Everyone loves a puppy… they are cute, cuddly and have the most A-MAZING smell that makes everyone goes weak at the knees! But the sleepy snuggly stage doesn’t last long, soon they are crazy, needle biting chewing monsters…
Things to consider before getting a puppy
All joking aside, taking on a dog is a BIG responsibility. If you decide a puppy is right for you and your family make sure you think about the breed that will suit your lifestyle… this will be a long term commitment. You’ll need to consider:
- Are you home to look after it?
- Is there enough space in your home and is there outside space available?
- Think of the amount of time and exercise you are able to give to a dog? Active breeds need a lot of exercise and stimulation – bored dogs can be destructive
- Are you prepared to go to puppy training classes and put in the time with them at home? Socialising your puppy is extremely important – how they behave as an adult dog will depend on their life experiences.
- Are there are health / welfare issues associated with this breed?
- Realistically, can you afford to look after a dog? Food costs, vets bills, vaccinations, regular grooming and insurances will all add up. As well as the cost of boarding if you do manage to get a holiday.
What to look for when choosing a breeder
It's important that you make sure you choose to buy from a responsible breeder, where you can see the mum and her pups together. Buying from puppy farms will only help to fund illegal operations. From 1st October 2018 the law regarding buying and selling of pets has changed:
🐾 It is now illegal to sell puppies below 8 weeks of age.
🐾 It is now LAW that prior to sale a breeder MUST show a puppy with its mother.
🐾 ANYONE who breeds three or more litters per year MUST be LICENSED. This includes family pets having litters.
🐾 The sale of a puppy must be completed in the presence of the purchaser at THE PREMISES where the dog has been kept for sale. This means it is ILLEGAL for a breeder to suggest meeting half way or delivering a puppy to a new owner. If a breeder suggests meeting at a convenient spot such as a lay-by this is now ILLEGAL and should be a indicator that all may not be as it should be.
Give a dog a home
Have you considered adopting a dog?? There are hundreds of dogs and puppies in rescue shelters through no fault of their own. They are all looking for their loving forever homes. Contact your local centre to arrange a visit and have a chat about what you are looking for.
Rescue dogs are normally house trained, well socialised and will have been thoroughly checked over by their vet with vaccinations up to date and have normally been spayed / neutered. Your adoption fee goes straight back to the centre to help save another life.
Before you get your first puppy, try these few simple pointers to see if you are ready!
- Buy a lead and tie it to a big stone, walk around dragging the stone behind you.
- Get up at 5am, go out in the pouring rain and walk up and down a muddy path, repeating good girl/boy, wee wees…poo poos, quickly please – repeat every hour.
- Stuff your pockets with plastic bags and pick up all the poo you can find (watch out for the cold ones that’s a particularly gross experience)
- Leave these bags in your pockets to block up the washing machine
- Start wearing your shoes indoors, especially during muddy times and flick muddy water up your walls and furniture.
- Collect leaves off the ground and spread them on the floor
- Carry sticks and branches indoors and break them up on your carpet
- Pour cold apple juice on the rug and floor….walk barefooted over it in the dark
- Hide one of every pair of shoes – and stick the one left in a blender
- Cut a hole in the middle of your kitchen floor and tear an extra piece off each day
- Cover all your best clothes with dog hair, dark clothes with blond hairs and light clothes with dark hairs
- Tip all just ironed clothes on the floor and hide bits behind the sofa
- Make little pin holes in all your furniture, especially chair and table legs
- When doing dishes, splash water all over the place and don’t wipe it.
- Spread toilet paper all over the house when you leave the house and tidy up when you get back home
- Forget any impulse holidays and/or breaks – If you do manage to get away pack another suitcase full of toys and treats, bed, bowls, blankets etc etc
- Always go home straight after work or school
- Go walkies no matter what the weather, and inspect every leaf, stick and gateway on your route
- Repeat everyday over 6 months and if you still think getting puppy sounds like a good idea.
Congratulations, you might be ready to get your puppy!!
If you decide to to expand your family with a rescue dog or a puppy from a breeder, make sure you are prepared… Please consider taking a Dog First Aid Kit with you on walks.