What Puppy Is Right For Me?Dawn Greer
Are You Ready For a Puppy?
Dog ownership is a wonderful thing but comes with a huge responsibility. I have adopted many puppies before, and it is not something you should do on a whim. There are many, many different decisions and factors to consider before inviting a new furry family member into your home.
Many puppies were adopted last year into their forever homes, but many were quickly given up too due to owners unable to look after them. For this reason it is so important to make sure you are ready on all fronts before adopting a pup. Don’t make an impulsive decision and take home a puppy at the wrong time-it is imperative to do your research first and make sure you are prepared and ready to give a lifelong commitment to your dog.
Dawn Greer, Agility Trainer
Dawn has been competing in agility for 15 years. She has competed with 8 dogs of different heights and breeds and has competed at Grade 7 Green star/Championship level at both IKC and KC.
She has represented Ireland in agility at Crufts, World Agility Championships and the European Open.
Dawn is an avid dog lover, living with 9 four legged companions, 5 of which are retired, 3 competing and her new puppy, Wow. She loves training dogs and giving the best advice on taking care of a new pup.
What Breed Suits You?
After making the decision to welcome a puppy into your home, your next thought will be figuring out which breed of dog is best suited for you and your home. Make sure to do your research and consider factors such as grooming , exercise, and space. Each breed has its own set of rewards and challenges. Always keep their personality in mind and never pick a breed based on how they look.
Will you get a large dog or a small dog? When choosing your dog think about what size they will become when they are fully grown dogs. The size of a dog also dictates the amount of space they need when sleeping, and the amount of food they need.
Consider where you live. Do you live in a house with a large garden or green area? Or a smaller city house with limited space? Larger dogs will thrive in big, outdoor areas, and smaller dogs will do well in smaller spaces. Sometimes a puppy may not be right at all and an older, more mature rescue dog will be best suited to your needs.
A dog that will require lots of grooming or one that’s low maintenance? A west highland terrier will need regular visits to the groomers, but a beagle wouldn’t. And most importantly, are you willing to put in the time and effort to training your new dog?
Will you get an active dog or a relaxed dog? For instance a Maltese needs a lot less exercise than a Springer Spaniel.
Look at the needs of your family-how old are your children? Puppies tend to jump around more than adult dogs and could accidentally knock over a small child, so bare this in mind if your children are quite young. If anyone in your family has allergies, you should consider getting a dog that doesn’t shed much or look into hypoallergenic dog breeds such as a bichon frise or a schnauzer.
Consider other pets you may have too. Do you have another dog, or are there other animals in your household, such as a cat or a rabbit?
You may have your eyes set on certain breed, but always listen to your head and not your heart when it comes to making this decision, and pick the breed you think you can give the best home.
Always consider any financial implications before getting your puppy and whether your budget can actually handle the extra costs. Some breeds of dog cost more than others, whether that be for medical reasons or grooming reasons.
Your new puppy would need:
- Food & Food Bowls
- Crates & Beds
- Puppy Training Pads
- Collar, lead and harness
- Dog Tag
Some ongoing costs to consider:
Depending on the breed and age of your dog, some foods may be better suited to them, for example Seven Puppy Chicken, Turkey and Salmon is great for growth and development in puppies. Royal Canin have breed specific foods that can make it easier when choosing the best food for your puppy.
Just like humans, your dog will experience health issues throughout his life and will require a visit to the vets, maybe even in an emergency. Veterinary costs can range in price but always make sure you can budget for any health problems your pup may have. To help with this, it may be a good idea to buy health insurance to help cover large unexpected health bills.
When doing research into the different breeds, look at what health problems they may have. Pugs tend to have eye problems, west highland terriers tend to have lung problems and German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia. For more information on the different breeds, click here.
As mentioned above, grooming costs can vary depending on your breed. Some dogs need nothing more than a brush every now and then; others need will their coat to be groomed regularly. You have the option to purchase the tools and teach yourself how to do it, or you can bring your dog to a grooming studio.
Your chosen breed may not need their coat to be groomed but will require their nails to be cut professionally or other procedures to help maintain their comfort levels. Always make sure to research your chosen breed’s needs in advance.
As much as we would love to bring our dogs with us on our travels, not everywhere accepts them and they must be left in a boarding kennel so they can be properly looked after. Boarding costs can depend, so do research into any local boarding kennels if you are a frequent traveller and believe your dog will need their services in the future.