Choosing a puppy as an addition to the family is one of life’s absolute joys. But that little fluffy bundle also brings major responsibility. With some thoughtful preparation and well laid out planning, you can give your dog a great head start to life, and ensure yours is filled with more fun than frustration.

Questions to ask yourself

Before you bring a puppy into your home, you and your family not only gain a new friend, but take on many responsibilities. The first questions you should ask yourself are:

Can I afford a dog?

Throughout their life dogs need food, grooming and healthcare.

Do I have time to look after a dog?

It takes a lot of time to properly feed, train, walk, play with and care for a new puppy.

Is my home suitable for a dog?

This is particularly important if you are considering a larger breed that needs a lot of outdoor space.

Other things you need to take into account

Legal obligations such as:

  • Taking care of any damage or problems the puppy may cause
  • Making sure the puppy doesn’t hurt anyone or disturb people living around you
  • Keeping private places and public walkways clean.

Health obligations such as:

  • Keeping your puppy healthy and safe: This includes any suitable foods, water, shelter in a safe environment, preventative treatments against certain parasites and infectious diseases and any other necessary veterinary care.
  • Keeping your puppy healthy is also necessary for the health of your children, family, and other people who come into contact with the puppy.

But more than anything, you are taking over the role of your puppy’s mother, the maternal role of carer and teacher. This means providing your new puppy a stable home, where he or she feels comfortable, safe and happy.

If you are still excited about bringing a new pup into your household, stay tuned for our next installment in more blogs to come on “Puppy Training”. Our next blog will be about how to choose the right puppy for your family and household.

This post was originally written in 2012