Adopting a puppy is a big step and a huge responsibility. Puppies are like infants and you will be the parent. Think about what that would entail: feeding, comforting a puppy who misses his canine mother and siblings, or who gets scared during a storm or is afraid of loud noises, training, grooming, taking the puppy outside to go potty several times a day (and maybe into the night), doctoring when the puppy gets sick, and of course playing with him.
The financial responsibilities should always be the first consideration. There are adoption fees, veterinarian fees for puppy shots, checkups and emergencies, gear for the puppy (collar, leash, maybe a halter), dog bed, water bowl, food bowl, puppy food and treats, toys, sweaters for cold weather, and perhaps a travel crate. If your puppy has long hair, there will be grooming fees if you take him to a groomer. If you travel for work, go on a vacation, have an out of town/state emergency, there will be boarding fees if you have no one to watch the puppy in your absence.
The next thing to think about is your household. If you live in an apartment, townhouse or condo, you will need to find out if there are restrictions about the size, or breed of dogs that are allowed on the property. Will you have to pay an additional pet deposit? What about pet rent? Many places are charging pet rent in addition to your monthly rental payment.
Some neighborhoods have strict rules about potty pickup. Do you have potty bags to pick up after your puppy when you walk him? If you live in a house, do you have
a fenced yard or patio where the puppy can go outside and play? Will the yard or patio be big enough for when the puppy is grown?
Do you live alone, or do you live with a husband, wife, roommate(s), children, or other pets? If you live alone, the responsibilities all fall on you. If you have a family, do they want a new puppy? If so, great. Everyone can step in to take care of the new puppy. If not, there may be hard feelings and the puppy may not understand hostilities toward him. This could be psychologically damaging to a young puppy’s emotions and cause all sorts of problems.
Do you have other pets? They may not be thrilled to see your new addition to the family. Cats may scratch the playful puppy. Bigger dogs may roughhouse or bite the puppy. You will have to be the hall monitor to make sure the puppy doesn’t get hurt during the first few days or weeks until all of your furry family members have adjusted to the new member of the household.
Monthly necessities that don’t go away are flea treatments, and heartworm
preventative treatments. Also, if you are squeamish and can’t trim your puppy’s toenails, or clean his ears, or are afraid to give him a bath, you have to pay a groomer. Don’t forget to document your puppy’s progress in your The Puppy Baby Book!