Tips & Advice

Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

Bringing a puppy home is a joyous event. But there are many things to consider before getting a puppy. Similar to all life events, time flies, and your puppy will grow into a dog in no time. You should do some serious research and self-evaluation before making this significant commitment.

Do I have the necessary finances to allot for a puppy?

Raising a puppy is a huge financial undertaking and certainly involves much more than just a one-time fee. You must keep in mind the plethora of expenses that occur prior to bringing your puppy home and after. Don’t forget that your puppy will entail a 10-15-year commitment, too. Your puppy will need proper care: food, vet visits, and supplies (food bowls, collar, leash and toys).

Can my schedule accommodate a puppy?

Caring for a puppy is not just a financial investment, but also an emotional and time-consuming commitment. Getting a dog requires a lifestyle change. A dog, particularly a puppy, must receive daily care. This means proper diet, grooming, exercise, and veterinary visits.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a dog.

  1. Does my career and social life allow the time to raise and care for a dog?
  2. How many hours a day will my dog be left alone?
  3. If I cannot be home one evening, can I find someone else to walk the dog?

Have I put enough thought into getting a dog?

Buying a puppy is like buying anything else: the more thought and research you put into it, the easier the decision and process will be. On AKC Marketplace, you’ll find breed pages that provide facts and specific information about each breed, which will help you pick the right one for your lifestyle. You want to feel secure and confident in your choice, as a dog will be your companion for his entire life.

Is my home dog-friendly, or can it be? What about my neighborhood?

When bringing a puppy into the home there are many things to consider. A puppyhas no boundaries unless you create them and will go to the bathroom wherever hechooses unless trained. Training will take time, but there are somethings you canstart thinking about now. Do you have a fence? If not, can you put one up? Within the house, will you usea gate to keep the dog out of off-limits places? What about the cleanliness of your home? Puppies do not know better, and if trash or clothes are left on the ground, the puppy will think it is his to play with and destroy! How about size and energy? If you are planning to bring a Dalmatian into your studio apartment in New York City, you may want to reevaluate. A Dalmatian is high energy and needs daily rigorous exercise. How will your neighbors react if they hear your dog running around all day? Is your neighborhood pet-oriented? Are there dog parks or safe areas to exercise and socialize your dog?

Where do I go to buy a dog?

Once you’ve assessed your lifestyle and decided on a specific breed, you’re ready to buy a puppy. We recommend purchasing a puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. Responsible breeders are concerned with the welfare of each litter and also maintain a wealth of knowledge about the breed you’ve chosen. On AKC Marketplace, you’ll find puppies only from AKC-registered litters and breeders who participate in the American Kennel Club’s breeder programs, including Bred with H.E.A.R.T. and Breeder of Merit. Do your research too. Once you select a breeder, screen him or her. Ask to see at least one of the parents (the dam or the sire) of your puppy. See how the dogs in your breeder's home or kennel interact with your breeder. Are they friendly and outgoing, or do they shy away? Responsible breeders will be screening you, too, as they decide on the best home for each puppy.