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By Libby Mitchell

Are you ready to welcome a new puppy into your home?

Are you really ready to bring a little furry friend home? I mean, are you really ready? Sure it sounds all wonderful in theory, but before you run out and take home the first puppy who melts your heart, there are some things you'll need to consider carefully. Let us take a look.

Do you have time?

Puppies need your time and lots of it. If you are constantly rushing to get everything done, you may want to seriously reconsider the idea of taking home a puppy. A puppy is a new creature to this world. They need your time and attention to learn how to properly live in it. Your new puppy is going to need your help learning how to potty train, how to behave properly around other pets and people, as well as lots of your attention for playtime. Do you have that time to give a deserving puppy?

Is your family in agreement?

This new family member is going to affect everyone in the family. That is why it is a good idea to make sure everyone in the family agrees to accepting this new family member. This ensures the puppy comes into a completely welcoming home and that you don't create any unwanted issues and tension between family members and the puppy, too.

Are you ready for the work?

Puppies take a lot of work. Are you ready for that? Are you prepared to have mop and paper towels in hand constantly? Are you ready to get up in the middle of the night to tend to your puppy's needs, to play even when you don't feel like it, to make vet trips, and to make trips to the store to buy pet food?

Are you ready to handle emergency situations with your puppy? Having a puppy also means managing – like having a village to raise a child – you will need a pet sitter or someone to let out the new one for pee breaks, multiple feedings and company. You do not want to come home seeing your favorite pillow demolished because your new baby wanted to play.

Can you afford a puppy?

Puppies cost money. Even if you can get a puppy absolutely free, your puppy is not going to be free for long. Or, maybe you are buying a purebred pup from a breeder or adopting from a shelter. Either way, the expenses don't end when you take the puppy home, they just begin. Just like a new baby need diapers, you will need pee pads, collars and bowls. And that is just the beginning. Be prepared for this and honestly decide if you really can afford your furry friend.

Do you have support?

We have mentioned that it is hard work taking care of a puppy. Will you have any support to help you when you need a break? Think about this before you take puppy home and you'll save yourself a ton of stress. Support can come in many different forms; from hiring a pet sitter or dog walker, a neighbor who is willing to dog-sit when you go out of town, the friend who can offer puppy potty training advice and help.

If you have honestly answered these questions, then you will be in a very good place to make a realistic decision about whether you can adopt a puppy or not.

If the answers show you are not quite ready for a puppy, then waiting until the time is right is the proper thing to do. You and your potential puppy will be much better off. If the answers show you are ready, congratulations! It is an exciting time as you venture into a whole new world of pet parenting!

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