However much you love dogs it is never a good idea to bring home a pup on impulse. A six-week-old puppy requires almost as much care as an infant and continues to require a certain amount of commitment throughout its life.
You may be thinking should I get a dog if I work all day? Well, let’s take a look at what getting a puppy involves and whether it may be the right decision for you.
The First Weeks With a New Puppy
Feeding and Puppy Care
Remember that you are taking the puppy away from its mother, and you, or any other caregiver, become the foster mother. If your pup is brought home at around six weeks old, the most important item on the agenda will be feeding. Most pups will require feeding around every two hours, and intake will be little but frequent.
Cleaning up their mess is a direct corollary, so be prepared for endless rounds of wiping up puddles and poop. A large supply of newspaper comes in very handy at this time. You can also grab some doggy waste bags and deodorizing wipes as well.
Having been separated from its mother, your pup is also likely to demand a fair amount of your attention. The requirement for you here is to be patient and kind, but firm. Nights are likely to be rough on both pup and you, with much whining and exasperation, so be prepared.
Of course, one of the most important things is to choose a vet. Find one who is compatible and that you feel is friendly, compassionate, and competent. This is an important relationship that will hopefully last for many years.
Early Months With a New Puppy
Grooming and Training of Your Dog
As your dog grows older, other needs become more important. It is necessary early on in your relationship to establish certain ground rules. Discipline is one of the fundamentals of dog-rearing, and a well-behaved dog is a joy to care for. Training a dog need not take a large amount of time, but it is necessary to be consistent and focus on obedience in the early months.
For more on what you should focus on with your new puppy, read these articles:
Grooming, especially in long-haired dogs, is an important consideration when you decide to adopt a pup. If time is a constraint, it would not be advisable to choose a long-haired breed. You may instead want to look at a list of low maintenance dog breeds.
You will need to make sure you have either time or money to keep your dog clean and healthy.
Exercise and Play is Important for Dog Care
It is important to choose a breed that will suit your exercise levels and lifestyle. Smaller breeds can get by with less exercise and not be much the worse for wear, but it would be havoc to keep larger breeds cooped up in apartments the whole day without regular exercise. Dogs also need to play; dogs that are played with generally tend to be more active and good-natured. Make sure you can give your dog enough exercise and mental stimulation before you bring one home.
So, should you get a puppy if you work all day? The short answer is no. But it depends on your situation and whether there will be someone else at home that you trust to take over the responsibilities of looking after your puppy while you are at work.
To put it in a nutshell, bringing home a dog is like adopting a baby. He or she is a member of the family and will need to be cared for as such – in terms of companionship, taking care of its health and hygiene, and being generally responsible for a life. In return, what you get is unconditional love, the joy of a five-year-old who never grows up, and the best means of de-stressing day after day!