When you are thinking about adding a four-legged friend to your family, a puppy can sound like a great option. After all, puppies are adorable and their young age makes them ideal if you are looking for a pet that will be around for many years to come. However, if you have never raised a puppy before, there are some important facts that you should know before you adopt your puppy. Get to know some of those facts and then, you can better determine if a young puppy is the right pet choice for your family.
Puppies Require a Lot of Outside Breaks
Potty training can be one of the most challenging aspects of raising a young puppy. Puppies are not naturally housebroken and need to be properly trained to go outside to do their business. This can make for a lot of work for prospective pet parents.
If you adopt a puppy, you can expect to have to take them outside every hour to every couple of hours to relieve themselves. Puppies have small bladders and minimal control over the bladder as well as defecation. To avoid numerous accidents in the house, you will want to take them outside as frequently as possible.
Putting puppy pads throughout your house can also help with the inevitable occasional accident indoors. This will make cleanup easier and will give your puppy a "safe" place to do their business if you do not get them outside fast enough. Should your pup use the pad, do not punish them (nor should you punish them for any accident in the house). Simply take them outside and give them another chance to do their business outdoors. If and when they do their business outside, celebrate and reward your puppy as doing so will give them positive associations with doing their business outside.
You Will Want to Spay or Neuter at Six Months of Age
Another key factor to consider when you are looking to adopt a puppy is that you will want to get them spayed or neutered while they are still young. At six months old, your puppy reaches reproductive maturity and is old enough to undergo this surgical procedure.
Around that age, male puppies may begin exhibiting testosterone-driven behaviors like toy and food aggression, rough play, and even marking territory inside the house. Female dogs may go into heat for the first time shortly after reaching six months as well, making the possibility of them getting pregnant strong. If you want to avoid these issues or simply want to ensure that your puppy is as healthy as possible for many years to come, you will want to spay or neuter them shortly after reaching the six month mark. Pet neutering and spaying can help a dog to live longer, cut down on unwanted behaviors, and otherwise help your dog to be happy and healthy throughout their life.
Now that you know a few of the facts to be aware of before adopting a puppy, you can be sure that a puppy is the right addition to your family.