It is summer time and you are probably thinking about getting a puppy for your kids. Not only is it a great way to keep children about responsibility, but it will also give your child a best friend who will always be there. However, bringing a puppy home is just like bringing home a newborn baby. You have to prepare your house (and your wallet) for a new puppy. Check out my tips to making it a little easier. *Please note, I am not a vet and do not claim to be. I am sharing tips that made things easier for us and stuff I have learned from lots of research*
1. Research the breed. It is so important to learn all about the breed you are going to be home. Some dogs love being outside, while others will only be inside and only go outside to use the bathroom. You would hate to expect an outside dog, but only want to stay right up under you. Before we got a Rottweiler, I did a ton of research so that I could know the breed inside and out and what to expect and know not to leave them unattened for long periods of times.
2. Prepare your wallet. Puppies are very expensive. Just like a newborn, puppies have to go to the vet every few weeks for at least the first 6 months then they will need to go yearly. Puppies require a lot of shots their first 6 months of life. Not only will it keep your puppy healthy, but if you plan on having to board your puppy or wanting to sign them up for obiedence classes they will need all of their shots up to date, just like when you sign your child up for school. Also, if you plan on neutering your puppy, this is also a costly expense.
3. Food. Depending on the breed you select, you may be going through a lot of food. When you bring your puppy home, you will want to keep him/her on the same dog food as the person you got them from on. It could upset their tummy if your try to switch their food cold turkey. You can start out by giving them 1/4 New Food and 3/4 Old Food then slowly make the switch that way. Research different brands of dog food. Dog foods with Corn or By Products listed as the first ingredient are a HUGE NO NO! These are not good for your dogs. These are cheap fillers. You can spend about $10 more on a bag of higher quality dog food that does not contain fillers. The higher quality dog food even makes dogs fuller faster and keeps them fuller longer. This goes back to preparing your wallet. I gave my Rottweiler Victor Dog Food. She would go through a 40lb bag in about 6 weeks at 8 months old, but of course she weighed almost 90 lbs. Make sure you pick out the right and proper dog food for your puppy.
4. Don’t Go Overboard Buying Stuff. Your puppy won’t stay a puppy forever. That cute collar you just spent $20 on will last about a month. Those toys you just spent a lot of money on, they will only play with one or two of them. Start out with the basics. Buy a simple collar since you will be buying another in a few weeks or months. Buy one or two toys that will also help with teething. Buy a simple bed. My rottweiler was 6lbs when we brought her home and within a month she was already pushing 25lbs and everything I got her she had outgrown. Keep reading for my opinion on the best bed, collar, and toys to get before your bring your puppy home.
5. Get a Potty Training Plan. Puppies will have to go outside a lot because their stomachs are very tiny. A good thing to go by is about 20 minutes after they eat or drink take them outside. When they do their business then reward them immensely. Not leaving food down at all times could also help as well. After a week your puppy should be telling you when they need to go. You have got to be consistent with potty training or you will start back over from the beginning. In my opinion I would skip all of the puppy pads and trying to teach them to go on that and all. In my opinion it just teaches the puppy to pee in one part of the house.
Check out the products I recommend to purchase before bringing your puppy home:
What tips do you have for taking care of puppies?