The answer to this question is simple: when your heart tells you it is time.
Don't overthink the decision. You are not home 8 to 10 hours a day? The pup spending her 24 hours in a cage, only to have one or two 10 minute walks by someone she may or may not know is certainly in not better a situation than you can give her. And that if she is in a no-kill shelter. If not, you know what can happen. So if you are ready, which ever pup you choose, be it from a rescue organization or a reputable breeder, that pup is ready too. We say reputable breeder for there are times that an adopter needs to know eventual personality or if the pup will cause allergies in a family member and that may be the best way to predict. But overwhelmingly, save-a-life is the way most of us go.
So once your heart is ready, be this your first pup or your dog-to-be in series of wonderful ones who have put their paws on your heart, you two checklists. The easy one is "stuff" such as water bowls and doggie beds. That's easy and we'll talk about that next week.
The trickier one is preparing your routine, for your new family member is wired to be a pack member. One of the ways pack members stick together is by routine. So it doesn't matter if you get up at 5:00 or at 8:00 as long as pup is able to set her internal clock. Sleep late on the weekends? That works, too, but make it consistent.
Know who in the family will be responsible for what - feeding, cleaning up mistakes, walkings, communicating with the dog walker.
Be prepared to not only give tons of love (that's easy) but understand that pup has had some bad things happened before fate happily landed him on a leash with you. He may have come from a high kill shelter in the South, or been dumped by a family in Puerto Rico still suffering from Hurricane Maria or he could be an older pup who whose owner passed away after many years of life and love together. Fortunately, most dogs are very emotionally resilient but just like our military personal returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, after the same experience some will need more emotional support. Yes, PTSD occurs in dogs, too, and can be treated quite successfully, but if your pup has issues, you will definitely both be happier if you address them with a behavior professional.
When you have your Meet and Greet with your Brooklyn Bark team prior to starting your puppy care, feel ready to discuss any and all of these points with us. This is the perfect time to establish communication with your pup's new Care Associate who is a pet professional and who will be spending one on one time (at no additional charge) until she has all her shots and is given vet clearance to doggie socialize.
Next week we'll have a checklist of hard goods you'll need for a new doggie member of your family. That's easy. But meanwhile, as you prepare and would like to learn more about Brooklyn Bark's Puppy Visits, contact our Client Services Manager at Inquiry@BklynBark.com or 347-850-4982.