Prepare yourself for a day of cuteness overload! On March 23rd, dog owners will celebrate the joys a puppy brings to the household. From the cuddles to sharp teeth and puppy breath, they are hard to resist. Yet, this is the main reason why many people end up getting a puppy before they are truly ready. We want to bring awareness to the challenges you face when welcoming a puppy into your household and how to best prepare to care for a new furry friend.

There is a huge difference between bringing home an adult dog compared to a puppy. Puppies require a huge level of commitment and a lot of people don’t realize what it takes. Your puppy needs to eat, 3 to 4 times a day to be exact. As soon as they are finished eating and/or drinking you need to take them out to eliminate appropriately (this is a good house-training trick). However, just because you take them out after meals doesn’t mean you are safe from accidents. House training a puppy requires random potty breaks throughout the day to avoid any accidents.

Now, for those who can’t be around during the day, a crate is a good option when you are gone but only if you are leaving them for a few hours at a time. A crate is a good aid to keep a puppy from chewing everything in your house but not for your puppy’s bladder. After a few hours, your puppy can’t take it anymore and this becomes a spot your puppy sees as a potty spot.

A crate is also a good place for a puppy to sleep during the day and keep from destroying your house. Puppies are indeed very destructive. There is always something new to chew on, tasty things to eat, and many things to explore. Eventually, the phase of no manners and unawareness will pass but training, exercise, and socialization is very important in the early stages.

You may be prepared for the challenges of owning a puppy but where you get your puppy could be the biggest challenge of them all. It is easy to find a puppy mill and there will always be breeders but consider adopting first.

Adoption: Adopt not shop! There will always be a dog/puppy who needs a home in a shelter, puppies aren’t necessarily rare but aren’t up for adoption very long. Adoption will save a dog’s life and your money!

Puppy Mills: When searching for a puppy, a puppy mill is often the easiest option. “Rescuing” a puppy from a puppy mill is not the same as rescuing from a shelter. Giving money to a puppy mill will open a spot for more puppies and their mothers to be treated inhumanely. This means avoid buying from a pet store and or an internet site in efforts to stop the production of puppy mills.

Breeders: There is nothing wrong with wanting a full-bred puppy. And there are many “home-raised” or “family-raised” breeders out there. But make sure they are a trusted breeder. Many people are posing as a family-friendly breeder but in reality, are running puppy mills. Do your research!

Regardless of what kind of puppy your household welcomes, be sure to bring them into All Star Grooming for cleanings, cuttings, and more!