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Don’t Be “That Owner” – What You Need To Know Before Getting a New Dog


Thinking about getting a dog? Have the opportunity to rescue a puppy, wanting to buy a toy breed to carry around with you everywhere you go or just decided the kids need one? Rescued or purchased, there are things you need to know to set yourself up for success. See, many people go out and run into a cute little puppy and fall in love at first site. It seems like fate. You think, how couldn’t this cute little thing be just what we need with us? The last thing on your mind is how life really works. I don’t want to bust any bubbles or stop anyone from rescuing any dog (its a great thing!) but some people just don’t think about what they are actually doing at the time. What, you mean puppies chew and will chew on anything they can? They crap in the house, need to be let out and this dog is defective, it has worms! Get this nasty thing out of here!

save dogI myself have been guilty of this in the past and that is why I’m so passionate about this topic. You can read my story of our newest dog Rosco here if interested but I really suggest reading this first.

Before even looking for a dog, there are a couple things you need to think about. What size dog fits best in your home, what type of temperament fits with your children (if any), how big of yard do you have and how active are you. Let’s break down why these are important.

What size dog is best for you:

  • Here are questions to ask yourself, do you have very small children that might get hurt around a large energetic clumsy puppy? Is your home big enough? Is your yard large enough to give it plenty of room to run? Large dogs are usually clumsy and do not know their own strength. They like to run while young, even in the house and most require a lot of outside time. A tired dog is a happy dog for a reason. And dogs like to jump on people, including small ones. They will jump on visitors until trained not to. Here is an article on how to stop dogs from jumping on people. Small dogs might be able to jump just as high as larger ones. The point is, just because you get a small dog doesn’t mean they can’t hurt someone. This brings us to the next thing….

Dog Temperament:

  • Each dog has their own attitude but you can get an idea about dog breed temperaments by doing a little research online. Just Google a breed you are thinking about plus the word temperament. So like pug temperament will bring up information on how pugs are. You can also look through dogs breed sites like this one here if you want to get ideas. You can even do a quick test if you are meeting a new dog that might be brought home with you. I found How to Temperament Test a Dog that I have not tried myself but sounds like it could give you some good feedback.

Yard Size:

  • Large dogs require large yards. Small dogs, not so much but some do. All dogs need to burn off a lot of energy to get tired, this will save you a lot of indoor issues. Though you can train a dog to stay in the yard, they will run until they are properly trained. So don’t be surprised. If you do not have a fenced in yard, you might want to look into getting an underground fence.You can find plenty of reviews on Amazon here.

After deciding what kind of dog fits in with your life, it is time to get one right? Well kinda. There are thing to know before bringing home your new love. If you know these things and still feel like a new dog is for you, be happy and go find your new pet!

dog ate candy

Things to know:

  • Dogs can be expensive. Being a  responsible master means, your dog gets what it needs. Besides food there are vet visits, toys, possible fence and you might have an unexpected emergency vet visit on top of regular ones. You also have monthly flea and heart worm meds. You should not skip these.
  • All puppies chew! I can not stress this enough. All puppies are going to chew, the larger the dog, the more destruction it will do. You will have to be patient and train your puppy, not yell at them. Yelling get nowhere because the dog has no clue why you are mad. Here is an article on how to stop chewing.
  • Your new dog probably has worms. In fact most dogs do. That is why it is important to make a vet visit as soon as possible when you get a new dog even if you were told they “had their shots”. Doing a visit in the beginning will let the vet do a look over and make sure you are not surprised with any bad health. Your vet can deworm them just to make sure they are good to go.
  • Your dog will poop and pee in the house if you do not properly potty train it. This also takes patients. My article on potty training to help get you started can be found here.

It is all about being prepared to set yourself up for success. The bottom line is, if you bring home a new puppy (or any animal), you are taking responsibility for her for life, not until eat your couch. I understand, a dog is not a human, but it is a life that you decided to take responsibility for when you brought her home. You want to enjoy your pet, I hope you do!

Have something to say, have a tip for new dog owners or want to disagree with something? Share them in the comments below. I encourage an open discussion on this topic. Also share this on Facebook and follow us on our FB page I Heart Dogs!

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