Are your children begging for a puppy? Or maybe now that you’re settled in your new Fulton home you are ready to introduce a pet into your life. Before you make your choice among the many cute and cuter options, you might want to consider these suggestions.
Determine if you are puppy-ready: Is there someone at home for a good part of the day? Are you prepared to house- and obedience-train your pet? Are you willing to introduce mess and chaos to your home? Do all adult members of your family agree on getting a puppy? Puppies are wonderful and can be an amazing addition to your life. Puppies are also a great deal of work. If you’re not sure, consider fostering a puppy for a rescue organization so you have a good understanding of the needs involved. But be prepared, a foster puppy may turn into a member of your family before you know it!
Choose your breed carefully: Size is important, but also temperament. If you want a lively dog that always wants to play, a Terrier is a great choice. On the other hand, this breed gets bored easily and can become destructive if left alone too much. Most Labradors are very gentle with small children. Every breed has different characteristics, and even mixed-breed dogs will often emulate the breed they’re most related to. Take the time to do your homework on the different breeds to get one that matches your family’s needs.
Prepare your home: Messes are a natural part of house-training your puppy. Plan on a specific area in your home for the puppy all or most of the day with tile or some kind of flooring that allows for easy clean-up, and take him or her out for frequent breaks. It’s best to have a grassy spot for an outdoor bathroom, particularly in the summer. (See the blog “Cause for Paws earlier this week for the reasons why.) It’s worth the time to pick up a book or review suggestions on the Internet and make a plan to housebreak your puppy. Remember, their main goal is to please you and once they understand what you want, they’ll gladly do it.
Any pet can make your life richer with friendship, company and unconditional love. That’s why you want to make sure you choose the right pet and create an environment to welcome your new family member.