Most people who are planning to get a puppy want to know if there is any advice on how to pick the best puppy for them from a litter. The answer is “yes” and we’ll get to that in part two of this post, but before you go to meet puppies, you need to answer a series of questions that will set you, and your pup, up for success.

One – Do you already have a dog or dogs in your household? If the answer is yes, then when you go to meet your prospective pup, you will need to observe how he interacts with the other dogs, either at the shelter or at the breeder’s facility. We will discuss more about this in part two of this post.

Two – Do you have children? If so, then not only will you pup need to be child friendly, your children will need to be dog friendly! This means you will need to spend time with them to teach them how to respect their new dog’s personal space and get them involved in her training and care.

Three – Are you at home most of the time or are you away for work most days? Puppies can’t be left alone all day. If you work, do you have someone at home to care for the puppy or if not, do you have the funds to hire someone to help?

Four – Even if you are home most days, do you have backup in the form of friends, or family members or even a paid dog walker who can help out if necessary, in case you are ill or are called away? It’s important to have someone you trust in case of an emergency, who has a set of keys to your house and who can care for your pup if you can’t be there.

Five – Are you up for walking and exercising your dog every day? If you are a couch potato, are you really going to be excited about taking your dog for a walk on a cold winter’s day. Puppies and young dogs need a lot of exercise, depending on the breed, so think carefully about this one.

Six – Are you able to afford all the expenses that come with owning a dog? Not only is there food to buy, a collar, toys and treats, but there will be ongoing medical expenses for things like getting him neutered, heart worm tests and preventative meds, vaccinations, boarding or a pet sitter when you are on vacation and so forth. This all adds up. Make sure you are not going to short change your dog because you don’t have the money to properly care for him.

In part two, we’ll look at what you need to be aware of when you actually go to look at puppies.

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