small room in your home.
Potty pads are extremely helpful during the potty training process. While you may think your puppy will always make it outside, the chances of that are slim. Potty pads give your puppy a place to go to the bathroom without creating a mess on your floors.
Don’t forget the treats! All dogs love to get treats. Having some tasty treats around the house will make your puppy happier. Plus, treats are a great training tool for puppies. Pick up training specific treats to make sure that your puppy doesn’t consume too many calories in a day.
Other Puppy Expenses
While you may have thought of all the other expenses a puppy requires, there are some costs that are often forgotten about. You will want to be sure to include these additional costs in your puppy budget:
- City or county dog registrations
- Puppy training
- Transportation costs if you buy the puppy from another state/province
- Doggie daycare or boarding costs
How Should You Prepare to Add a Puppy to Your Home?
The cost of owning a puppy isn’t the only thing you should consider when you are deciding on a new pet. You will also want to consider your lifestyle. Will you need to make changes to accommodate a puppy? Are you willing to do that?
Puppies require a lot of time and attention. If you aren’t ready to dedicate a lot of energy to a puppy, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Puppies need playtime, socialization with both people and other animals, and training. You may even need to pay for training classes or doggie daycare time to help your dog develop the skills it needs.
Puppy-proofing your house isn’t as easy as it seems. You will need to pick up all electric cords and keep them out of reach of your puppy. Anything you don’t want destroyed should be picked up at all times. Even if you are around, you may not notice your puppy chewing on the corner of your favorite blanket. Clutter also takes up valuable play and running room from your new puppy.
You will also need to prepare yourself to take your puppy out A LOT! Puppies have tiny bladders that they aren’t quite in control of until after six months of age, and even later for some dogs. If you are considering getting a puppy in the winter, but hate going out in the cold, you might want to hold off until warmer weather comes.
Puppies are an exercise in patience. There will be a lot of work required to training and caring for a puppy, but it will all be worth it in the end. If you need help deciding on what kind of puppy to get, check out our article about selecting the perfect dog breed for you.