It’s an exciting prospect, bringing a new puppy into your home. You’ve talked with friends and family and you’re ready for the next step in life.
However, a lot of new puppy parents can be clouded in delight, often forgetting some of the vital considerations before buying a puppy.
So, here at Squishface, we’ve put together the ultimate dog checklist for you! After falling in love with Mable and bringing her home, there’s aspects of dog-parenting we never considered. So, now we’ve got the T-shirt, it’s your turn.
1. Firstly: Breed Basics
You need to research breeds before simply buying the first baby that gives you puppy eyes.
This is because each breed brings its own requirements of care, space, exercise, diet and attention. Although all dogs go to heaven, you’d be forgiven for thinking they all need the same cookie-cutter care sheet.
Let’s take the brachycephalic dogs like the Pug or Bulldog. Their features comprise of the adorably squished 2D face but also unwanted health risks, too. These include;
- restricted airflow
- smelly wrinkles
- dog tear stains
- heatstroke disposition
- and the ever-despised snoring.
Then there’s the log-haired dogs like the Afghan Hound or Cocker Spaniel. Their luscious locks require daily grooming, regular baths and specific coat conditioners!
But, it’s important that – not only do you know different dog breeds – you trust the seller. Lots of crossbreeding can occur meaning a puppy looks like one breed, it may grow into another.
And, that’s why you need your ultimate dog checklist in order to make sure you’re ready for whatever your lovable pup throws your way.
2. They Are Your Family
A dog’s love is for life. The average life span of a dog is approximately 13 years. Of course, some breeds experience complications and pedigrees are another can of worms (think ancient Egyptian lineage).
So, you need to be prepared for the long-haul. While kids move-out after 18 years (fingers crossed), there are cases of dogs living over 20 years!
But, again just like children, growing dogs enter phases of the adorable puppy to the rebellious teenager. Dogs respond to energies around them and when they grow, their personalities evolve!
So, treat your furry family with all the care, love and attention they deserve, and you’ll get it back ten-fold.
3. Know Your Diseases
Unlike pets living in vivarium’s, your pup is wild and free (like you wish you were). Which means they encounter new bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites every day.
And, that’s why Squishface is here to tell you to familiarize yourself with the signs of all regular diseases your dog may come into contact with.
Unfortunately, particular dogs are more prone to some diseases than others. Let’s take our lovable wrinkly dogs as an example, again: their wrinkles make the perfect breeding ground of bacteria (It’s a smelly endeavor!).
So, be aware of specific products you’ll need to buy. All of the perfect lumps and bumps on our wrinkly dogs need extra cleaning and care using products such as the Squishface Wrinkle Paste.
Bonus: the Squishface Wrinkle Paste is specially formulated with coconut oil and a water-resistant barrier to reduce your dog catching a disease at the park! For more, check out our other article: “The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on Dogs”.
4. Will They Be Prone Puppies?
Leading from the last point, it’s important to know the difference: how external factors cause disease vs a dog’s lineage causing problems down-the-line.
Of course, nobody’s perfect. We humans have our foibles just like anything. But we understand sings and can help ourselves. However, our near-perfect pooches can’t!
Make sure you’re aware of what each breed is prone to. Such as pups who show rusty residue under the eyes. These are called dog tear stains. Sometimes it’s simple overproduction of the precorneal fluid, and other occasions it’s time for the vet.
For more information on dog tear stains, which breeds are prone and what they could mean, check out our other article; “Why Does My Dog Have Tear Stains? The Ultimate Doggy Know-How”.
Otherwise, make sure you’re prepared by stocking up on Squishface Tear Stain Paste. With a week-long treatment, you can keep your pooch’s money-maker looking and smelling fresh.
5. They Will Eat Everything, Including Your Wallet!
Of course, this is often the first aspect people consider before buying a puppy. And, it would be silly to miss off the dog checklist.
Just in case there’s anything on the doggy expense list you may have missed, here’s some important things adding up in the bank:
- Pet Insurance
- Bonus House Deposit (renters)
- Vet Registration and Fees
- Continuous Dog Food
- Doggy Bags
- Collars and Leads
- Dog Beds
- Shampoos and Conditioners
- Squishface Wrinkle Paste
- Squishface Tear Stain Paste
- Pet Sitting
- Dog Hotel
- Car/Trunk Adjustments
- Tooth care
The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises sitting down to see whether your budget stretches for a small, medium or large sized pup. Their figures suggest that the average yearly costs are $15,051 for a small dog, $15,782 for a medium pup and $14,480 for a large hound.
So, be sure that you’re happy with the investment!
6. Know the Responsibility
It may come without saying but the responsibility of having a dog is immense.
Growing up, did you ever ask for a dog, but be told it’s too much responsibility needing walks every day come rain or shine? It’s true. You do need to be committed to providing your pooch with regular exercise, care and attention no matter the weather or if you feel unwell.
It must be added that puppies require extra love and attention through growth and training.
So, unless you’re prepared to deal with the miss-haps of potty training and wondering why your wonderfully smart dog keeps rolling over when you say sit, perhaps consider adopting an older fluff.
7. Doggy-Proof Your Pad
Much alike babyproofing, you’ll need to make your house fit for a king dog. I.e. making sure there are no dangerous objects and laying out the boundaries with numerous baby-gates.
Here’s a few areas that should be made safe for your new addition:
- Tidy away cables
- Make sure the toilet is closed
- Restrict access to balconies
- Remove poisonous houseplants like lilies or ivy
- Set-up sleeping and eating areas
- Lock-up medicines, cleaning products or other harmful things they could sink their teeth into
The important thing is to make sure you are bringing your puppy into a calm, safe and homely environment.
8. Vet Your Vet
This is one of the most important factors you should consider before buying a puppy: Perhaps top of your dog checklist.
Find vets in your area and speak with them about bringing your puppy home as well as costs, waiting times, reviews, years in practice, a small practice tour and more.
They will be providing life-saving care to your dog as well as the check-ups, breed facts, vaccinations, and advice on products like Squishface Wrinkle Paste and Squishface Tear Stain Paste.
If your puppy gets into a bag of who-knows-what or tears-up your couch, you need to race to the vets. If your dog is simply not acting themselves, get to the vets. They will be your best friend (second-best, after your pooch of course).
A final though here would be to consider whether your vet accepts your pet insurer. There are times where vets won’t work with specific health insurers, or they offer their own plans. So, make sure you’re happy with your insurance plan and it works with your vet.
Here comes the fun bit (aside from bringing the puppy home); accessorizing!
When making your home puppy-proof, you’ll be infatuated with buying toys, treats, blankets, beds and maybe outfits. And, we say; go wild!
Your puppy needs to feel at home as quickly as possible, so bonding and training can begin. In order to do this, they’ll want entertainment and comfort.
Don’t panic if you’ve bought the most comfortable bed and your pup still doesn’t want to sleep in it (picture Lady and the Tramp). With time your dog will settle into its new home.
Accessorizing in advance also gives you time to become accustomed to placement. Meaning you can move the bed around to its forever spot without confusing your pup in the process.
Other things to consider would be the collar. This will change depending on your dog’s neck size; you should fit two fingers between the neck and collar. So, try and buy a few different sizes to allow for growing room.
Don’t forget the leash, too!
10. Where to Pick-Up Your New Family Member
Finally, after crossing everything else off your dog checklist, it’s time to find your friend.
When looking for a dog, you’ll need to decide between rehoming an old hound or sourcing a new litter. There are plenty of old dogs in need of new homes who are already trained. While there are also puppies that will join you for years to come, offering unconditional love.
Not only that, but it will also determine where you search. There are many charities you can visit across the USA for a preloved pooch, but newborns will often be found at individual breeder’s homes.
With that, a last nugget of advice from the Squishface family is to beware of bad breeders. You should be able to visit your puppy with their parents, check the living conditions, and receive full health backgrounds. Not only this, but trusted sellers should be registered with the AKC, so take a quick look at their databases!
Of course, the last thing that we want to do here at Squishface is deter you from finding your perfect addition to the family. There are so many fantastic aspects of owning a dog that bring so much joy and purpose.
You just need to be prepared: wrinkly, long-haired, short or large, owning a dog is no walk in the park!
Check out our website for more blogs with tips and tricks about your pooch or find yourself browsing our products at Squishface.com.