Puppy love. Is it worth it?
How do you measure cute?
Sure, puppies are adorable. Who doesn’t love their curious nature? Their boundless energy? Their tail-wagging, attention-seeking magnetic personalities?
Sure, puppies are adorable... but are they worth it?
When a friend says, “Hey, my dog just had puppies, you want one? Or, you happen to visit an animal shelter on a beautiful sunny day and see a flurry of furry activity. Suddenly, one pup rolls away from the litter, waddles up to you with a nose that nudges you ever-so-softly asking to take him home…
STOP and think it through.
The average life of a dog is 10- 13 years and can be even longer for small breed canines according to the American Kennel Club. Puppies are a long-term commitment…
During the first months of a dog’s life, they need to be potty trained, leash-trained and socialized. Socialization is essential during this time so they can become aware of other dogs and people, thus learning how to interact with both species. Dogs that are not exposed to outside stimulation, may be more likely to become territorial and overprotective. Just like children, dogs need to learn to share not only their toys but their humans as well.
Socialization can mean a walk around the neighborhood. Frequenting a dog park. Visiting a friend or assistant-living facility. Getting out and exploring nature or walking through your hometown streets. Great endeavors for you and a puppy.
They need to be fed and continually hydrated. Feeding the appropriate amount of complete and balanced food created to address all the needs of this growing bundle of joy is essential for them to thrive: both in mind and body. Perhaps leading the way for you to re-evaluate your own eating habits.
During the puppy months, they might chew on your couch or favorite pair of shoes. Or decide that the garbage is the place to dig for treasures. Toilet paper is a fun activity to grab and run dragging throughout the house.
Don’t forget to put sleep deprivation on the list. The night crying just as you have fallen asleep. Why is it dark? Why am I alone? Come pick me up!, they seem to whine in the middle of your REM cycle. Usually leading to a temporary increase in your caffeine intake.
Puppies take a lot of work and patience.
Is it worth all the effort? And what do have after they loss that puppy appeal?
You will have an adult dog – still full of doggie energy and curiosity – a companion who will walk with you through shared life experiences. A best friend.
So, if you can commit to the work and love that is puppy-rearing,
the answer will surely be…
Yes, it is so worth it.