If there is a sure way to fall in love, it is falling in love with a puppy. I don’t know how anyone can resist the dewey eyed puppy with a brand new wet nose, soft paws, shiny coat and an abundance of feel-good hormones emanating from their adorable presence.

They should come with a tag with the all too familiar cliche warning “dogs are for life and not just for Christmas”. Because something about their presence make us love sick that we sometimes forgo all logical reasoning and tell ourselves “Who doesn’t want to wake up to this cutie. Surely, it couldn’t be that hard?” But the reality is, raising a puppy is hard work. Hard work that is full of rewards if you prepare yourself for all the challenges that come with this endeavour.

SIMPLE REALITY CHECKS

1. YOUR ROUTINE – are you away at work most of the day or do you work from home? If you share the responsibility with another person, ask the same questions about them and see if you are both able to dedicate time to raising a pup – most important in early routines are housebreaking and exercising the pup.

2. YOUR ABODE – do you have outdoor space? Do you live in a building and have easy access to the elevators or stairs to get to the outside?
Do you have enough room for the pup when it grows to it’s full size? We endorse crate training, so see if you can accommodate a crate and what size crate. It has to be the crate size your pup would grow into as an adult.

3.YOUR HABITS – are you a clean freak? Puppies are adorable but they are puppies. Learning how to become an obedient proper dog citizen takes time and in the process can be quite chaotic and messy. Take into consideration if you can live with dog hair on your clothes (an issue with some breeds more than others), some dogs are slobbery, some dogs are notorious for taking a long time to become toilet trained. In fact, some don’t even really get trained for life due to the fact that it takes so much work that often owners just decide to deal with toilet habits by using piddle pads.

4.YOUR MAIN EXPECTATION – are you considering a puppy because you want a dog to sit on your lap and keep you company, or you want a dog who is active and can do all the outdoor stuff you like to do? If you have children, this should also be taken into consideration in choosing the size and breed of the dog.

It would be so easy to say that no matter what you decide, raising a puppy is a wonderfully challenging experience and I think that anyone who takes the challenge will be the better for it. However, the reality is there are many pups that are given up because the owners couldn’t handle the work, for one reason or another (not judging). And when this happens, it can be a very sad, disappointing event for the dog, the owner and most especially if there are children involved.

Please give yourself time to digest all the simple reality checks above. If your heart still says “go for it”, take the plunge and get ready for a fun adventure your puppy will bring to your life/lives.