Should I Get a Puppy? What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Dog

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A dog isn’t merely a pet. Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you, their dog is a bonafide member of the family! Dogs are full of personality, energy, and loyalty. They take their duties to faithfully protect you and your family to heart even if they’re pint-sized. And just like people, dogs can feel […]

A dog isn’t merely a pet. Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you, their dog is a bonafide member of the family! Dogs are full of personality, energy, and loyalty. They take their duties to faithfully protect you and your family to heart even if they’re pint-sized. And just like people, dogs can feel down in the dumps if they don’t get the right amount of love and attention.

In a lot of ways, getting a dog and caring for a dog is right up there on the commitment scale next to choosing your spouse, and we aren’t kidding! The average dog lives a solid 15 to 20 years, while the average American marriage lasts only 8.2! Man’s best friend, indeed… 

A deep companionship between you and your puppy is formed the day you take your new, soft lump of love home, and the last thing you want is to go into the relationship unprepared, or worse, unable to properly care for your furry family member in both the short and long terms.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, there are 9 things to consider.


Dogs are far from independent creatures, and puppies can be a real handful. Puppies have high energy, so it’s a good idea to research dog breeds for their activity level. Unlike other pets who enjoy solitude, canines require attention first thing in the morning and quality social time with their owners each day. We’re talking a total of at least two hours each day, which includes meal times, potty walks & play walks—yes, there’s a difference!—and plenty of snuggling in the evenings.


Are you a socialite or world traveler? Do you frequently leave town for work trips? If so, who will care for your dog during your away-time? This is an important aspect to consider as part of your decision to get a puppy, because in order to keep your dog happy, healthy, and cared for, you’ll need to make arrangements ahead of time to ensure all of your dog’s needs are met while you’re away.

But don’t worry, you have options. Hiring a dog walker, or even a dog sitter who can stay at your home overnight, will do the trick and is an ideal solution as compared to using a boarding kennel. That being said, the right boarding kennel could work, just be sure to research the facility and the company’s reputation beforehand. Alternatively, having a friend or family member stop in on your dog multiple times a day is a way to keep your dog happy while you’re away.

Tip If you lead a busy life and aren’t home much, you may need to better accommodate your dog’s need for social time and space by hiring a dog walker, bringing your dog to doggy daycare, or asking a trustworthy friend, neighbor, or loved one to stop in to walk, feed, and play with your pup.


No one likes to feel cooped up, and dogs are especially sensitive to feeling penned in. For this reason it’s important to ask yourself, do you have room for a dog and how much space do dogs need? Depending on the breed and temperament, your dog may need a lot or a little space in order to feel comfortable inside, but even if you live in a small apartment, your playful pup will feel fine as long as there’s quality playtime outside each day during which they can run, jump, and get their energy out. 


If the burning question at the forefront of your mind is, how much work is raising a puppy? Then you are right over the target! Raising and training your new puppy requires patience and consistency, which could be challenging if you’re also employed full-time, caring for your children or other loved ones, or just plain juggling several balls in the air. The most important aspect to bear in mind here is that as soon as you bring your puppy home, the first two or three weeks will be the most intense due to initial housebreaking training.

At Petland Texas, we offer a housebreaking kit with the purchase of every Petland puppy to provide new puppy parents with the tools they’ll need to facilitate the training process and mitigate growing pains for their pups. Getting your new puppy not to go wee-wee in the living room is one matter, but training your puppy so that it’s well-behaved and listens on command is quite another endeavor. Ask yourself, who will train your dog? Can you commit to training your dog or should you hire a trainer? How does tackling the endeavor with Petland’s help sound? We offer a FREE 6-Week Training Program at all of our store locations, which you can utilize upon taking your new Petland puppy home.


The health of your dog will directly impact its overall happiness, and there are many healthcare milestones along a puppy’s journey to adulthood and beyond. Within the first year, your puppy will need to receive vaccinations every three weeks until they are about sixteen weeks old, and also start prevention medications for heartworms, fleas, and ticks. After your puppy matures, it should get spayed or neutered, and beyond that, you can expect to bring your dog to the vet annually for checkups, according to Fetch by WebMD. But don’t let the challenge of properly vetting the vets in your area overwhelm you! Petland Texas makes choosing the right veterinarian for your puppy easy when you take home one of our precious pups. We offer FREE lifetime wellness visits with our store-selected veterinarian, Your Pets Vets


We’ve all cherished those movie moments when someone opens a present and an adorable puppy jumps out, but in real life you definitely don’t want to surprise your family, significant other, or friend with a puppy if doing so will be completely out of the blue. Bringing a dog into your life and the lives of those around you is a big decision with long-term impacts, so it’s critical to not only consider your family and their potential new relationship with the puppy, but to also discuss the possibility of a puppy with them so that everyone understands that having a new dog at home will mean big changes for everyone. Make sure the dog breed you get will be a good fit for everyone in your family.


To elaborate on raising and training a puppy, we want to place special emphasis on the importance of puppy-proofing your home. Puppies are inquisitive by nature and playful at heart, but if they get curious about the wrong thing, such as the kitchen trash, they could quickly turn their curiosity about all those interesting garbage smells into a game that ends with your home covered in trash—yikes! Or worse, your new puppy could accidentally get injured by venturing into the wrong room that has hazardous materials for example. Similar to the precautions parents take with their toddlers at home, you will need to puppy-proof your house.  

Puppy-Proofing Checklist 

  • Buy garbage receptacles that have locking lids  
  • Remember to always keep the exterior doors and windows of your home closed and locked when you aren’t around
  • Make sure dangerous and sharp objects, including knives, scissors, and tools are never left out or within your puppy’s reach if you are using the item
  • Keep all potential choking hazards like marbles, coins, jewelry, thumb tacks, etc. in closed containers, and be sure that your prescription medications remain in the medicine cabinet
  • Make a habit of keeping your toilet lids down, or buy toilet clamps to lock your toilets closed
  • Puppies love to chew so keep all electrical cords either out of reach, or use cord concealers
  • Resist the urge to sneak table scraps to your puppy since there are a number of foods that are poisonous to dogs, including chocolate, raisins, and Xylitol as found in sugarless gum and other sugarless food items


If you’ve made it this far considering all the things you need to know before getting your first puppy, then it’s time for you to decide where you will get your new dog. Should you purchase the dog? Or should you adopt a dog from the local animal shelter? There are many differences between the two options, but the main one is this—you can purchase a puppy, but adopting a puppy from a shelter is virtually impossible. Animal shelters tend to home adult-age dogs and cats who have been dropped off by their prior owners. Rarely will someone bring an unwanted puppy to a shelter. That being said, there are pros to adoption, the greatest of which is that you won’t have to housebreak the dog.  


The big takeaway here is that having a new puppy requires a significant, long-term commitment. The deep bond and long-lasting relationship that is formed starting the day you get your first puppy can change your life and fill your heart with joy, just make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Caring for your new dog will take time, money, and a lot of know-how, but along the way you will experience the daily joys of loving and watching your puppy grow into a mature, charismatic dog. 

Still debating whether or not a puppy is right for you and your family? Check out our other articles, 5 Signs You’re Ready for a New Puppy and 10 Fun Things To Do with Your New Puppy. Or are you ready to fall in love with your first furry friend? Meet the Petland puppies and breeds that are available at our Texas locations.