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Are you puppy prepared?
10 May 2018
On average over 47,500 dogs are abandoned by their owners each year and at any one time an estimated 100,000 dogs are homeless in the UK*. These statistics make uncomfortable reading and might not be the most enticing way to start a discussion about puppies. But here at Pets Corner we believe it’s better to give you the facts, so you can make a considered decision when it comes to welcoming an animal into your home.
With adorable faces and unique personalities, new puppies can make fantastic pets, and many take their rightful place as much-loved members of the family in homes up and down the country. However, making the decision to get a puppy is a big one and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ask yourself, have you got the time, energy and money needed to properly care for it?
If you’re facing this question, we’ve put together a New Puppy Guide on our Petopedia site giving you advice and information so you’re properly informed before you take the plunge. If you are not 100% sure, our motto is ‘think twice!’.
Are you puppy prepared?
One of the most important aspects of caring for your pup is time. Do you have the time to play and offer regular exercise? This is a daily commitment that remains unchanged throughout their lives. At first your puppy won’t need extensive walks, aim for five minutes of exercise per month of age, but once fully-grown, dogs need at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day.
Without stimulation and companionship, puppies will become mischievous. In fact, the Dogs Trust reported that the reason most people abandon puppies is because they can’t handle their behaviour. The more research you can do before your puppy arrives, the better prepared you and your family will be for the changes needed to accommodate your new family member. Take time to explore the health issues, traits and unique lifestyle requirements of the breed of dog you are considering.
Caring for your puppy is a huge responsibility, one that many owners later confess to being completely unprepared for. Giving your pet everything it needs to ensure a happy and healthy future represents a huge tie on your time, impacting every aspect of your life. Consider questions such as; what options are available if we want to go on holiday? Can someone dog-sit if we plan to go out for longer periods of time?
This is one thing that your new puppy will have bucket loads of! However, they’ll need to be taught what is and isn’t acceptable in your home, which will require a degree of energy and perseverance from you. When it comes to training, we believe positive reinforcement is the best training technique so make a big fuss when your puppy gets it right and set some rules from the start so everyone in the house is consistent.
From the moment you bring them home, they’ll need help to settle, socialise and stay healthy. In the early days this can seem quite intensive. If your puppy becomes upset and cries, reassure with lots of positive attention and a quiet place for them to retreat to.
Food, bedding, training aids, vet’s bills, insurance and holiday kennels – looking after your puppy won’t be cheap! On average we suggest setting aside around £30 a month for food. Estimates for the total cost of owning a dog are often quoted as £2,000 per year. Potential puppy parents should ask themselves – can I afford it over the total lifetime of my pet?
We would advise taking out pet insurance, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected vet’s bills, however routine health care such as vaccinations aren’t always covered and might cost extra. Vaccinations are essential to maintain your puppy’s health and their first ones should be given at 6-8 weeks of age, with a follow up 2-4 weeks later. Boosters are then given annually.
Visit our website for a complete breakdown of everything you’ll need to think about when it comes to caring for your new puppy. We also hold a Puppy Hour across our stores each week, so you can socialise your puppy (up to 18 weeks old), ask advice from our experienced staff and get 10% off all puppy products. Visit our website to find your local branch.
* Statistics from the Dogs Trust