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Before Adopting Puppy

What To Consider Before Adopting A Puppy

Hello My Puppy Friends…

BeforeAdoptingPuppy-PawsitiveStepsDogTrainingSeattleSo you want to adopt a puppy? I don’t blame you…there is nothing cuter than a puppy! They’re sweet, their cuddly and so much fun to have around.

But deciding to adopt a puppy isn’t something you should just do on the spur of the moment, it’s a big decision, puppies need to be:

  • trained
  • kept healthy
  • exercised
  • protected
  • loved for their lifetime

I don’t mean to be a downer, and I don’t want to discourage you, but millions of dogs end up in shelters every year because someone, although probably well-meaning, didn’t totally understand what dog ownership really entails. You don’t want to be one of those well-intentioned people, so before running out to choose that cute puppy…

Consider these things before adopting:

  1. Are you prepared for a 10 – 15 year commitment? The average lifetime of a dog is 12.8 years, but their lifespan is more particularly determined by their breed. Smaller dogs typically live longer than larger breeds. Other factors such as gender, nutrition, exercise and genetics contribute to a dog’s longevity.
  2. What is your schedule like? You will need time to:
    • Train your pup
    • Regularly exercise and play with your pup
    • Make sure there is opportunity for regular socialization
    • Take your pup to the vet and the groomer
  3. VeterinarianCare-PawsitiveStepsDogTrainingSeattleAre you prepared financially? Your dog will need…
    • Good veterinary care…which includes vaccinations and spaying or neutering, annual health visits.
    • Food…puppy food for about the first year, as well as balanced nutritious food for their lifetime. And don’t forget the treats!
    • Supplies…bedding, hygiene products such as shampoo, dental supplies, leash, collar and/or harness, car restraints, crate, and plenty of toys
    • Doggy wardrobe
    • Training…many dog owners choose to hire a professional trainer to get the job done right.
    • Doggy daycare for while you’re on vacation or at work.
  4. Do you work out of the home? Who will care for Fido while you’re at work? Many dogs experience separation anxiety if left home alone for too long. And young puppies, according to the American Kennel Club, require more constant care and should not be left alone for more than a few hours, depending on their age. Doggy daycare can be a great resource to care for your pup if you need to be away for long periods of time.
  5. Is the entire family committed to the new pup? After the newness of the new puppy wears off, the responsibilities become more of a reality. Everyone in the family needs to agree to do their part when it comes to caring for the family dog.
  6. Who will train your new puppy? This may not seem like an important part of dog ownership, but it ranks right up there with providing food and water. Dogs that haven’t been properly trained are one of the leading causes for dogs being surrendered to shelters, or rehomed…the owners don’t know how to deal with bad behaviors. Training is a lifelong project, it takes time, patience and consistency. Hiring a dog trainer is a great investment….

Our training techniques are based around one simple question: What do you want and expect from your dog? We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under any given circumstances and situations. – Gayle Ballinger

As long as you are prepared, adopting a puppy into your family could be one of the best things you could do for your family. The years of loyalty, companionship and unconditional love are amazing!


One of the best things you can do for your new pup is to get him/her signed up for a puppy class.

Pet Trainer Gayle Ballinger - Pawsitive Steps Dog Training

If you’re having a difficult time training your dog, don’t have the time to train him properly, or you would like to learn along with your pup, Contact me or check out my family friendly classes.