Most first-time puppy owners have no idea just how much their life will change when they bring home their new puppy- Parenting a new puppy is no walk in the park!
Puppies Cost Money!
Before anything- consider costs when choosing a dog. Any new dog or puppy will come with substantial expenses. If you decide to purchase a purebred dog from a breeder, you can expect to spend $500-3000, give or take. And adopting from a shelter or rescue can average around $200- $500 depending on the conditions.
On top of the purchase of your new best friend think of the on-going costs. You will have annual registration fees- yes this needs to be done every year or you may end up with an even bigger cost if your pooch is impounded- micro-chipping, vaccinations, de-sexing fees. Then you have the diet, the entertainment, puppy preschool or obedience training, beds or kennels, grooming, and of course any general vet fees if your pup happens to become unwell.
In 2015, the NZ Companion Animal Council estimated that caring for a dog costs around $1,686 NZD a year. Costs included food, veterinary care and care of your dog while you are working or travelling. This is something huge to think about before you commit to a lifetime of love and attention.
The first few weeks after bringing our puppy home were a blur of exhaustion. A rule of thumb with puppies is that they have to go outside to go to the bathroom every few hours, the hours between breaks should equal the weeks of the dog’s age divided by 2. So, when we brought home our 8-week-old puppy, he needed to go out to do his business every 3-4 hours- even through the night. So we needed to set alarms are walk him every few hours through the night to ensure he was getting the chance to go to the bathroom outside of the crate. The more frequently your puppy can go potty outside, the easier and faster potty training will be.
Walks Take Practice
Puppies are not born knowing how to walk on a leash. In fact, puppies are not born wearing a collar, either, and these things take practice to get used to. Puppy collars need to be snug enough to prevent accidental injury but loose enough to allow for easy breathing, and walks on the least take practice. Most puppies are content to sit on the sidewalk or in the grass while their owner gently tugs on the leash to move them along. Patience and consistency are necessary for many aspects of puppy parenthood- even the simple act of learning to walk on the leash. (Check out our gorgeous European range of Hunter dog accessories!)
Not All Veterinarians are Created Equal
Veterinarians, like doctors, should be a good fit for both doctor and (four-legged) patient. If your puppy is scared of your veterinarian before his first shot, you might consider trying a different vet for your puppy. Before choosing a veterinarian, it is always a good idea to check reviews and references of the hospital, and if you have a specialty breed, be sure to verify that the veterinarian can meet the needs of your dog. Additionally, you should make sure that the vet you choose provides all the services you want from them or can provide a reference for things like rehabilitative care, nail trims or dental services, and alternative care. It’s important to know what your vet will provide. Things to discuss with your vet are: Vaccinations, De-sexing, Micro-chipping, Flea and Worm treatments, Insurance, and Annual Health Checks.
Obsessed with Poop
Non-puppy owners are blissfully unaware of just how much attention to poop puppies actually require. . You may see dog owners at the dog park frequently discuss and seek advice for the irregular bowel movements of their own dogs in turn. One of the great secrets of puppy parenthood is that dog owners are seemingly obsessed with their dog’s poop, and with good reason. A dog’s poop is generally an excellent indicator of health, and a sudden change in bowel movements is nearly always foreshadowing a visit to the vet.
Consider Pet Health Insurance
Pet health insurance is a growing norm among pet owners. Before committing to a specific policy, be sure to do your research and make sure the one you select covers the anticipated needs of your dog. Research common health problems for your dog’s breed. Try to find a policy that will cover those conditions and understand anything pre-existing cannot be covered. A good pet insurance company will provide a plan that fits the needs of your puppy and budget. You can’t anticipate everything that your puppy will get into, but you can bet that at some point an emergency vet visit may be necessary— that’s when pet health insurance will come in handy.
Tags: Pet, Pet Health, Vaccination, Puppy, Diet, Animal Health, Dog, Veterinary Medicine, Pet care, Pet and Vet