Everything You Need to Know Before Adopting a Puppy

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Everything You Need to Know Before Adopting a Puppy – DogTime

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Woman holding and adopting a puppy
(Photo Credit: Rawlstock / Getty Images)

Who wouldn’t want a puppy? That soft fur, the pint-size body, and the signature puppy prance all add up to one irresistible package. Yet there are people who admire the puppy charm from afar–and happily bring home an adult dog. Generally, they’re the ones who know that raising a puppy is a whole lotta work. If you’re trying to decide whether to adopt a puppy, do your due diligence ahead of time and learn everything you can about fur babies. Nobody wants to see a puppy adopted, then surrendered. Here’s everything you need to know before adopting a puppy!

The truth about puppies

  • Puppies need lots of time and attention. Hourly bathroom breaks during housetraining, feedings three or four times a day, intensive socialization, puppy classes…by the time you add it all up, you may wonder if you should have saved yourself some time and just had a baby instead. (We kid. Dogs are way better than children.)
  • Puppies take longer to housetrain. Puppies can get the hang of housetraining within a few weeks. Even then, they still aren’t very good at holding it. You’ll be cleaning up messes for a while. Adult dogs, on the other hand, have much better control.
  • Puppies wake you up at night. A young puppy who’s used to sleeping with littermates will cry and whine during the first nights alone in their new home. And pups younger than about 4 months need a moonlit bathroom run until they’re big enough to make it through the night.
  • Puppies can be destructive. During teething, most puppies turn into chewing machines. This means you’ll always need to keep an eye on your pup and put away anything you don’t want to wind up in a million pieces. No more kicking off your shoes when you come through the door!
  • Puppies aren’t the only ones who can be trained. Forget the saying about old dogs and new tricks. It’s perfectly possible to teach an adult dog new commands.
  • Puppies may not be a good match for a family with young kids. Many parents find out too late that this isn’t the time to bring home another small creature that wakes you up at night and pees on the floor. In addition to training your puppy, you’ll have to train your kids how to behave around the new dog, too!
  • Puppies can turn out differently than you expected. You don’t know what a toddler’s going to be like when they grow up, and it’s the same with a puppy. With an adult dog, you know what you’re getting in terms of size, looks, personality, exercise needs, and shedding level.
  • Don’t make good jogging partners. The impact of running on hard pavement can damage a pup’s growing body, so if you’re looking for a running buddy, you’ll have to wait about a year until your puppy’s joints are fully formed.

If you’ve read through all this and you’re still excited about adopting a puppy, go for it! You’re already more informed than most new puppy parents.


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