We recently added a new puppy to our family and we are so in love with our little guy! We are definitely “dog people” and wanted to share a few tips in case you are considering adding a puppy to your family too.
Tips for Getting a Puppy
This is probably the most crucial part of the entire journey! Whether your are adopting a rescue dog or going with a breeder, I highly recommend getting familiar with breeds and their common traits. Of course each individual dog will have its own temperament, but it is helpful to understand breeds. Is this breed typically good with small kids? Will this breed need regular grooming (daily, weekly, quarterly)? How much will grooming cost? Will the dog need a lot of exercise each day? Does that work for your family?
Find a Good Place to Buy Your Puppy
We were happy to find a breeder who was very upfront about the great things about the breed. She was also very blunt when it came to concerns that come with the breed. For example, we love big dogs, so our breeder was very clear about risks and struggles that come with owning a big dog. Our last dog was considered a giant breed so we were comfortable with those risks. Everything about her business was transparent and easy to navigate in terms of buying and bringing our new boy home.
I joined a Facebook group for owners specific to the breed we were considering. I read the daily posts for a few months. I learned a lot about the needs our future dog might have and it was a great source of information! I also found a friend who used the same breeder we were looking at using, and she raved about her dog and experience there.
Prepare Your Home
Since it had been 13 years since we had a new puppy in our house (and before there were human kids!), I decided to read a puppy training manual first. The one I landed on was an ebook called, “Do No Harm”. We only purchased a few items as the book suggested as shown in the photo below. I found the all of the big items like the kennel and playpen from Facebook Marketplace, friends, and family.
My biggest advice is to not go crazy buying things until you actually bring your new puppy home! It’s so easy to overspend. Consider investing in something like a Bissel Spot Bot or carpet cleaner instead of the fancy toys.
Build a Good Puppy Team
Rescue/Breeder: Do your research! Beware of Puppy Mills.
Veterinarian: Interview various vets to see which one fits your philosophy. I would also recommend finding a doctor convenient to your home and whose business hours are good for you. Be sure to check their online reviews too. Our vet offers “Fear Free Visits”. This means we can take our new puppy in to have simple checks so puppy learns to love the vet and not be afraid.
Dog Store: This has been SUCH a huge help for our family. I love walking into a locally owned store and simply asking about what we absolutely need, what are good chew toys, or even about the ingredients in dog food. Find a store you love! I recommend finding the locally owned stores if you can.
Groomer: Do you want to take your pet to a groomer or use a mobile grooming service? There are lots of options!
Dog Trainer: Ask around. Dog food stores and veterinarians will have good recommendations.
Dog Walker/Pet Sitter: We found a great dog walker/sitter from the Rover App and we keep calling her to come back. During those first months, puppies can only hold their bladder for very short amounts of time. On the days when I was gone all day, we enlisted a dog walker to help keep our puppy comfortable and to minimize accidents.
We put a lot of thought and research into adding a new dog to our family. However, once we saw the Facebook video of our little baby, we just knew he was meant to be ours!
Puppies bring so much joy to a family, but they demand and deserve a lot of attention and love in those first few weeks. As we tell everyone who asks about our new dog, “He is such a wonderful little guy who loves chewing on everything and peeing in the living room!”