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Ten reasons why you need to think twice before buying a puppy
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Ten reasons why you need to think twice before buying a puppy

So you think you want a puppy? Think again. Then think about 100 more times too, all the while doing your research.

In a couple of months, you might be ready to make an informed choice about whether or not you should buy a puppy, what type of puppy, and if you can care for one appropriately.

In the meantime, here are ten very good reasons to consider in depth before you go any further.

Your puppy might be really annoying

Everyone loves puppies, right? But caring for one and fulfilling all of their needs is really different to petting one or babysitting one.

Yes, puppies are cute, funny and affectionate; but something that comes as a huge shock to many first-time puppy owners is that they can also be really annoying.

You might find that your personality and that of the puppy just doesn’t mesh. However, much as how parents love their children, this doesn’t mean that even if you bond with and love your puppy, you won’t get annoyed, angry, or frustrated with them, and for some people this never really goes away. Not everyone has the right type of personality to cope with the mental and emotional demands of a puppy. Do you?

Your puppy may be highly destructive, cry or bark continually if left alone for a moment, toilet in the house, nip you, chew your things – and do this regularly or all the time. Even simply having them in your space can be an irritation at times. Are you ready for that?

Puppies turn into adult dogs

Few people can resist the charms of puppies, but they do grow up into adult dogs. As obvious as this is, you need to really think about what that means – when the cute appeal fades, your eating, pooping and barking machine is now large and potentially hard work, and will remain so for well over ten years.

Puppies can be really destructive

It would be hard to overstate the absolute carnage a puppy can cause if you turn your back for a few minutes. Some become obsessed with chewing things, others rip things apart, and even innocently haring around in play can result in things being knocked over and broken.

Makeup, expensive shoes, the kid’s toys, all fair game. Can you, and the rest of the family, handle this possibility?

Puppies are really messy

Even puppies that aren’t actually destructive per se can be and often are really messy. They are untidy eaters, don’t put their toys away, are apt to toilet where they shouldn’t do when young and untrained, and are very likely to come back from walks filthy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg… And if your pup is a heavy shedder like the Siberian husky, you might spend a lot of time each day clearing up dog hair, never mind anything else.

Puppies don’t learn where to toilet on their own

Toilet training a dog so they ask to go out is a hard and often protracted process, during which time you will get up close and personal with a lot of urine, poop, and mess.

Puppies need training

As well as house training, you also need to train your puppy in basic obedience and behaviour too; and all too many people who get a puppy think that going to a group training class for an hour a week when the puppy is a few months old takes care of this. It does not.

Training a puppy is an ongoing and intensive process, that requires several active and many more passive hours of effort a week. It is not optional, or an afterthought.

Puppies need continual attention

To say that puppies are demanding would be a huge understatement, and they need constant stimulus and entertainment when awake, plenty of company, and appropriate supervision.

A quiet puppy might seem like a good thing, until you find out what was occupying them to such an extent that they did it silently… Because it probably isn’t sleep!

Puppies cost way more to care for than they do to buy

The purchase price of some puppies is prohibitive, commonly approaching £2,000 on average for some breeds with some individual dogs costing far more. However, this is a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of caring for a puppy; their first year of life is apt to see you needing to double your budget based on the preconceptions of most first-time owners (or even increase it by far more) and if they happen to have a health problem, this cost increases exponentially.

Also, you have to pay out for all of your dog’s needs for their 10-20 year lifespan, which can make a serious dent in your finances.

Puppies get sick, and may have lifelong health issues

There’s no way to ensure a puppy you choose is healthy for life, although doing your research will help you to identify breed-specific health issues and how to increase your chances of buying a healthy puppy.

A serious, chronic or recurrent health issue can be prohibitively expensive to manage, before you even factor in the fact that seeing your pup sick or struggling, and knowing that they will never fully recover, is emotionally devastating.

If you don’t spend enough time over your decision, you, and your puppy, will regret it.

For many people who have just decided to get a puppy, some of the points above will be news to you full stop. However, for many others, they might all be things you’ve thought of but not really sat with and felt – in terms of understanding how the reality of them, rather than just the theoretical knowledge of them, will look.

If you don’t spend enough time deciding whether or not buying a puppy is the right move right now, you will almost certainly regret it, and so will your pup.

If your pup isn’t properly provided for, you shout at them, you don’t spend enough time with them, can’t get them the appropriate healthcare, or don’t know how to look after them, your puppy will suffer; and this, more than anything else, is something you need to think about before you go rushing off to pick out your new best friend.

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