There’s no question that welcoming a puppy into your life will make it more fun and enjoyable, and that’s why we tend to lean towards getting them, as it’s a super exciting time, however, you need to ensure that you are ready to share your home with a small, cute and affectionate little puppy before jumping in and buying one.
Most people don’t know where to start when they want to buy a puppy and tend to make an impulse decision on whether to buy one – and later down the line, are shocked at the responsibility and change that a puppy can make to their lives and wish they did their research first to know what to expect.
Fortunately for you, we’re here to cover in detail what to do when you want to buy a puppy and the key considerations that you will need to make before going ahead with the decision.
Do your homework before buying a puppy
Without understanding all the options and doing proper research, making any decision can never have a good outcome. This is the reason why we spend so much time choosing our dream house or ideal car. The same, if not more, goes for buying puppies.
There are many dog breed and all of them come with their unique set of personality traits, characteristics, and needs. That’s why we recommend dog owners read about as many dog breeds as they can before they decide on a puppy to buy. This will help you understand what breed of dog suits your lifestyle the most.
It’s also important to understand the process of raising a puppy and how much time will be required to adequately train them. At first, you will need to teach your puppy basic training commands, such as learning it’s name, how to sit and where to go to the toilet – this process takes time and is very tedious, so you will need a lot of patience.
Most owners underestimate the time required to train a puppy and the sacrifices that they will need to make to their lifestyle in order to introduce a puppy to their home.
Below are some things you will need to consider when you have a puppy:
- Who will look after your puppy while you go on holiday?
- Where will your puppy stay when you are at work?
- How long will the puppy be left alone at home on their own?
- Will you be able to do everything you once did in your life with a puppy?
- If you have children, would you be ok with looking after your children and dog at the same time when outside?
A dog is a serious commitment and the chances are, you won’t be able to live your life the way you always have done, so you will need to consider this as part of your choice.
What should I ask when buying a puppy?
Before you visit the breeder, you will need to think about some questions to ask about your puppy. There aren’t any silly questions when it comes to buying a puppy, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask even if they are very simple and basic.
Below are some questions to ask when buying a puppy:
- Did they breed the puppies themselves and can you see the mother or father?
- How old is the mother and how many litters have they had?
- How many puppies were part of the litter?
- Is the puppy fully vaccinated and wormed?
- How is their behaviour with other dogs and pets?
- Have the puppies had any problems with their health?
- Does the mother or father have any issues with their health?
As a rule of thumb, you should always ask to see the mother or father and question whether they are healthy or have any underlying conditions. A mother should never be mated before she turns 12 months of age, or be used for breeding if she is over 8 years of age, or have had over 4 litters in her lifetime.
It’s important to ask these questions to gauge whether your new puppy was bred appropriately, and could determine whether your pup will be healthy. We recommend asking these questions before going to see the puppy, and then again once you see them, to see if the answers are consistent.
The breeders should be well prepared to answer your questions and shouldn’t hesitate in giving you the information you require.
Never make a snap decision
Introducing a puppy into your home is a huge step and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The average age of a dog is between 10 and 13 years, so you should only buy a puppy if you are happy to look after them for this amount of time.
Make sure to visit the puppies multiple times and talk to their breeders extensively before deciding on a puppy. This will keep you from the trouble of finding out that the pup that you got is not the best match for you.
If you feel like the breeder or the seller of the puppy is pressuring you to make a quick decision, then simply walk away, as it is a huge red flag. There could be a reason for them wanting you to make a snap decision, and therefore, you should look elsewhere and always have multiple options on the table.
If you come across a breeder that isn’t obeying the law, or breeding their puppies incorrectly, you should contact your local pet shelter to make them aware, and you shouldn’t ever buy a puppy from a puppy farm.
Take your time buying a puppy
Buying a puppy is exciting and you may feel the need to put a deposit down to secure a puppy as soon as you see them – as they are very, very cute and irresistible. But you shouldn’t ever rush into buying a puppy.
Do your research and think very carefully about whether you are able to provide and care for your new pup.
When you feel that you are ready, visit multiple breeders and ask your questions, then make your choice.
What is the safest way to buy a puppy?
The safest way to buy a puppy is to find them through a reputable breeder, or to find recommendations through your local veterinarian or dog club. You need to ensure that the breeder has an excellent reputation, is well spoken about and has a proven track record. You shouldn’t try to find puppies on cheap local websites.
What else do you need to think about before buying a puppy?
Below are some other areas that you will need to consider before you buy a puppy.
Your financial situation
As you’re probably aware, puppies are expensive and you can expect to pay anywhere between £500-5,000 per puppy, depending on the breed of the dog. However, as well as the one-off cost or paying the breeder, you’ll incur additional monthly costs because you will need to feed them, ensure they are wormed and pay for any medical bills that may come your way.
It’s very important to have pet insurance and a pot of money (emergency fund) aside encase your dog has any medical complications later down the line.
The puppy will be living with you, so is your home a suitable place for a puppy? It’s important to have a garden space for your dog so they are able to pee and poop outside, however, a puppy can be potty trained in a flat or an apartment, but it can be a pain for you to have to take your puppy outside every few hours.
Is your home big enough to have separate areas for your dog so they can sleep and seek comfort? They will need to be able to play around with toys and have some space to run around. If you have a small home, you may need to consider a smaller breed, however, if you are considering a big dog breed, like a Golden Retriever, you will need a lot of space.
If you have children, or are planning to have them, this is another consideration, as your puppy will be around them a lot. Would you feel safe knowing that your dog will be in the presence of your children? Would you be happy to take your dog with you on family days out? These are things that you would need to think about – as the dog will be growing up with your children.
You will also need to think about how you will manage the dog if you were to go on holiday, or leave the house for a few days. Do you have relatives that will be able to look after them or will you need to put them in a dog kennel? If so, this can be very costly.
Do you have a vet nearby that you could easily take your pet to if they have a health concern, or will you need to drive long distances in order to get to the closest vet? Your puppy will need regular check ups and vaccinations during the first couple of weeks, so this will need to be considered. If you aren’t sure where the closest vet is, you can do so by searching on the RCVS website.
A puppy will drastically change your lifestyle and you will always need to consider them before doing something, and could change the way in which you live your life. Some people underestimate the restrictions that a puppy can bring to your lifestyle, so it’s an important area to consider before buying a puppy.
If you’re someone that likes to go abroad and go on a lot of holidays, you will need to think about who will look after your puppy.
If you work a lot and aren’t home often, you will need to consider how this will impact your puppy, as they will feel very lonely if they are left for long periods on their own.
However, if you’re someone that likes to exercise a lot and go on lots of runs, walks and hikes, a breed like a Boxer, German Shepherd or Golden Retriever could accompany you on your adventures.
Dogs can bring an enormous amount of happiness to your life, but you just need to make sure that a dog could fit in with your lifestyle before buying one, otherwise, it may restrict you, which won’t help you or your dog in the long-run.
Conclusion: What you need to think about before buying a puppy
A puppy will add a tremendous amount of happiness to your life, as they love to cuddle, give kisses in the forms of licks, and give you lots of attention when you need it. However, puppies are very time consuming and require lots of attention, so you should only consider one if they will fit in as part of your lifestyle.
You will need to consider your home, your family, financial situation and your lifestyle as part of your choice, as detailed above.
If you aren’t sure or fully committed, it could be that a puppy right now isn’t suitable for you, but if you are certain, then congratulations! You can start the hunt for your puppy.