Few things are more irresistible than a fluffy puppy staring sadly up at you, begging for a home. However, buying pets on a whim can leave you with far more than you anticipated, costing you time and money. Puppies are a great addition to the family, and it can be incredibly rewarding to come home to a well-trained pup with a wagging tail. With a few basic preparations, bringing your new puppy home will run smoothly.

Research Breeds to Fit Your Lifestyle

If you live in an apartment, a herding dog is likely not for you. One of the most important concepts is energy level. Find out what your potential puppy breed was originally bred to do. Some terriers were bred for rat catching, retrievers will bring back a catch, and guard dog breeds will usually be instinctively defensive. Mixed breeds can inherit behaviors from every dog in their lineage. Your puppy will likely show a few classic behaviors for the breed, so it is good to be prepared for it. If you bring home a working breed, for example, you will need to keep the dog exercised and occupied. Bored puppies are destructive puppies, and that brings up the next point: puppy proofing your home.

Puppies chew, dig, tug, scratch, and pee.

Naughty Puppy! They have no idea that the world is not their chew toy, and the fault is not the dog’s if something valuable gets ruined, you need to prevent it. Baby gates are very useful in separating a safe room for your dog. Look for small objects that can be eaten, cords and cloth that can be pulled, expensive furniture that can be scratched, and carpet that can be ruined by urine. Pick a room that has the least potential for damage and try to take a look at it through the eyes of a puppy. Remove any potential hazards and valuables, and you and your puppy will both be happier.

Owning a puppy takes a team of people.

Talk to friends and family who own pets to locate a good vet in your area. At least knowing of a reputable dog trainer, regardless of whether or not you plan on taking your puppy to classes, is useful for questions that may pop up once you bring your new family member home. Everyone who lives in your home or visits you frequently has a part in raising your new dog. Agree on methods for training your dog and keep everyone in the family involved. Every moment you spend with a dog is training it. With this in mind, bringing a dog home and then starting research on training will already have wasted valuable time for teaching your dog. Buy a few books, talk to a few trainers, and pick up training supplies before you bring a dog into your house.

You and your new puppy will both benefit from a little forethought and research. If you plan ahead, the entire family will be happier for it!