Thumbs up from Kim on getting a puppy now

Page 2 Advice
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Dear Kim,

We have six and ten-year-old sons who desperately want a puppy.  I’ve been a pet owner before and know the joy that pets bring to the family.  I also know they are a ton of work and can be very expensive.  How do we decide if it’s the right time to bring a puppy into our home?



Dear Ja’Nasia,

OMGoodness, you’re asking one of the biggest animal lovers on the planet if you should get a puppy!  The easy answer is yes!  Puppy breath is amazing.  Something about that sweet, innocent smell immediately draws me in and makes me want one NOW.

Seriously though, you are right.  Pet ownership is a tremendous responsibility.  Unlike children who grow up – a pet will need you every day of its life.  They are totally dependent upon you for everything.  I say YOU because we both know that children are still learning to be responsible for themselves.  And while they can learn the responsibility of pet ownership, YOU are ultimately responsible for the dog’s well-being.  I heard “I’ll take care of it” from both my sons.  The reality is if they don’t take care of it, you must.  I make this point only because it really boils down to whether YOU want the responsibility yourself. suggests you consider the following when getting a puppy:

1. The season

2. Your schedule

3. Your puppy’s temperament

Sunshine is Helpful

Most dog owners and dog sitters agree that spring or summer are the optimal seasons for adding a four-legged friend to your family. Warmer months are ideal times for housebreaking your puppy, and they also give you the benefit of longer and sunnier days for walks and playtime.

Fall and winter can be a little harder for breeds that are sensitive to chilly temperatures. Also, consider that cold weather makes house training harder to accomplish. (Think about how you much you don’t like to go outside when it’s dark, cold, or rainy out—your dog will likely feel the same.) The months before the end of the year are also jam-packed with the chaos of holiday shopping, traveling, and family gatherings.

When Can You Take Time Off?

Get a puppy at a time when you can create a predictable routine for your new dog. You should consider whether you’re taking any time off to travel during these first months with your pup. Keep in mind that dogs are pack animals and like to be part of the family. It might be stressful for your puppy to be separated from you right after becoming part of the family.  At the end of the day, get your puppy at a time when you can dedicate some quality hours to bonding, training, and snuggles. You’ll both need time to adjust to each other. There may some ups and downs as you learn each other’s personalities, and as you make room in your life for an energetic canine family member.

Fortunately, even if you have a busy work schedule, frequent travel plans, or just too much to do and not enough time—you can still enjoy the love of a dog. That’s because it’s easier than ever to find and book quality, personalized pet care in your neighborhood.

Whew, that was a lot.  My last recommendation is – adopt, don’t shop.  With so many animals in shelters that need a great home, I’m sure you can find one that is perfect for you and your family.  Now, go get that puppy!

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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