Before you buy that puppy…

I found this infographic on Pinterest. I love infographics, by the way, and when I find one about dogs, that’s even better. I’m starting to have quite a collection of dog-related infographics now, in my Pinterest board “Dogs 101”.

This particular infographic gives you a heads up on what to expect from a growing puppy. I would advise you to please look at it BEFORE you even contemplate getting a puppy, or even a grown up dog. The reason being that any dog is, depending on its breed, anything from 8 to 20 years’ worth of commitment. Are you sure you’re up to it? If not, get a soft toy instead.

A few things to consider when thinking of getting a puppy:

1. Adopt, don’t shop. When you buy from a backyard breeder or a puppy farm, you’re fueling the breeder’s motivation to produce even more puppies for profit. Puppies are hard work, and will try their owner’s patience – dog Shelters are already full of half-grown adolescent dogs that have ended up there not because they’ve done anything wrong, but because their owners gave up on them too early. Please don’t add your puppy to the list. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of raising a puppy to adulthood, then get an adult dog instead. Rescue is the best breed.

2. Get the type of dog that’s compatible with your lifestyle. Don’t get a breed just because you like the look of it, or, even worse, because it’s fashionable and all the celebrities have one. For example, don’t get a Border Collie if your lifestyle is sedentary and your idea of a holiday is to sit and watch TV all day. Because your border collie will drive you mad with its incessant demands to play or go for a walk or just Do Something, and you will BOTH end up going crazy. Similarly, don’t get a British Bulldog if you want a jogging companion or someone to go hill-climbing or hiking with. If you’re obsessed with keeping your house clean from top to bottom, don’t get an Old English Sheepdog…unless of course you’re into the furry look.

3. Find a dog whose temperament suits your own. If you’re an introvert, get an introvert dog. If you’re an extrovert, get an extrovert dog. Yes, these things really do exist…introverts are those shy, timid dogs who just want to be left in peace. Extroverts are the bouncy ones full of energy, who always initiate play and are the first to explore that bush. With puppies it can be harder to tell…but generally, the ones clambering over their littermates or roughhousing them will be the bossy, outgoing ones.

4. Keeping pets is expensive. Consider the cost of vaccinations, booster shots every 1-3 years, dog food, treats, toys, vet bills, the cost of desexing the dog (the wisest choice unless you’re a registered breeder), not to mention replacing your entire set of furniture when your puppy has chewed everything to pieces. When you go away on holiday, you’ll either bring your dog along, which means having to find pet-friendly accommodation (not always easy), or leaving them at boarding kennels (more expenses), or, hiring a pet-sitter to visit and walk and feed your dog while you’re away.

5. Puppies are cute when they’re very young and small. But soon they’ll grow and lose some of their cuteness. That puppy that you thought was going to be a medium-sized dog has turned into a monster the size of a pony. It’s outgrown its bed, crate, dog bowls, toys, your house even. What are you going to do?


3 thoughts on “Before you buy that puppy…

  1. I really don’t agree with the ‘adopt don’t shop’ message…whilst rescuing a dog is a wonderful thing to do, I do not think it is the only ‘good’ option or that people should be forced into it. Buying from a responsible breeder who health checks, has homes for the pups planned in advance, and is willing to take the dog back is a very, very good option and alternative to rescuing.

    Responsible breeders are not to be vilified, and are the complete opposite of puppy farms and BYB. Not everybody is suited to a rescue dog; they might want a pup that has been health tested or a dog that has a lesser chance of already having behavioural issues.

    Rescue or breeder are both good options and people should choose whichever suits them best.

    1. My point was not that adoption be the Only option, but that it should be the First option. All breeders should be registered, to ensure high standards and consistency of breed lines. But there will always be people who buy 2 dogs and start breeding them for profit alone, with no consideration for the welfare of the animals. Just like there will always be music pirates and film pirates, who do it just for the money.

      1. I don’t think adoption should be the first option people should take or consider though.

        I think people should be educated about adoption (the good *and* the bad) and then they should be allowed to make the choice of adoption or responsible breeder – there shouldn’t be a bias, a “you can go to a breeder, but adoption really is better!” feel.

        And of course there will always be gross BYB, but that’s why people need educating about how bad they are. Telling people ALL breeders are bad and everybody has to get rescue dogs won’t help; if someone wants a puppy from a breeder they’ll just use a crap one. Educating people about responsible breeders alongside the option of rescuing, and saying they’re both great options, is far better 🙂

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