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Preparing for Your New Puppy

There is almost nothing as lovable as a new puppy in your home. Puppies add new life to a home and become a family member quickly. Children and adults alike are enamored with this new little furry bundle of joy. However, as adorable as puppies are, they also require a significant amount of responsibility by their new owners. It takes some preparation to understand how to keep a puppy happy, healthy, safe, housetrained, have manners and get along with others.

Raising puppies can be a bit like raising children. Puppies, like children, need affection, attention, proper care and feeding, consistency in teaching them and they need to be treated well. Puppies will respond according to the way they are treated. They are curious and will get into anything available to them. It is important to keep anything that can harm a puppy out of the way, such as poisons, sharp items, electrical cords, plants or flowers and other objects the puppy may be tempted to chew on. Make sure and provide proper puppy toys for your new baby's enjoyment.

Before you bring a puppy home, consider the following:

  • A puppy can be a commitment for 10 years or more.
  • Puppies will cost money each year for health checkups, food, toys, supplies, grooming needs, license fees and possible emergencies.
  • Puppies need room to be housed properly and a place to be exercised.
  • Puppies need time, attention and training; they may need two to three hours per day of their owners' time to get a well established routine in place.
  • Puppies can test your patience and cause trouble, just like a child.
  • Puppies, like children or adults, will be lonely if left alone too long and may cause trouble if they don't have some attention throughout the day.
  • Male and female puppies may have different characteristics; be sure to read about the breed you are considering.
  • Some breeds are better suited for harsher climates than others. Consider your environment before bringing a puppy home.
  • Puppies can be a major emotional commitment and sometimes and inconvenience. Be prepared for interruptions to work with the new family member. Also, talk to your family about how the puppy will be raised. What will the rules be? Who will feed and take care of the puppy? Clarify in advance these issues so the puppy can be a welcome addition to the family.

If you consider the factors listed above, then you are ready to bring a new puppy home!

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