Bringing Home a New Puppy

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new puppy play with a toy

Table of Contents

There’s nothing like coming home to a wagging tail and a furry face. If you’re considering adding a four-legged friend to your family, there are a few things you should know before taking the plunge. Adopting a new puppy is a big responsibility, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Here’s what you need to know about how to adopt a new puppy.

1. Do Your Research

Before you adopt a new puppy, it’s important to do your research and decide what kind of dog is right for you and your family. Do you have kids? Are you looking for a running buddy? Do you live in an apartment or a house? Answering these questions will help narrow down the type of dog that would be the best fit for your lifestyle.

2. What breed should I adopt?

This is probably the first question that comes to mind when you start thinking about adopting a new puppy. And it’s an important one! Different breeds have different temperaments, energy levels, and exercise needs, so it’s important to do your research to find the right match for your lifestyle.

If you’re not sure what breed is right for you, there are plenty of resources available to help. The American Kennel Club has a great tool on its website that allows you to search for breeds based on things like size, activity level, and coat type. Another option is to visit your local animal shelter or rescue organization; they often have mixed-breed puppies available for adoption, and the staff can help you find one that would be a good fit for your family.

new puppy on a shoulder

3. How much will it cost?

Adopting a new puppy is not a cheap endeavor; in addition to the initial adoption fee, you’ll also need to budget for things like food, dog toys, veterinary care, and training classes. According to the ASPCA, the first-year cost of owning a medium-sized dog can range from $1,314 to $2,076; for large dogs, it can be even higher.

Of course, there are ways to save money on some of these expenses; for example, buying your dog’s food in bulk or signing up for recurring delivery can help reduce the cost over time. And many shelters offer discounts on adopters’ first vet visits or obedience classes. Doing some upfront research on how to keep costs down will help make owning a puppy more affordable.

4. Are you ready for the commitment?

Puppies are cute, cuddly, and full of energy—but they’re also a lot of work! Potty training can be frustrating, chewing everything in sight is pretty much their default setting, and those 8-week-old kitten naps don’t last very long. It’s important to remember that puppies grow up quickly, so all of those cute little quirks will eventually go away… but they’ll be replaced by new ones!

Before you adopt a new puppy, ask yourself if you’re ready for at least 10 years of having a furry friend around. Dogs require time and attention; if you travel frequently or work long hours, it might not be the right time for you to add a dog to your family. But if you’re ready for lots of walks and cuddles (and maybe a few sleepless nights), then adopting a new puppy might be the best decision you ever make!

5. Puppy Proofing Your Home

Puppies are curious creatures who love to explore, which means it’s up to you to keep them safe from harm. Dog proof your home by putting away any toxic items like cleaning supplies or medications, and block off any areas they shouldn’t be in like the laundry room or garage. It’s also important to pup-proof your yard by removing any hazards like loose fencing or debris that could hurt them.

6. Get Ready for Puppy School

After you’ve brought your new puppy home, it’s time to start thinking about training. Puppies need to learn basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and down. They also need to learn manners like not jumping on people or begging for food at the table. The good news is that most puppies are eager to please and relatively easy to train. The key is consistency and patience.

puppy sits on a bed with the family

The Best Age to Adopt a New Puppy

Many animal shelters are filled with adoptable puppies, and it can be tempting to bring one home on a whim. But before you adopt, it’s important to think about what age of puppy would be best for your lifestyle.

Puppies Under 8 Weeks Old:

There are several considerations to take into account before adopting a new puppy that young. For one, they haven’t had all their shots yet, so they can be more susceptible to disease. They also haven’t had much socialization, so they may be timider around strangers and other animals. It’s important to be prepared to give them a lot of attention and care, as they will need to be fed several times a day and will likely need to potty every hour or two. If you work long hours or have a busy lifestyle, a new puppy under 8 weeks old may not be the right fit for you.

Puppies 8-16 Weeks Old:

Puppies in this age range are starting to become more independent and may already be house-trained. They’re also old enough to have had all their shots, so they’re less likely to get sick. They may be better suited for homes with kids and other pets, as they’ve had some time to socialize. However, they still require regular potty breaks and plenty of attention, so keep that in mind when making your decision.

Puppies Over 16 Weeks Old:

Older puppies are often already house-trained and have had plenty of time to socialize. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, an older puppy may be the right fit for you. They’ll still need regular exercise and plenty of love, but they won’t require as much time and attention as a younger puppy would. When adopting an older puppy, make sure to ask about their previous training so you know what behavior to expect from them in their new home.

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