Is It the Right Time to Get A Puppy?

I was recently made aware that fall is not only a time of pumpkin spice lattes and fuzzy infinite scarves but it is also puppy season.  A time when it seems the human population deems it is acceptable to make the jump into mother hood with a cute furry baby, which I have all the more recently also partaken in. I just adopted a wonderful 14-month-old husky mix, which has thrown me through many wavelengths of emotions. I will give you my complete honesty on the matter thus far.

You may have you been taunted by all the happy people walking their adorable fury friends, which steal your heart with only a quick glimpse. And when you ponder the possibility of having your own cuddle bug in some ways you feel it is 100% doable. But there’s always voices telling you “how hard it really is” and how much “work” a puppy requires.

I’m going on week three with my Kali bear, and all the while it has been the most amazing experience there are something’s to factor in before making the commitment.

1) Remember it’s a 10-15 year commitment.

Puppies aren’t like hamsters, or fish, obviously. But keep in mind that while being in University your life may be at a stable standstill for 4-6 years but what are your plans afterwards? If you plan to embark on a 1 year conquest through Asia or Europe what will you do with what essentially become your child?

2) Puppies require ALL of your time.

If I’m not in class or at work I spend every waking minute with my pup. And realistically she needs every second she can get, between crate and basic training, as well as socializing her with other pups alike she is constantly by my side. There’s no “I’m just going to hang out with some friends and BRB”. Nope.  Bye social life, it was fun while it lasted.

3) No more sleeping in, no more lazy days, and no more hiding away and watching Netflix.

From the time the puppy gets up, I am up. If her day starts at 7 so does mine, regardless of the hangover or lack of sleep from late night study seshs; my life revolves around her schedule. Mind you, with proper crate training and scheduling of her feeding times, I’ve been able to extend my wake up time, just a little bit. Depending on the breed your signing up for a designated lifestyle. Lucky for me I’ve got a husky mix, which has a high endurance and extended play life…

4) No more late nights.

You can’t stumble in at 6 in the morning, because by then you will have missed late night potty breaks and breakfast will be almost ready to be served. You have to restrict your time out because there is a little someone waiting at home probably freaking out that you’re never going to return.

5) Make sure you have proper resources around you.

People will always tell you that you don’t have the time to look after a puppy, which I highly disagree with in many ways. You can always make the time it just depends if you are willing too. What about when you’re in school or work? I am a full time student and I work part time and as hard as it may seem it is 100% doable. What about those “grown ups” with full time 8-4 jobs 5 days a week? Exactly. And on the days that it seems my pup won’t get all the attention she needs, there is a puppy daycare, which is an excellent way to get the proper socialization so she can play nicely with all the other pups of the world.

6) Forget about hitting up Artizia’s fall collection.

I’ve got another mouth to feed, one that is going through a nasty teething stage and prefers the expensive kibble. Working part time makes it all doable but restocking my wardrobe with the beautiful fall pieces is no longer my priority. I find that instead of hitting up the mall I’m taking my puppy to every pet store just to make sure she has everything she needs. People often forget that puppies are expensive, unless you’ve got a leash, collar, crate, toys, bed and treats hiding in the back of your closet it’s all going to cost you. On top of vet bills and monthly food costs this isn’t just a one-time purchase ordeal.

7) Find a dog that fits your lifestyle.

I live in an apartment and while I have a husky mix, a dog typically expected for a large backyard, I ensure that she gets all the exercise she needs in a day. Ottawa has amazing trails along the canal and Gatineau Park provides the perfect wilderness hikes that she craves. But if you aren’t into long walks and high-energy activities then find a dog that fits accordingly. Think long term. Chances are you aren’t going to make a complete 180 on the things you like to do. So find a dog that has the same energy expectations.

While all of these things mentioned may seem negative and a lot of people may have tapped out after no.3, if this is something your 100% on board for none of this should have swayed you away.  In my opinion my puppy is the best thing that has ever happened to me, she has made me a more organized person, I schedule my life out better than ever before. No more last minute projects because it isn’t possible, try to pull an all-nighter studying while your puppy whines because you’re up and she wants to play… I’ve become more money conscience, no more $100 tabs at the bar, followed by expensive hangover breakfasts. And more exercise then any gym membership or personal trainer could have dished out. She’s also taught me patience, and unconditional love. From the time I wake up to the goodnight kisses before bed my pup has brought more joy and happiness to my life then I thought possible.

If getting a dog is something you are serious about be sure to check your local shelters. Adopt don’t shop.



Paulina’s puppy, Kali!