Spring or late summer is typically the best time to get a new puppy. This is the time of year when you and your puppy can enjoy lots of time outside. It’s much easier to potty train a puppy when the weather is nice. Rain or snow may prevent the puppy from going outside, which could lead to bad habits.
Puppies are a joy to be around. They are little furry balls of love and energy, but they also have needs. Are you considering getting a puppy? If so, there are a few things you may want to check off your list before you head to the shelter or a breeder.
Owning a puppy is not an easy responsibility, so you need to make sure you are fully prepared to take this new life under your care.
Unfortunately, many puppies are given as gifts or adopted on a whim. Their owners do not realize the responsibilities that come with raising a puppy, and these dogs end up needing to be rehomed.
However, if you are truly ready to adopt a puppy, go for it. With the proper treatment and training, your puppy will become your best friend and companion!
Are You Ready For a Puppy?
Where Do You Live?
A puppy has certain needs that you may not be able to fill depending on where you currently live. Puppies have a lot of energy and need exercise. If you live in a cramped living space, your puppy will not do well.
You also want to make sure your rental contract allows pets BEFORE adopting. If you own your home, this should not be a problem, but renters need to make sure they are not violating their lease by getting a dog.
Do you live with anyone else? You need to speak with them before you decide to adopt a puppy. Your roommates may have allergies or other reasons that they would not be comfortable with a dog.
If you address these issues before you adopt, your puppy will have a much better life. You may need to delay adoption, move somewhere else, or wait for your roommates to move out before you are ready to get a dog.
Lots of Space
Your puppy is a growing dog and needs a lot of exercise to keep healthy! You need to live somewhere where you can give your puppy the space it needs to run around.
Dogs love playing chase, fetch, and exploring, so make sure your puppy will have the ability to do all of these things.
There is a big difference between the development of dogs who grew up with a backyard and those who grew up trapped inside. A simple balcony or patio will not cut it for your dog.
However, if there is a nearby dog park, you may be able to still give your puppy the exercise it needs.
You may not have any human roommates that would object to a new puppy, but what about your other pets?
Certain animals do not play well with others. If you already have a dog with behavior problems, you need to get them adequately trained before introducing a puppy into the home.
Additionally, if the puppy you plan on acquiring is a hunting breed, you will not want to have small animals or birds in the house that it can access.
Your puppy does not know right from wrong and will follow their instincts…even if that means attacking one of your other pets.
What’s in Your Home?
You also have to remember that puppies will have a destructive stage. They will try to chew and play with whatever is within reach.
Before bringing a puppy home, make sure your house is safe for them. Cords should be hidden where your puppy will not reach them, and any precious or expensive items must be out of the reach of your puppy as well.
Your puppy does not know the value of things, so they will direct their energy into destroying whatever is around them.
Of course, before you adopt you need to make sure you have the appropriate equipment at home for puppy care.
You will need a crate, food and water bowls, puppy food, a leash, collar, and other goods. Talk to a veterinarian to see if they recommend specific equipment for the breed you are adopting.
If you find the prices at traditional pet stores to be too high, look around on Craigslist or other websites for used equipment. Just make sure you clean and disinfect it thoroughly before your puppy uses any of it.
Habits at Home
Puppies cannot be left alone all day. Dogs are very social animals, just like humans. How would you like to be shut in a room all day with no interaction?
Your puppy needs to be played with, fed, and taken out frequently. If you work away from home, plan times throughout the day that you or someone you fully trust can go by your house to take care of your puppy. The puppy must be able to safely go outside when it needs to.
When Is The Best Time to Get a Puppy?
This one question can have two different meanings. It could be asking when is the best time of the year to get a puppy. It could also be asking how old the puppy should be before adopting. Instead of trying to guess our readers’ intent, we will address both questions below.
What Time of Year is Best?
If your home is going to be a safe and inviting space for a puppy, you are ready to adopt! Now you may wonder if there is a specific time of year that is better than others for adopting a puppy.
The best times would probably be spring or late summer. During this time of year, you will be able to spend lots of time with your puppy outside in comfortable weather.
Keep in mind that puppies can quickly overheat, so don’t overdo outdoor time during summer. This will also change depending on your climate. If you live somewhere with temperate weather all year round, there should not be any issues with the climate, no matter when you choose to adopt.
How Old Should the Puppy Be?
Your puppy should be weaned from its mother before you adopt. The earliest you would ideally adopt a puppy falls within the 7-8 weeks range.
At this time, puppies are ready for socialization and prepared to be away from their mother. During this time, you must socialize your puppy correctly to avoid later issues with behavior.
Poorly socialized dogs can become aggressive or overly defensive, which can cause destructive behavior such as chewing, resource guarding, or even biting.
To avoid this, you just have to expose your puppy to other dogs in a safe environment when they are between 6 and 12 months old.
This lets them learn the rules of how to interact with others. Take your puppy to the dog park and let them meet other dogs safely!
You can also take them on frequent walks so that (in addition to the physical benefits) your puppy can meet lots of new people in a controlled environment and get used to seeing unfamiliar faces.
The Right Time to Get a Puppy is When You Feel Ready
If you are considering getting a puppy, make sure you have considered the obligations and duties that come along with adoption.
A puppy is a living being, not something that you can just “try out” for a period of time and return when you get tired of it.
If you are unsure about whether you want a puppy, it is best to wait to figure out how you really feel instead of adopting a dog and returning it.
Puppies are very vulnerable and it will be your responsibility to teach, nurture, and raise your puppy through adulthood.
Create a safe and fulfilling environment within your house before you bring a dog home. With a bit of work, your puppy will grow up to be happy, healthy, and loving life!
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.