Looking back on the past two years, it’s unbelievable the amount of changes that I have gone through both professionally and personally. Each day has brought new challenges and experiences, but thinking back there was one monumental moment that really shaped the person that I am today. It was the day that I rescued my dog, Stella! I remember the first time I saw her and held her little 8lb self in my arms, I felt a feeling that I never felt before; I felt that I had a purpose. Being a puppy mom has brought me so much joy these past two years that I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Having the ability to nurture her and help her to grow into the independent and witty dog that she is today is such an incredible feeling.
Though getting a dog was right for me at the time, this situation is not always ideal for everyone. Remember, adopting a dog is a life changing commitment and the decision should not be made lightly. Before adopting a puppy there are so many things that need to be considered and that you should ask yourself:
- Am I really able to make this long-term commitment?
- Who will be the puppy’s primary caretaker?
- Will a dog really fit into my schedule?
- Am I willing to make the financial commitment of a puppy?
A puppy is not just a cute toy that you buy and then get rid of once you’re no longer interest in it. A puppy is a long-term commitment, more than 15 years’ worth in many cases and you need to be sure that you’re invested in that commitment even once it grows out of the cute puppy phase. With all of the amazing experiences associated with adopting a puppy, the first year with a new puppy also brings its share of trials and tribulations. The first year with your puppy will bring its share of accidents, cleaning up messes and sleepless nights. You will need to have a designated care taker to ensure that your puppy it fed and taken to the restroom on a regular schedule. For the first couple of months it is not uncommon that your puppy needs to be let out every 2-3 hours. Therefore, if you have a full-time school or work schedule you may need to determine whether or not this will be something that you can really commit to. In addition, the first year is typically the most expensive from adoption fees, food, toys and vet visits. An adopter can expect to spend anywhere from $1200 – $3500 during a puppy’s first year and then an additional $500 for every year afterwards. Though dogs are a long-term commitment and have their share of hardships, you can always count on the joy you will get from them and the love you will share.
“No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich.” — Louis Sabin, All About Dogs As Pets