There's nothing quite like bringing a loving, furry companion into your family. There are plenty of things to look forward to with a new puppy, from playtimes to outdoor adventures and cosy snuggles! However, you should think carefully before taking the plunge into puppy parenthood. We'll look at everything you need to consider before you get your puppy.
The different types of puppy breeds
Puppies come in various shapes, sizes, and personalities, so it's essential to research the different breeds. Don't just go based on looks – get to know the types of dogs. After all, what is required when looking after a puppy will differ based on their breed.
Some things to think about are:
- The type of activity level your dog will need.
- The size your puppy will grow to.
- The kind of routine you want to have and the structure you can provide.
- Potential health or behavioural issues.
- Temperament and whether they’re a breed that prefers to be alone or with other dogs.
Some breeds of dogs will be higher-energy, while others will prefer to curl up in a cosy bed. A Husky, for example, will love an active lifestyle with plenty of weekend adventures. On the other hand, a short-nosed breed like a Bulldog requires a little more puppy care and might not be the best hiking buddy.
Whatever your kind of lifestyle, there’s generally a dog to match! Keep in mind that any dog will need flexibility – even puppies of the same breed can have very different personalities.
What do you need for a puppy?
Make sure you have all the puppy essentials like food and water bowls, a cosy bed and plenty of toys to keep them occupied. For a complete guide, check out our must-have puppy checklist.
However, before you start thinking about their toys, food and bedding, it’s important to consider your living situation and schedule. When raising a puppy, you want to make sure you have the right environment for them to thrive in.
Consider your current space – is it a safe environment for a puppy? While you don’t necessarily need a giant house with plenty of space for your puppy to run, they do need room to play and explore.
If you have a yard, ensure it's a safe and secure place for them. Check there are no holes in your fencing they can escape through and remove any hazards that may cause issues, like garden fertilisers or chemicals.
If you live in an apartment or don’t have much of a yard, think about the space in your neighbourhood. Are there plenty of walking trails or parks for your puppy to get outside and get active in?
You’ll also need to consider the inside of your home since your puppy is going to be spending a lot of time there. Get down on their level and make sure your home is free of any potential hazards, like electrical cords or toxic items. Follow our complete guide on puppy-proofing your home to make sure your house is safe for your new furry friend!
Puppies need more attention than adult dogs. If you aren’t providing training and structure then your new puppy may develop destructive habits, like chewing, when they become bored. Some dogs will do fine at home alone while you’re at work all day. However, you will still need to make sure you have the time to put into caring for, training and spending quality time with your puppy.
Think about how often you’re outside of the house. Do you go on frequent holidays? Or spend most weekends out with friends? Then you might want to reconsider your decision to get a new dog. Also think about the other commitments in your life, such as children or other pets. Then you can work out how much time you have to dedicate to your new puppy.
Grooming and health requirements
All puppies need a lot of love and care to make sure they grow up fit and healthy. At a young age, your puppy will need frequent vaccinations and checks. Make sure you find a reputable vet that will take tip-top care of your friend. There are a few upfront costs to consider, like vaccinations, microchipping, registration and desexing.
You’ll also need to think about how often you’re willing to groom your puppy. Grooming is an essential part of puppy care, responsible for keeping their coat in great condition and preventing matting fur. It's also the perfect opportunity for you to check for lumps or parasites like fleas and ticks. Medium or long-haired breeds will shed a lot and need daily brushing, so keep that in mind when looking for your new fur friend.
Do you want to buy or adopt a puppy?
Now that you’ve done your research, and perhaps even decided on the breed that suits your lifestyle, you’re ready to take the next exciting step. However, finding your new fur baby can be overwhelming with plenty of options out there.
Reputable breeders are great for buying a breed-specific puppy. Ensure you look for legitimate breeders and steer clear of puppy mills or inexperienced breeders.
The other option is puppy adoption. By heading to your local adoption centre, you’ll give a puppy another chance at a much-needed, loving home. While you might not be able to pick up a breed-specific dog, the centre staff can generally provide you with all the information you need about their breed and personality. Plus, they’ll be able to give you guidance and some helpful tips along the way! Find out more about adopting a dog here.
Raising a puppy requires a high level of commitment. You’ll be responsible for making sure they stay healthy and happy with exercise, diet and socialising. You’ll need to make sure you’re ready for the commitment. However, watching them grow into a happy and loving new family member is worth it!
New Puppy FAQ
How much time should I spend with my puppy?
Your puppy will need more time as they settle into their new home. However, as a general rule, a puppy needs about two to three hours of socialisation. That can be anything from training, play and cuddling to feeding.
How old should a puppy be to bring home?
Puppies will generally wean off their mother’s milk anywhere between 8-12 weeks of age. By this time, they’re ready to eat puppy food and venture into the world without their mum or littermates.
What does a new puppy need at home?
You will need to make sure you have the supplies to welcome your new puppy into your home. From the right food to walking supplies, there’s quite a list. Best Friends Pets has you covered with our puppy checklist, full of supplies you need.