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Before I went searching for a puppy, I checked with my apartments to make sure I could have another pet. I also made sure I could fit the expenses of a new pet into my budget. And finally, I needed to make sure I had the time for a new dog. Living in an apartment, I would have to take the dogs out for a walk everyday, even in winter. I would have to be around to keep a puppy from crying and disturbing the neighbors. And I couldn’t very well train a puppy if I didn’t have the time.

Research – Time
Puppies take a lot more time for care and training than a full grown dog. For one thing, a puppy’s bladder is very small so they need to go out every couple of hours or so during the day and probably at least two times during the night. It will take time for a puppy to get used to being away from their family so the first few days and nights may be full of puppy cries. Multiple vet visits will take more time. Unlike a full grown dog who may only need to go to the vet once or twice a year, a puppy will need to visit the vet 3-5 times just in the first 6 months alone. This is for booster shots, de-worming, surgery for spaying or neutering, and general health checkups for your fast-growing pet. Time will also be needed for training. You want to start training right away. If you are not familiar with how to train a puppy, classes may be provided by your local pet store, vet, or humane society. If you have a dog or puppy which is known to be very active, you will need to make sure you have the time to go on regular walks and/or visits to the park.

Research – Money
There are a lot of up-front costs for getting a new puppy. There are the vet visits and shots, dog collars, a leash, spay or neuter cost, puppy food, food and water bowls, and chew toys. You may also want to consider a crate for crate training, a dog bed, a pet ID chip, a dog seat belt or pet car seat for traveling in the car, pet health insurance, and a registration tag from your city. There may also be a pet deposit with your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association. The monthly fees for pet care include food, annual shots, bi-annual vet visits, heartguard, flea and tick repellent like Advantix, replacement collars and leashes for regular wear and tear, and finally more chew toys and dog treats. Some apartments or neighborhood associations may also charge you a monthly fee for keeping your pet. You may also need money to board your pet or pay a pet sitter for when you travel and can’t take your dog with you.

Research – Living Conditions
Before you get a new dog or puppy, find out from your apartments, landlord, or neighborhood association if you are allowed to have dogs, and if so, if there is a weight limit. If there is a size or weight limit, you want to make sure you get a puppy that you know will not get very big. If you live in an apartment or a house with no yard, you want to consider getting a dog that does not require a lot of exercise or make sure there is a safe place to take your puppy for regular walks.  Keep in mind that some breeds do much better when they are outdoors and get a lot of exercise.  So be sure to do you research on dog breeds first to make sure the dog you want is suitable for where you live.

Later we will talk about where you can get a new puppy or dog. Check back with us in a few days!

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