As an animal shelter we get a lot of calls from people wishing to adopt a puppy. And this is no surprise – puppies are cute, funny and cuddly and let’s admit it, absolutely adorable. Hardly anyone can resist a fluffy bundle of joy happily bouncing around or cuddling on your lap. Unfortunately, not many people realize how much time, effort and knowledge it takes to raise your puppy to be a wonderful dog you want them to be. It can be really overwhelming and this is why we wanted to put together a list of questions that every prospective dog owner should answer before making a decision to adopt a dog, be it a mature adult or a tiny little pup.
Do you have enough time to raise a puppy? Yes, puppies require a lot of time and commitment – they need to be taken our every few hours to relieve themselves, they need to be taken to obedience classes, they need to be socialized and exposed to various life situations. This can work if one of the family members is always at home or you have a flexible working schedule. Otherwise you are better off adopting an adult dog. A lot of prospective adopters here in the UAE tell us that their maid will be at home the whole day to look after their little bundle of joy. Unfortunately this does not work out in most cases and you cannot rely on your maid or house-helper to raise a puppy
Are you prepared for the damage the puppy can cause in your house? Puppies are a lot of trouble in a cute package. Yes, a puppy will most probably have a potty accident on your favorite Persian rug, chew your beloved pair of shoes or re-decorate your furniture. The little fluffball will have a totally different idea on what your plants should look like and if your socks need extra ventilation. We can guarantee that one, if not all, of these things will happen in your house if you bring a puppy in. Do you think this might be too much to handle? Then you might again look at an older dog as your companion.
Do you have small children in the house? If you have a baby or a young toddler in the house we would recommend to wait a couple of years before adopting a dog, especially a young puppy, unless you are very well experienced in raising kids and dogs together. Young children have no idea how to handle dogs and can unintentionally hurt them. Puppies on the other hand have very sharp teeth and claws that do not always mean to bite or scratch. In any case, children and dogs should never be left unsupervised under any circumstances!
If you are a first-time dog owner then we would always recommend adopting an older mature dog. This is a much easier option for a person with little or no experience in having a four-legged family member in the house. Many people think that if they get a puppy they can train it and socialize it the way they want. This is only true when you already know how to train and socialize you little friend.
Adopting a small mixed-breed puppy you can never be sure what it will look like in several months. This tiny ball of fluff might turn out to be 20 kg heavier that you expected. You need to accept this and be sure that you will love this dog no matter how big/small/hairy it will become. With an older dog – you see what you get and you can chose from a variety of sizes and temperaments.
Whatever your final decision may be, please remember that puppyhood does not last very long and in a couple of month you will end up with an adolescent dog on your hands. All the ill-behaved adult dogs were cute cuddly puppies ones!