It's an incredibly exciting time! You're thinking about getting a puppy, and have likely been thinking about it for years. But the realities of raising and living with a puppy might not be familiar to everyone. There are a lot of things to consider before making the leap, and we've outlined what we think are the most important questions to ask yourself before getting a puppy.
1. Do I have space for a puppy?
They might look small but puppies take up a lot of space! Even small dogs will need enough room for at least food, treats, bowls, toys, a bed and grooming supplies! It’s also important to be honest with yourself about what size dog you can fit into your home and remember that more active breeds will need more space inside and out to use up all their excess energy!
2. Do I have time for a puppy?
Puppies are like babies; they need lots of care and attention as well as chances to explore and learn more about the world. A puppy has a lot to learn- toilet training, sleeping alone, walking on a lead, playing with other dogs and what things they aren’t allowed to chew! Without the proper love and training your puppy could grow into a dog with anxiety, aggression or other behavioural issues.
3. Which breed is right for me
?Dog breeds are not a one size fits all purchase and even though nearly all breeds start off tiny, cute and fluffy, they can go grow up to be very different. It’s important to find a breed that fits into your lifestyle and personality. Tailwise help you match yourself to the perfect breed for you, so you know you’re making the right choice.
4. How much does raising a puppy cost?
The PDSA recently published findings that the average owner will spend £21,000-£33,000 over the course of their dog’s life. This doesn’t take into account the upfront cost of a puppy which for rarer breeds can be upwards of £1,000. It’s important to take the time to work out the costs of food, insurance, vaccinations, grooming and accessories and properly assess if you can afford to keep your pooch healthy and happy.
5. Do I need to find a dog walker/dog sitter?
Dogs should not routinely be left for more than four hours, so if you are out most of the day you will need to make provision for your dog. You might be able to take your dog to work with you or have a friend or relative nearby who can visit in your absence. Whatever your situation, it's important that you have a plan before getting your puppy so that everyone's needs are met.
Are you thinking about getting a puppy?
We’ve created the Tailwise Consultation Call to help anyone who is searching for a new puppy - whether they be first-time puppy parents or experienced dog owners. The Tailwise Dog Parent Consultation is a 30 minute call that sets you up with the foundational knowledge and know-how for getting a puppy the most responsible way.
6. Why do I want a puppy?
Try and dig deeper than the obvious “because they’re cute”! Are you looking for a companion, running buddy or a child's best friend? Identify what’s most important to you. Not only will this help lead you to the right breed but it will also ensure you are getting a dog for the right reasons. Remember that dogs can live for 12 years or more so buying one just because it’s fashionable probably won’t be enough to last you through the ups and downs of puppy parenthood!
7. How much time am I willing to spend grooming my puppy?
Not all dogs are created equal when it comes to grooming regimes! Some dogs need daily brushing, weekly washing and regular costly trips to the groomers. You may have your eye on a breed with luscious locks but unless you have the time to properly care for its coat, you may want to consider a dog that needs minimal grooming. But beware, even low maintenance breeds will need the occasional brush, nail clipping and wash- especially after a muddy walk!
8. Does my puppy need to get on well with other animals?
Everyone knows the stereotype of dogs and cats being sworn enemies but that doesn’t have to be the case with a bit of forward thinking. Most animals crave companionship so a new addition could be a positive all around. It’s still a good idea to try introducing your existing pet to other animals to see how they cope though, from there you can decide whether adding an extra set of paws to the house is the best decision for everyone.
9. Does my landlord/building/housing association allow animals?
Most tenancy contracts will have a clause about pet ownership, if you’re not sure then it’s important to ask the relevant people. A lot of landlords and property owners do not want pets on their premises and choosing to ignore their terms could end in you having to give up your puppy or in some cases even having to find a new place to live. Renters should also face the possibility of losing some or all of your deposit after your tiny terror is let loose whilst teething and toilet training!
10. How do I make sure I get my puppy from a reputable breeder?
Sadly some breeders only care about making money and not about their puppies’ welfare. It can sometimes seem impossible to pick out the legitimate breeders from those running puppy farms. Tailwise are making it easier to find a healthy pet from a responsible breeder, taking the guesswork out of puppy purchasing and helping to put an end to puppy farming.
Connect with verified breeders
Avoid puppy farms, scammers & bad breeders. All Tailwise breeders are screened for health and welfare practices.Find out more about Tailwise