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10 Reasons Not to Get a Puppy: Important Things to Consider

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on July 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman holding an 8 weeks old smooth hair brown dachshund puppy

10 Reasons Not to Get a Puppy: Important Things to Consider


Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo


Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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With their small size, adorable eyes, and incomparable puppy smell, it can be difficult to resist the allure of getting a puppy. Although the thought of owning a puppy sounds wonderful, caring for them is not as easy as it may seem.

You might focus on the positives of puppy ownership, like endless cuddles and a new best friend, but it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to bringing a puppy into your home than just the good stuff. Puppies are a lot of work, time, and money, and not everyone is prepared for such a commitment. Getting a puppy should be a thoroughly planned and well-researched event, rather than an impulsive decision.

This article will focus on the 10 reasons not to get a puppy.

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The 10 Reasons for Not Getting a Puppy

1. They Are Expensive

Puppies can cost a lot of money, sometimes more than most people expect. Food and the occasional toy are not the only expenses associated with owning a puppy. According to an AKC survey, the annual costs associated with dog ownership averaged $2,500. This included costs such as vet checkups, food, pet insurance, and pet sitters, amongst others. However, there are many more potential costs to expect.

Be prepared to spend money on the following things for a puppy:
  • Vet bills
  • Grooming supplies
  • Preventative medications
  • Vaccinations
  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Exercise gear (leash, harness, or collar)
  • Beds
  • Treats or dietary supplements
  • Dog trainer fees
  • Puppy socialization class fees
  • Doggy daycare fees
  • Crate
  • Pet insurance
  • Microchipping
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Dog sitters

2. You Have a Busy Schedule

lawyer working 0n documents
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

If you have a busy schedule and you are away from home for long periods, or don’t have a lot of free time, then a puppy probably isn’t a good idea for you. Puppies take up a lot of our time, especially when they are being trained and socialized, and this period will set the tone for the rest of their lives.

You don’t want to leave your puppy home alone with someone who isn’t able to constantly supervise the puppy and train them. You also can’t expect the puppy to stay in a crate or bathroom all day until you get home and have a few minutes to spend with them. It’s important to dedicate a lot of your time to caring for your puppy and a busy schedule can make that difficult.

3. Your Landlord Doesn’t Allow Pets

If your landlord doesn’t allow you to keep pets on the property, it isn’t a good idea to try to hide a puppy from your landlord. There are too many risks involved and it could potentially lead to the tough decision of either having to give up your puppy or lose your home.

Plus, you don’t want to affect your puppy’s quality of life by having to hide them from neighbors, landlords, or agents who were unaware of a pet on the property.

4. Members of the Household are Allergic

woman having allergic reactions to a dog
Image by: New Africa, Shutterstock

It isn’t a good idea to get a puppy if members of your household have allergies to dogs. Even mild allergies to dogs can make people feel uncomfortable since the allergens will always be around them. Although they might offer to take regular allergy medication to help manage their symptoms, it still isn’t a plausible long-term solution, and not fair if they are going to be constantly battling their allergies.

5. Training Takes Time

Not everyone has the patience and time to train a puppy, especially breeds that are more difficult to train than others, or those that need strong leadership. Training usually begins when a puppy is only a few weeks old, and it can sometimes take two years before you start seeing progress.

If you aren’t ready to train a puppy every day or spend a lot of money on a dog trainer to do it for you, then these are good reasons not to get one. Many dogs end up in shelters because their owners either didn’t put the time into their training, or weren’t patient enough to get through their adolescent stage.

6. You Promised Your Child

Young Asian boy playing with Alaskan Klee Kai puppy sitting on grass
Image by: Golden Pixels LLC, Shutterstock

You might feel compelled to get a puppy because your young child wants one and has promised to care for it, and it may seem like you are doing your child a favor and helping them learn how to be responsible. However, most young children cannot commit to the care a puppy needs so most of the responsibility falls onto you.

You will be the one making informed decisions about the puppy, training them, feeding, and cleaning up after them, and covering their medical bills. You should not get a puppy if you expect your child to care for them and don’t plan on being very involved with their care and expenses, because that’s not usually how things turn out.

7. Vet Bills

When you get a puppy, you are committing to all of their care needs, which includes access to veterinary care. There are numerous reasons your dog would need to be taken to a vet, whether it’s for sterilization surgery, vaccinations, wellness checks, or emergency care. Almost all puppies will need to be taken to the vet at some point in their lives.

Vet bills can be costly, so it’s a good idea to always have enough money aside in a savings account to use in emergencies. Furthermore, it is a good idea to invest in pet insurance to help cover some of the costs. Most pet insurance plans are paid monthly, so you would need to budget for that additional monthly expense too.

Large and unexpected vet bills can take a toll on your wallet and even the healthiest dog could still require veterinary care costing a few thousand dollars. It’s best not to get a puppy if you do not have the financial stability to cover a puppy’s vet bills.

8. You Already Have a Puppy

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy playing or smelling the man
Image by: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

In many cases, it’s not a good idea to have two similarly aged puppies in the same home. Owning one puppy is already a major commitment, so taking the responsibility of caring for another puppy is too challenging for many people.

Plus, having two puppies around the same age could lead to behavioral problems associated with littermate syndrome. It’s better to wait until your current puppy has been fully trained and socialized and is at least one to two years old before getting another puppy.

9. You Want to Breed Them

Unless you are a reputable dog breeder with expert knowledge and the necessary finances and skills, you should not get a puppy with the intent to breed them one day. Dog breeding can leave you with more expenses and challenges than you originally bargained for.

Furthermore, not every dog should be bred and there are various factors to consider beforehand.

10. You Plan to Give Them as a Gift

Brown Labrador with a bow tie infront of a christmas tree
Image by: Alina Tanya, Shutterstock

Puppies can seem like the best gift ever to someone who doesn’t expect it, but it won’t always seem this way for long. You should not get a puppy as a gift for someone who isn’t ready to commit to one. Puppies are a huge responsibility and a decade or more commitment that someone needs time to prepare for.

If the person being gifted the puppy isn’t ready to care for one, then it isn’t fair to put that responsibility on them.

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Some Alternatives to Getting a Puppy

If you’ve realized that the timing isn’t right for you to have a puppy, it doesn’t mean you will be completely deprived of puppy love. There are several options you can look into that can meet your puppy-cuddle needs without taking on the full-time responsibility of owning one yourself.

  • Offer to look after a friend or family’s puppy when they are away from home.
  • Sign up to a pet care provider and become a dog walker or pet sitter.
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter.

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There are many reasons not to get a puppy, and they usually involve not being able to meet their care needs or cover necessary expenses. It is easy to be blinded by a puppy’s cuteness and not give much thought to what their care actually involves. Responsible pet ownership is so important, and a part of that is recognizing when it’s not the right time to have a dog.

You should always do plenty of research and careful planning before getting a puppy – they are wonderful and loving and fun, but they also need a lot of work, money, and time.

Featured Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock

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