Are you looking to get a new dog or recently got one? Congrats!!!
Dogs can be tons of fun and an amazing companion, but it’s important to consider the responsibilities involved in getting a puppy and make sure you’re up for the challenge. This puppy guide will help you with all the steps to raising a puppy. First, decide if you’re ready for a dog, explain the steps to getting a dog, and teach you to build a great relationship with your new pup!
We encourage you to look at dogs of any age, and this guide will be helpful regardless of whether it’s a puppy or an older dog!
Puppy Guide Articles
This page covers a basic overview of getting a puppy, then you can read through all the chapters of the guide. Feel free to dive into the first article or pick & choose what will help you most!
Are You Ready for a Dog?
Dogs have been amazing partners with humans for thousands of years. They are highly intelligent and energetic creatures which means you’ll get a lot out of the relationship, but they are also demanding. Let’s make sure you’re ready for some changes in your life that a dog will bring. Here are some things to consider:
- Can you be home often?
If you get a puppy you’ll need to let it out very often (about every 3hrs at 8 weeks, 4hrs at 12 weeks, & 5hrs at 16 weeks). We used to trade off stopping home at lunch to let our pup out.
- Do you have free time?
Raising a puppy takes a ton of time. It’s great if you’re fully dedicated to it, but if you want to stay out all night or treasure your free time it might be frustrating and worth waiting until you’re more settled.
- Can you afford it?
Dogs can be expensive: food, toys, vet trips, boarding if you travel. The cost is probably around $1000-1500 the first year and $500-$1000 each additional year.
- Are you a good fit?
This may seem like a silly question, but if you haven’t owned a dog before there are a few considerations. Are you allergic (is your significant other or kids)? Are you ok with cleaning up after messiness (e.g. shedding & dog poo)? Do you enjoy walking (you’re dog will need exercise, some more than others)? Are you tolerant and calm (dogs take patience and learn through training)?
- Can you commit?
Dogs live a long time – 10+ years. Are you prepared for that?
All these items may sound scary, but it’s important to understand before diving in. It’s a big commitment, but you also get a ton of fun out of it. If you’re on the fence, try and find a friend who has a dog and volunteer to take care of them when they’re out of town for a weekend.
Steps to Raising a Puppy
So, you’re still ready to move on with the puppy guide? Great! Let’s check out what steps you’ll follow to get your awesome pup! Then we’ll cover each step in detail.
- Commit to all the pros/cons of having a dog (see above)
- Save some money. You’ll need upfront cost to buy the dog, pay for vet bills, and supplies (probably $1000-1500 the first year)
- Pick a Breed. You’ll want to find a breed that fits well with your lifestyle and personality. Some dogs require more exercise, space, and general work than others.
- Find a Dog. You can adopt or buy from a breeder or store. We recommend adopting or finding a reputable breeder. It’s sad to see overbreeding of dogs that aren’t wanted. Do you want to take on a wild puppy or get a calmer older dog?
- Get Ready. You’ll want to dog proof your home, buy some dog essentials, and make sure you’re schedule is free.
- Care for Your Dog. On-going care involves occasional vet trips, exercise, and some breed-specific maintenance.
- Training & Socialization. Training can turn a good dog (or a problem child) into an amazing dog. Socialization will make your dog comfortable with other people, children, and pets.