• Nichole Burik
  • Dog Nutrition & Real Member Service Specialist

  • 6 minutes read time
  • Should You Get a Puppy?

    That sounds like an obvious question, right? Of course you should get a puppy! They are cute, derpy, uncoordinated, floppy, and most of the time cuddly! But do you know how much work they are? The average person gets a puppy and does not have a single clue what they are getting themselves into. Puppies can be more work than children - yes, I went there. At least children are able to communicate with you, have an idea of what you are saying, and will take longer naps than a puppy would. Puppies take short naps and are then charged for the rest of the day. “Puppies are so easy!” Said no one ever.

    Take me for example - Four years ago I got Koda. Koda is a Siberian Husky that we found on Craigslist at 6 weeks old. Koda was taken from his mom way too young as puppies are usually ready to leave the nest around 8 weeks. He was a full time job on top of my other full time job. It’s safe to say I was not ready, but I didn’t think about how much work he was going to be when I got him - I was hypnotized by the puppy eyes. Like myself, most people don’t realize how big of a responsibility a puppy is. You are literally caring for a living, breathing being that has a lifespan of at least a decade (and hopefully much longer). There is a list of challenges that you’ll need to tackle as you add a puppy into your life, but you will be able to get through them as long as you have the time and patience to dedicate to your new furry friend

    The Challenges

    Puppies don’t just need to be fed and cuddled... they need to be trained, socialized, exercised, house broken and crate trained. On top of all of that, you need to prepare yourself for any complications that might arise, such as dealing with a puppy that develops separation anxiety and fear periods while also chewing and destructing your house during their teething period. While all of this can be very overwhelming for you, try to understand that this is more overwhelming for your puppy. Your puppy depends on you to keep them healthy and happy but at the end of the day you are the one they want to please.

    The Positives

    Although puppies can be stressful, it's proven that puppies can also help reduce stress. Thought you had patience before a puppy? Puppies will definitely test and teach you patience and acceptance while also keeping you active. Nothing is more rewarding than putting in a lot of time and effort to train your new pup and seeing them actually pick up the tricks and positive behavior you are teaching! The best part? Your pup will love you unconditionally and provide companionship!

    Besides the challenges and positives of bringing a puppy into your life, you will have to consider all factors to see if adding a puppy is the right decision for you.

    Are you financially stable? Puppies require you to buy food, pay for vaccinations and neutering if you choose to do so, and pay for all sorts of supplies. Keep in mind if you choose to get a puppy from a breeder, breeders aren’t always completely honest and your puppy might come to you sick which will result in an emergency trip to the vet and a pricey vet bill. It is important to consider getting a puppy from a breeder - check out Priscilla’s article on Breeders vs Rescues to help you make your big decision! And of course you will have to consider that your cute and cuddly puppy may destroy household items unless they are given plenty of toys and bones/chews to gnaw on. Real Dog Box offers a variety of light, medium, heavy and super chews for mental stimulation for your pup!

    Koda enjoying his Spiral Pizzle super chew from Real Dog Box

    Do you have the time? As I mentioned before, majority of pet parents do not realize how much time puppies require. If you have children and/or have a full time job, puppies will still need to be prioritized and you should not assume your children will entertain the puppy for you. There is the option of dog walkers and doggy day care which will help with socialization, but the majority of your dog’s care is in your hands. It is solely up to you to take the time to potty train, teach right from wrong and double the amount of exercise an adult dog would get (30 minutes to 2 hours each day) because puppies have more energy and burn more fat.

    Do you understand a puppy’s nutritional needs? The first year of a puppy’s life is crucial to their development. You will have to provide food that promotes strong teeth and bones and a healthy skin and coat. Puppies require 2-3% of their adult weight (if you are not sure what their adult weight will be, feed around 10% of their current weight) then adjust accordingly if your puppy gets too thin or too fat! The best diet for a growing puppy is a raw diet. Not understanding a puppy’s nutritional needs can result in malnourishment, issues with growing, dull skin and coat, and low vitality. Biologically appropriate raw diets will ensure that everything develops properly with your pup.

    Do you have a dog at home? If you already have a dog at home, adding a puppy to you and your dog’s life can potentially cause stress on your dog. Introducing them the proper way is key. Most dogs are protective of their house and owners, so introducing your new puppy to your dog in a crate is best. This will allow them to see and smell each other while also avoiding any confrontation they might have outside of the crate. This method works best when you have another person with you just in case you do decide to let the puppy out of the crate. You will want to leash both of them and have them sniff each other before letting them off the leash to socialize! 

    Blue, my second puppy

    I told myself no more puppies after Koda, but sure enough I came across Blue, a four month old German Shepherd puppy who needed rescuing as she was left outside all day every day and was not taken care of. I guess you can say I didn’t choose the puppy life, the puppy life chose me. I put Blue in a crate and introduced her and Koda that way. Koda seemed pretty unsure and standoffish.. I was scared it wasn’t going to work as Koda protects me and is territorial of his house, but Blue accepted that and they got along great. The crate method works! Now look at them

     

    If you end up in a situation like mine where you don’t get a puppy at 8 weeks old from a breeder, you will still want to treat them the same as you would an 8 week old puppy. I took Blue to the vet for a wellness check to ensure she did not have worms or was sick. She was never trained and never fed appropriately so she was high maintenance and underweight. I have been training, socializing and exercising her daily while providing her with raw food which has helped her gain weight and improve her vitality! She is an amazing addition to my family and I know the puppy you choose to get will be to! Just remember to stay patient and provide all of the time necessary for your new furry friend!