When first time (and even second time) dog lovers start to think about getting a young dog, the options can be overwhelming.
Before buying a puppy, there are certain questions you need to ask the breeder. This guide explains what to ask when buying a puppy.
Answering these questions can put you well on your way to narrowing down the many options, and ensuring your home is your puppy’s new forever home.
What to Ask When Buying a Puppy – Is Your Breeder Reputable
Before considering what breed of puppy to buy, it is important to consider how to buy a dog.
One great option is adopting a rescue dog. However, the challenges of a rescue dog are well known and often rescue dogs are better suited for experienced dog owners.
Another great option is buying a puppy online from an established, reputable breeder with wonderful dogs for sale.
- What is the right dog breed for me?
Generally, first-time dog seekers are eager to identify the right breed, and it is not always an easy task.
Most people will lean toward a particular breed naturally (similar to how we gravitate toward human companions).
However, it is important to do your research to make sure you find a dog that works with your lifestyle and has the right temperament.
Do your research with the AKC, one of the most reputable dog organizations in the world.
One major consideration is allergies. If you have dog allergies, you will need to limit yourself to hypo-allergenic breeds.
Another major consideration is your home. If you live in a space where it is difficult to get outside, you will need a dog that can thrive indoors with little to no exercise.
- What is the right dog size for me?
If you are at all limited in household space (for example, living in an apartment, condo, or studio), you will likely want to choose a small or medium-sized dog.
Typically this is one factor that can help you to narrow down the breeds that are viable as companions for your home.
- What dog gender is right for me?
All things considered, no one can guarantee that the behavior of a male puppy will differ from that of a female puppy.
However, there are certain gender characteristics that tend to accompany each gender.
4.) How will this dog interact with existing pets?
If you have no other pets, finding a young dog can be easier than if you already have other pets.
Sometimes new pets can join a new household and will mesh perfectly, but other times the interactions can seem more like a train wreck.
If you have existing pets, you will need to think about the temperament of your existing pet and how he or she might react to your new puppy.
Certain animals will adapt better to companions, and you can research the best ways to introduce new companions into the home (e.g., keeping your new puppy in a separate room at first until your existing pet gets used to the smell and sounds of its new companion).
5.) How will you Train Your Puppy?
First-time dog owners often underestimate the time and commitment (and headache) it takes to train a young dog.
Further, even if you have the time to train them, it is not something that comes easy to everyone, and certain dogs are harder to train than others. You will want to factor trainability in when selecting a breed.
If you do not have experience with dog training, you will want to make sure to research the quality and cost of dog training programs in your area. These programs can be very expensive, and even outsourcing the task will require you to be relatively hands on so you can keep up the training commands at home.
6.) How will you ensure your young dog is cared for daily?
Dogs, especially young dogs, need to be exercised and taken for multiple walks daily. Veterinarians recommend that dogs go no more than 6-8 hours without being taken for a walk.
If you have an office job and/or work long hours, you may need to spend money to hire a dog walker or dog sitter.
Even if you have a work from home position, you need to make sure you have the time and are committed to giving your dog plenty of attention and outside time.
7.) How will you ensure your young dog is cared for in the event you have to travel?
If you have a busy travel schedule (either for work or leisure), you need to think about how you will care for your dog during these times.
On a work trip, you do not likely have the option of bringing your dog with you. While you could leave a cat at home for a few days alone while you travel, you simply cannot do the same thing with dogs. You will need to consider whether a family member or friend can be available to watch your dog, and if that is not an option, you will need to make sure you can bear the expense of boarding your dog for the duration of your trip.
If you are traveling for leisure, you may decide to bring your dog, but again – this can result in increased costs.
Most hotels will charge an expensive pet fee to allow a pet to stay in your room, and airlines frequently charge upwards of $200 for a pet to accompany you on a round trip domestic flight.
Even road tripping/camping with a pet requires additional planning despite allowing you to avoid additional costs. You will need to make frequent stops during your road trip to allow your pet to use the bathroom and get exercise. And you will have to take extra precautions while camping to ensure your dog is safe and well taken care of.
Whatever Dog You Choose, Enjoy the Adventure
As a first time dog owner, remember that you will face challenges as your puppy grows. Join online communities of experienced dog lovers, and read the blogs that can guide you through the process. The challenges you face as your puppy grows are not new.
After considering what to ask when buying a puppy, remember to enjoy the process of raising and loving your puppy as it grows.