Should You Get a Puppy in the Summer?
Getting a puppy in the summer seems like a win-win situation, doesn’t it?
The weather is warmer and nicer, so you can leave the puppy outside more.
The kids are home from school. Having a puppy will give them a way to fill their days. They’ll train the dog and learn some lessons in responsibility along the way. You’ll end up with a trained young dog and more responsible kids. It doesn’t get any better than that.
These are all good, valid reasons for getting a puppy this summer. But there are some other things you need to consider as well.
As you know all too well, puppies get into everything. You need to puppy-proof the yard as well as the house. If your yard is fenced, or if you’ve set up a pen for your puppy, make sure there are no holes where she can get out.
Keep the plant food and weed killer stored in sealed containers high off the ground. If you’ve put any fertilizer and/or weed killer on your lawn, make sure your puppy does not run on that area of grass. Not only are the chemicals dangerous if your puppy eats them, but they can also burn noses or feet.
Make sure any flea or tick treatments you use on your puppy or his environment are safe for puppies, and are not intended for adult dog use only.
Puppies Overheat Easily
Puppies don’t regulate their body temperatures as well as adult dogs and can overheat more easily. It’s best to keep your puppy inside as much as possible when it’s hot. Fortunately, puppies also don’t need as much exercise as adult dogs, so you may be able to give her adequate exercise just by playing with her in the house.
Vacation Season Complications
You need to plan for your puppy if you take a vacation. Take your puppy with you on vacation if you can. If that’s not possible, try to have someone stay at your house with your puppy. If that’s not practical, then you can board your puppy. Make sure your puppy has a chance to get to know her temporary caregivers. Have the dog-sitter come to the house a few times before you leave the pup with the sitter. Or take the puppy to the kennel for a few short stays so she can get used to the environment—and learn that you will be back for her.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Puppies learn what to expect based on what we teach them. If you have kids off from school for the summer, it’s great to have the kids there to help train the puppy. But one of the things the puppy learns is that there’s always someone home. After all, someone’s always been home the whole time she’s lived at that house.
So it’s important that you give the puppy alone time. She needs to learn that she will be alone sometimes, but that she is safe, she is still loved, she still has what she needs, and most importantly, that you will be coming back. Teaching her this from an early age will make it easier for her when the family is back on a school-year schedule.
Puppies take a lot of time and patience whenever you get them. Adopting a puppy in the summertime can be great for both the kids and the puppy. Ending the summer with more responsible kids and a well-trained pup on her way to being a wonderful dog—well, it just doesn’t get much better than that.