Bringing a new puppy home to become a part of the family can bring such laughter,
joy and love to a home. This part of the family can, if you allow it, become a vital cog in the family wheel. It can bring companionship and protection as well as a proven means of stress reduction. With all of this going for it, shouldn’t you give the puppy the best chance at living a healthy, happy life without holding things against it? Especially things that are not the poor puppy’s fault? Much thought should be given before adding a puppy to the family and new owners should avoid the taking or purchase of “impulse” puppies.
Impulse puppies are those that are seen at pet stores, on the side of the road or in a store’s parking lot.
You, the perspective owner, will walk by and see this adorable little puppy and immediately want to own it. There will be no advance thought, planning or arrangements made because the puppy has played upon your heartstrings.
The thing is, ALL puppies are cute, even the ugly ones. “He is so ugly he is cute” is not a rare statement when describing a puppy. Unfortunately, all puppies grow up to be dogs and each will have his or her own personality and breed traits. What began, as a part of a beautiful friendship will often become a resented chore.
Puppies require a great deal of attention and training. If you are a person who works long hours with little sleep, your new playmate could cause problems by waking you up at odd hours or not being able to learn simple house rules.
Housebreaking in itself is a time consuming thing. It requires someone to be on guard watching the puppy whenever it is out and about in the house. There are few things more irritating that waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and stepping in a pile of cold feces in your bare feet. Although the puppy isn’t to blame, it often is. Many owners will end up thinking the puppy is doing on purpose as a way of getting even. As ridiculous as this sounds, many veterinarians will hear owners claim this as a reason for wanting to get rid or euthanizing a pet.
Hair is often also an issue to consider. Fuzzy puppies like chows, collies, keeshonds, and so many others are often the easiest to fall in love with. These same puppies will become wooly mammoths in just a few months with a constant supply of shedding hair. For those wanting a housedog, all of these breeds can do wonderfully good in the house. For those who desire a spic and span floor and upholstery, these types of breeds can be a living nightmare. The author has shown, bred and raised collies and shelties for over twenty years so is well acquainted with the fuzzy tumbleweeds made of hair that can be found ten minutes after vacuuming.
With other breeds such as Poodles, Yorkies, Maltese, and Pekingese, the daily brushing and combing can become frustrating when the dog has tangled hair just hours after your careful grooming. These dogs also require frequent baths and trips to the groomer so financially, such breeds could become a problem.
Some breeds are known for having problems with holding their urine when in stressful situations while others seem to thrive on stress and pushing the limits on human authority. Owners should always have time to read up on the characteristics of their chosen breed while also speaking to local vets and groomers. A book about a certain breed of dog is going to promote that breed in the best way possible. Speaking to the people who see and work with the average specimen will give a much clearer idea on the temperament of the dog. These temperaments become especially important if you have small children or an elderly person in the house.
Owners will also want to think about the lifespan average of certain breeds. A Great Dane is expected to live somewhere between nine and ten years. A Chihuahua on the other hand may be around for sixteen or more. During all these years, what will you do with the pet when you go on vacation? Will you board it, have a neighbor feed it or take it with you? Boarding can be quite expensive even for the smallest of breeds, neighbors may be afraid of certain breeds and many hotel/motels won’t allow pets to stay. A small Poodle, Chihuahua or Yorkie may be carried into a hotel room via a large purse, a St. Bernard is going to be a different matter.
As with boarding, veterinary care can become expensive as well. The average cost of yearly vaccinations and tests in the Houston, Texas area is $65. Other areas are even higher and all dogs are required by law to receive rabies vaccinations. The DHLP-P, heartworm and intestinal worm testing may be optional but doesn’t the puppy deserve at least the preventative care these will give?
On top of the veterinary care and grooming, there are other expenses as well. Depending on the quality you chose to give your puppy, feed can become expensive. There are the possibilities of deposits if you rent, destruction due to the chewing of a teething puppy and the increase in homeowner’s insurance cost that many companies require if you own certain breeds.
These are just a few of the things that should be considered BEFORE taking or purchasing a new puppy. Each one of them can cause resentment and a breakdown in the bond the owners should have with his or her puppy. By sitting down and thinking things out, making a checklist of the pros and cons of each breed and getting expert advice, getting a puppy can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. Without taking the time to do these things, the same puppy could almost become a nightmare.