Getting a new dog is a big decision. The kids may have been pestering you about getting a new family pet for months. There comes a time when you run out of excuses not to and decide that perhaps now would be OK to find a new puppy. While adding a new member to the family isn’t ever done to shut the kids up, you know that they will delight and revel in this new addition. There are so many good reasons to bring a puppy into the family as well. The kids will have a new playmate and companion. They will also learn something about taking responsibility for him too. With your mind made up, it’s time to draw up a course of action.
Firstly, you need to decide where you want to buy your puppy from. Finding a rescue centre is a lovely sentiment, but with small children in the house, you need to be certain of the animal’s temperament. The only way to do that is to buy with particular breeds in mind. When you are looking at puppies for sale, stick to the breeds you know are least likely to have behavioural problems, especially with excitable kids about.
Next, you need to narrow your list down based on the size of the dog when fully grown. If you live in a two bedroom terraced house, chances are your garden isn’t really big enough for a large dog. When you think about the size of your children, the dog will be fully grown in just a year or two. Do you really want a dog around that is bigger than your three-year-old? Equally, if you go for a large and powerful breed, are you confident you are strong enough to walk it and hold it back at the roadside?
Finally, you need to think about the cost. Big dogs may cost more in food bills, but some smaller breeds may require more to be spent on veterinary costs. It is difficult to judge what health problems may arise, so do your research into your preferred breed, and get some pet insurance quotes. Any pet will cost you a lot of money, but budgeting for this carefully will make it easier to handle later on.
Now it is time to meet your breeder. Make sure the person who you are buying from is reputable and takes good care of the animals. If there is lots of mess and shedding, you should walk away. Your new puppy should be successfully weaned and house trained and have the appropriate documents regarding breed and veterinary care. Once the money has changed hands, you are responsible for the health of your puppy. As a non-breeder, you will want your puppy neutered at around six months of age. Also, have an identity chip fitted in case you lose her.
When the kids meet their new puppy friend, there is going to be a lot of excitement. Try to lay down some rules before things go too awry! Some puppies are nervous so take your time with introductions. Let the puppy know where to toilet, where to sleep, and where to eat and drink. Let the kids know not to interfere with these processes too.