What to Consider Before Adopting a Puppy

Too many times at the clinic, we hear from pet owners who want to surrender their dog because of behaviours such as destructiveness, barking or nipping at people. Many of these behaviours can be signs of boredom and/or a lack of proper training. Our team at North Town Veterinary Hospital want to give you important insight on how to choose the right addition to your family.

It is very important to research a breed of dog that suits your lifestyle before you bring it home.

Before purchasing/adopting a pup there are a few things to consider:

  • Do you have the time and are willing to train and care for your dog for many years? Also, look at your lifestyle when considering a dog: do you want a jogging partner? An energetic playmate for the kids? Or are you looking for a dog to snuggle up with on the couch?
  • Don’t be fooled by size, many small dogs such as some terrier breeds have high energy levels and won’t be happy just sitting on the couch with you. While some larger breeds, if your couch is large enough, would be quite happy snuggling up to you for a good belly rub.
  • Be sure to consider your living space. Do you have room for a large Great Dane to sprawl out, or would you be tripping over each other in your 600 square foot condo?
  • Also consider grooming costs into your budget, especially if you are considering a long hair dog. Do you have the time to brush your dog’s fur every day? Or is a dog with minimal grooming a better fit for your busy lifestyle? Also consider allergies and if you need to get a hypoallergenic breed that has very limited shedding and is less likely to provoke allergy attacks.
  • Remember the costs of essential equipment like: bedding, crates, collars, food etc. These expenses will be higher the larger your dog will grow to be.

Once you have decided you want a puppy, and you have considered the size, coat and energy level, your next step is to research some breeds that fit what you are looking for. The internet is a great place to start but also talk to breeders and go to dog shows. Talking to people who live with or breed the dogs you’re interested in, might be more helpful than reading some articles on Wikipedia.

If you have decided you don’t want to go through puppyhood and are looking for a dog that is house broken with some basic training, perhaps you should consider an adult dog from a rescue or shelter. There are so many dogs and even puppies at these facilities that may be looking for a home like yours.

It is also important to remember; all pets can get sick and suffer from diseases just like humans. Consider looking into health problems that are highly common in some breeds. Are you willing and able to commit financially to their extra health care costs if the breed you have chosen is prone to certain long term health issues?

Here at North Town we do not recommend buying any animals off of sites like Kijiji without being provided proper medical records. We have seen many pets fall ill after being brought to their new owner and the old owner is unable to be reached. These medical costs quickly add up and are not a favourable addition to all of the expenses already made in preparation of a new dog.

So please do your research and be smart about the breed you choose.

Written by Pat Waters, CSR