So you say you want a puppy. Well, that’s precisely the discussion that my husband and I had about 2 months ago.
As one of his 2017 goals, my husband mentioned that he wanted to get a dog for our family. Thinking that we had the whole year to research, discuss and plan for a new addition to the family, I easily obliged and didn’t think much more about our conversation. Well, to my surprise, less than 10 days later, we had a new puppy. Yes, you heard me, not just a dog…but a puppy. EEEEK!
I don’t know if we were really ready for one, but much like children, you never really are. Looking back, here are a few things to think about before taking the puppy plunge.
Pros – Here are some of the ways that having a puppy can increase your quality of life:
- Responsibility and empathy – Puppies, or animals in general are a great way to help teach a sense of responsibility and empathy to young children, as well as to adults.
- Joy and laughter – No matter how you slice it, puppies are cute and fun and adorable. They will more than likely make you smile more and laugh often.
- More exercise – Puppies are active creatures and need to get out and get moving, as a ripple affect, you will get up and moving more, too.
- Companionship, Company and Longer lives – You are never alone when there is a dog around and they are the most loyal creatures around. They truly are man’s best friend and will never turn their backs on you. There are also studies that show there is a decreased risk of depression and some dogs can even detect cancer!
Problems – These are a few things to think through before taking the walk on the canine side.
- Research – What breed of dog do you want? Size? Color? Gender? We had no clue what we wanted, except for the fact that we knew we wanted a medium sized dog. I didn’t grow up with dogs and had to Google the type every time we would come up with a possibility. Once we decided on the breed, then we needed to know what gender was best. Luckily, after speaking to the breeder she helped us decide on the right fit for our family.
- Adopt or shop? – Originally I wanted to adopt, however there were no dogs available for adoption in the breed that we wanted. Bummer. We ended up contacting a few breeders in our area and found the perfect fit. Getting a pup from a breeder is quite costly, but we knew that our little guy had been taken care of and had all of the appropriate checkups and shots before his arrival.
- Young children – Having young children can be a great time to get a puppy, or quite possibly the worst. In our case, we wanted our kids to grow up caring for a dog and, since our house is already crazy, we thought, why not? However, if you have young children and are at your wit’s end, I would say wait. Puppies definitely add to and multiply the mess made by your kiddos.
- Cost – Dogs are expensive and need their own line item in the budget. Not just the original investment of buying the pup, but the upkeep. Shots, training, supplies, food and grooming can cost hundreds per month. Consider yourself warned.
- Time – Much like your children, puppies are living creatures whose needs will take precedence over your own desires.
- Medical – Does anybody in your house have allergies? Our daughter suffers from eczema, so we chose a type of dog with hypoallergenic fur that doesn’t shed.
- Babysitters – Some babysitters aren’t comfortable around dogs, or animals in general. Be sure to check with your babysitters after you get the puppy to make sure they are still willing to come over and watch your children while also caring for your dog.
To be honest, we have our days when we wonder, “WHAT WERE WE THINKING?”, but those days have been greatly outweighed with sweet puppy kisses and our overflowing hearts. Our little guy has added so much to our family and we already don’t remember what life was like without him.
After all, didn’t Lucy say it best?