Before getting a puppy you need to know some things and give it proper thought. Your new pet is going to need food, love and toys—which are just the basics. For an in-depth view of what having a puppy is actually like, we’ve prepared this list. While this may seem like a real downer, having a puppy is an incredible experience and worth all of the sacrifices we’ve listed below. Just make sure, before getting a puppy, that you’re going into it with your eyes open.

12 Things To Consider Before Getting A Puppy

Do Your Research

Reading this post is a start, but there’s more research to be done around all of the following points. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about raising puppies and all of their needs before committing to getting one. There will likely be a lot you hadn’t considered such as when to give them attention and when to withdraw, how to teach them about biting or how to get them to sleep at night. It’s better to over-prepare when committing to care for another person/animal.

Dogs Are Messy

Mud on the floors, little pee puddles, the occasional puke and the constant picking up of poop. These are a few things you’re in for when you own a dog – particularly a puppy. Also drool, oh so much drool. Prepare yourself to be cleaning up messes, dealing with smells and not having everything around you be neat.

puppy making a mess in the mud

It’s a Commitment

It’s not just for Christmas… Most people get their puppies at 10 weeks old, which means that dog will be in your care for 10 – 13 years, on average, dependent on its breed. That’s a huge responsibility. You have to be certain you’re ready for all that having a dog entails; not just cuddles in bed and loyal companionship. Having a dog is an incredible experience but a draining one, much like having a child. There’s even a state known as puppy depression, where people get puppies and are let down by the lack of immediate affection they were expecting. Like with a child, forging that bond takes work, time and commitment.

They Need Love and Attention

Again, think baby who can already walk. They will give you so much love and are very cute, but they need it back in return. You really have to be ready to give them all of your love and attention even when you don’t feel like it or it’s inconvenient.

Is Your Home Prepared?

Firstly, are you allowed pets in your building? Once you figure that out, ask yourself if there are ground-level hazards in your home. You’ll need to puppy-proof the place. No more broken glass art installations, food left out for days or bear traps on display… I don’t know your home life. Just bear this all in mind.

dog eating shoe

Dogs are expensive

Think about how expensive it is to live in Canada as a single person, then add a dog onto that. They eat loads, get into scrapes, scrap with other dogs and certain breeds are susceptible to specific health problems. You have to buy a dog bed, lead and harness, toys, collar and more up front. It’s also worth getting pet insurance for unforeseen health issues or accidents and regular vet check-ups.

Dog Food

Dog food is a bit of a minefield. You’ll need to research nutrition, buy for the dog’s age and plan ahead. There’s a surprising variety in the puppy food market, with more expensive brands offering higher nutritional value, some people opting for a raw food diet and weighing these benefits against your time and budget. Our online pet store is one of the more affordable in Vancouver, but you can get a sense of how much dog food costs here.

Puppies Take Up a Lot of Time

How much time do puppies take up? Initially you should take a week off work to spend with them, let them get used to you and bond. You’ll then learn their habits and take them out to pee and poop every couple of hours. When they’re young and bouncing off the walls you’ll need to walk your pup every 3-4 hours. They’ll also get you up every couple of hours in the night to go out and pee for the first month or two. Crate training takes a lot of time, patience and adjustment.

You’ll Be Home A Lot

If you’re someone who needs a lot of you time or likes to be out socializing constantly, your life may drastically change with a puppy. It’s unfair to leave a dog alone while you work and then decide to head out for the evening on a whim. But, if you’re good with staying home a lot and aren’t crazy sociable – or have a partner to share downtime with the pooch – you’ll be fine.

Dog reading a book with its owner

You’ll need to plan ahead to be home enough to keep your dog happy. If you work a full day this could involve coming back every day in your lunch break or having a trusted friend look in on them. You’ll have a dog in your bed all the time unless you train it out of that behaviour. All-nighters and last second trips won’t be so easy anymore either. If you want pets but don’t have a lot of time, a fish tank or aquarium might be more realistic at this stage in your life.

Your Veterinarian

Find a skilled veterinarian that you can communicate with. Your dog will need to be comfortable with them and you want to make sure they provide the best care possible. Like having your own doctor, your pet will be less anxious if they see the same vet for jabs, check-ups and if something bad should happen. If you’re based in Vancouver, Canada, our pooch has had excellent care from the Cypress Street Animal Hospital.

Research Dog Breeds

Choose the right dog breed for you. The breed often determines their nature. Some breeds are more jumpy, energetic, aggressive or even get described as mad. Some require more attention than others or are prone to loneliness and live better in twos or groups. Some people who buy puppies end up with a nasty surprise when they haven’t done their research and the dog just keeps on growing. Their health, how much they drool and either longevity are often predicated on their breed too.

Be Prepared to Train Them

Once again for luck: think of them as your child. You’re raising this dog from a puppy into an adult dog that you can handle and that behaves well. Poorly raised dogs can cause a lot of problems, make messes and can even be dangerous. You need to take the time to train your puppy while they’re young. At first you’ll train them to sleep through the night and only go to the bathroom outside. They need to learn that you’re the alpha. You’ll teach them where their dog bed is so they have their own safe space. If your dog doesn’t obey you it can cause problems inside and outside the home and isn’t fair to anyone, especially the dog.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Puppy: Takeaways

Getting a puppy will change your life in so many ways. For all these warnings, it’s still an incredible experience, full of so much joy, so long as you’re ready for it. A dog can complete a family, boost your mental health, become your best friend and teach you responsibility. Check back at our pet store blog soon as we have a lot more in-depth content on the way. If you’re thinking of getting a pooch in Canada, our online pet store is here to support you.