Deciding if you are ready for a dog in your home
Are you thinking of adding to your family with a cute new puppy? You have come to the right place for advice! Firstly please read and think on this information and then take our short quiz to see if you are ready to be a puppy parent.
Important Note to all prospective puppy parents Worldwide there is a severe problem with puppies and dogs being surrendered to charities after a false start in a home , resulting in puppies spending their formative weeks in a dog shelters or being moved from home to home. This causes longterm behavioural issues and as a result high rates of euthanasia of healthy dogs with charities being overrun.
So before you rescue, buy or adopt or a dog, sit down and figure out where in your schedule the “Puppy Time” and where in your budget the “Puppy Money” is going to come from. These are the two biggest reasons for dogs being surrendered to pounds and charities. The following advice applies to any type of dog breed, age or size you may be considering to buy or rescue.
So How much time do I need for my new pup?
Think about your daily and weekly schedule, how will your puppy fit in this? Or more accurately how will you adapt your schedule to fit your puppy in?
An 8 week old puppy cannot be left unattended initially for more than two hours during the day and three hours at night time. Having a look at our toilet training guide for puppies should give you some idea of what is required.
As well as toilet training there is walking, veterinary check ups, grooming appointments, puppy training classes and socialisation to consider.
On average a new puppy at 8 weeks old will require 2- 3 hours daily, broken up over the day and night time (yes you will have to get up at night for your puppy, just like a baby, unless you are housing your pup in an outdoor run), this will ease as the dog grows, especially if you put the time and effort in to begin with, you should have a well rounded adult dog that can get away with 40 mins dedicated time walking, interacting, training etc. excluding longer weekend walks, trips to the vets, the groomers and agility or any other fun events you may want to do with your dog.
How much money do I need for my new pup?
The purchase or rescue fee will always be the cheapest part of having any pet. Set up fees will involve bowls, a bed, a crate, a lead, collar, id tag, toys, microchip change of owner fee, neutering fee, puppy training course and initial vaccinations.
This can add up to €600 to €800 on top of the adoption fee.
Ongoing costs include good quality food, annual boosters, flea and worm prevention treatments, pet insurance, grooming fees (all poodle crosses, bichon, Pomeranian, etc breeds require grooming every 6 weeks) and dog sitting/boarding fees when you are away or have long days at work, ongoing training, as well an any extra medications or supplements they may need, this will be a minimum of €150 per month or €1800 per year, as a conservative estimate. This could easily be more depending on your dogs size and needs.
That figure does not include emergency treatments your pet may require.
The good news is there are great veterinary treatments available to save your pet, should something unthinkable happen, the bad news is that these cannot be provided for without a significant cost. Emergency veterinary medical bills can easily run into thousands of euros within 24- 48 hours, for which insurance can be invaluable to have for peace of mind.
Lets take the puppy parent quiz
- Are you willing to ensure that you or someone in your family will be around to look after your pup every two hours for the first two weeks in your house?
- Are you willing to invest time and energy in training your puppy both at home, in the vets and at puppy training sessions?
- Are you willing to set aside a minimum of €150 per month to cover your pets needs, with a contingency in place in case of emergencies?
- What will you do with your dog when you are going on holidays or away for a night or weekend?
- Are you prepared to learn how to train a happy healthy puppy and take advice from vets and dog trainers and behaviourist on how to do this?
- Do you have the physical strength and wellbeing as well as the financial wellbeing to care for your dog for the next 12 -18years?
- Do have the patience and energy required?
- Are you ready to deal with set backs such as your pup not getting on with children in the house, or children developing allergies, your puppy having behavioural issues or developing a longterm illness.
- How will you deal with a change of circumstance, e.g having to move house or country for a job? Are you prepared to include your dog as valid family member affecting your decisions on where you may rent or buy next and what type of job you may take?
- In your current schedule do you have the time and energy it requires to look after a puppy?
If you cannot answer any of the above questions or have answered no to any of them, you are not ready to be a puppy parent. Keep researching and thinking about the answers to the above until you are ready.
Answered yes! I am ready to be a dog parent. Congratulations! Here is some advice on Which dog to get and where to get it.