german shepherd puppy looking up at owner

Getting a new puppy: the ultimate guide reading-time-icon 3 min read

Puppies are adorable. We all know that, but it’s one thing to play with a puppy and another thing entirely to be their owner.

Getting a new puppy can be one of the best things you ever do, but it’s important to be sure you’re making the right decision.

Puppy ownership will take time, money and a fair amount of patience on your part, so before you decide anything, make sure you do your research.

Let’s take a closer look at the questions to ask yourself as a prospective puppy owner. And if getting a puppy is the right thing for you, we’ve got some top tips on selecting a legitimate breeder, as well embarking on a new life with your best friend-to-be.

Should I get a dog – yay or nay?

Dogs are great. Their positivity knows no bounds, they cheer us up, keep us well entertained and even better exercised – but your lifestyle will change when you become an owner. If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of getting a new puppy or dog, try asking yourself:

Do you have the time?

Remember – dogs are highly sociable creatures. If you work long hours, could your partner, family or roommates help?

Do you have the money?

You may easily spend over £1,000 on your new pup. And that’s not all; there’s food, preventative treatments and vet bills to think of too.

whippet puppy close-up

Do you have the patience (or, are you ready)?

New puppies will need to be trained. This can take time, endurance and could prove to be quite puzzling. If one family member is unsure now, think how unsure they’ll be when there’s poo on their carpet!

Food for thought...

If getting a puppy isn’t right for you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that getting a pet isn’t right for you. Read more about choosing the right pet for your family.


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New puppy or rescue dog?

This will depend on your lifestyle, and what you want from your new furry friend. That said, adopting a dog is incredibly admirable – especially with so many living in rescue shelters in the UK.

A rescue dog will likely be a grown-up, which means their personality will be fully formed and they’ll be (somewhat) trained. You might find this easier if you’re a first-time owner, or if you don’t have the free time for training.

Rescue dogs may suffer from behavioural problems or pre-existing health conditions, but don’t let this put you off. Most reputable rescue shelters will provide all the info you need, and will be able to advise on the type of owner the dog in question is best suited to.

Read more: Adopting a dog: what to expect when rehoming a rescue dog.

Choosing a breeder

Choosing the right breeder is very important and it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a licensed, legitimate breeder and an illegal puppy trader who’s attempting to trick you.

When it comes to buying a puppy, never make any impulsive decisions. Take time to do your research, and to make sure the puppy you choose is healthy and legally bred. Don’t let yourself be tricked into buying an illegally bred puppy; you may feel like you’re helping the poor creature (and indeed you would be) but ultimately, you’d be contributing to the illegal puppy trade as a whole.

To help you make the right choice, take a look at our guide to spotting a responsible dog breeder.

siberian husky puppy

Life with your new puppy

Then for the exciting part! It’s time to bring your new puppy home.

A few lifestyle changes will be waiting for you, especially if you’re new to dog ownership, but the rewards will be unprecedented.

My Family Vets are here to help you on your adventure too, with detailed advice on:

And if you’d like more information on the above, speak to a vet. 

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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