A cute, furry, soft, adorable puppy! Who can resist!? It’s easy to look through adorable pictures and social media posts and think, “I want one for myself!” Imagine the naps on the couch together, puppy kisses, walks in the sunshine, and playing fetch.
There are so many benefits and rewards when you own a dog, but often, we forget about the effort and work that the puppy requires, day after day, week after week, month after month. They do not show up trained and restrained. They need to be taught how to behave, where to go potty, and what is expected in their new home. Potty breaks come at all times too. In the middle of a thunderstorm, on a freezing cold night, and in the middle of a favorite tv show. In many ways, puppies are like a new baby. They have needs and it is up to you to fulfill them. That will require time and patience. They are not stuffed animals. They are living, breathing, and feeling creatures that deserve our time and effort to give them a well lived life. That can look many different ways depending on your lifestyle, family dynamic, and resources.
Puppies and dogs require a person or family to commit a great deal of time, money and patience in order to have a well trained, well socialized, healthy and well adjusted dog. A good question to ask yourself is, “Do I really have enough time to dedicate to a new puppy or dog?” This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. It is wise to resist the urge to purchase a puppy if you are already stretched thin and running to events and commitments on a regular basis. Do you work full time and have evening commitments as well? Are your children on various sports teams that require you to travel and attend many games and practices? Do you go out of town often or work long shifts? Who will be there to house train the puppy and give it frequent potty breaks? Does your schedule allow time for puppy training classes? How do you imagine a young puppy or even a dog fitting into this world?
Puppies need and deserve lots of time and attention for training, exercise, playtime, and bonding. It is cruel and unfair to bring a new puppy into your home if you aren’t there enough to give that puppy a valuable life. Can you work full time and still be a good owner? The answer is “Maybe”. It depends on many factors. How long are you away from home each day? Do you have a trusted friend or family member who can come by for potty breaks and playtime? Do you have the financial resources to hire a dog walker? Are you often gone during the evenings as well? Working families who have the flexibility to work from home or the freedom to pop home for a lunch break will have an easier time raising a new puppy. If your job doesn’t allow these freedoms, you will need to develop a plan for getting your puppy out for potty breaks and play sessions during the day while you are at work. Each family situation is different and some can work just fine with a new puppy while others could end in a total nightmare. It is imperative that all of these elements are considered before searching for that adorable puppy. Everyone involved will be happier if these questions are answered honestly from the start.
A good article to read regarding leaving your dog at home during the day and the minimum amount of time they should be expected to hold their potty needs is found below: