This question should really sit alongside questions such as “How long is a piece of string?” 😉
Perhaps the question isn’t just “When’s the right time?” but more, what other factors are involved in making the decision.
- Financial – can I afford the best food, training, insurance and veterinary care for this new puppy or dog?
- Time – can I organise my life around having a new dog with toilet training, feed times, training lessons etc?
- Family – do the rest of the family want a new dog as much as I do? Will they welcome them or will they be resentful of them?
- Other pets – are your other dogs in the ‘maintenance’ phase of their life e.g. are they pretty well-behaved and don’t need you to be focusing exclusively on them?
- What sort of dog – what breed, and do I want a puppy or rescue dog?
- Their role – family pet or a combination of family pet and canine athlete? Are their needs congruent with my own?
If any of these questions cause you to have any doubts then I would explore them further before going ahead and making a commitment to a new dog. Because unless you have exceptional circumstances where rehoming is the most appropriate course of action, hopefully this new family member will be with you for a very long time.
For example, despite my love of agility I own two dogs that don’t compete – Kai because of his accident and Diva because well, it’s my love not hers 🙂
Make the decision about them being a great pet first, as all my dogs are – then you’ll be just fine 🙂
As for me, well I hadn’t planned on having a puppy in 2015. But suddenly my youngster Jade was getting on for 3.5 years old, and my darling Ella was turned 9 years in March. They are truly testimony to the old saying ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ ♥
When I did start thinking about a puppy I had a dark chocolate and white in mind. Similar lines to my Ella. And yet I kept returning to this little tricolour face who went by the name of Vodka Sour..
That little face was born in Mori, Italy and was a considerable distance from the UK!
Working out how to get this puppy home will be the most complicated and involve the longest delay of any of the puppies that I have loved and nurtured over the years into amazing adult dogs.
And yet.. I am excited about getting my new girl home and finding out all about her. We have only had one short visit when she was 12 weeks old, but I knew then that I wouldn’t be complete until she was back with me.
That was 4 weeks ago, and I collect her from the airport this evening. It’s a big journey for a little girl and not a decision I took lightly, but my promise to her is that it’ll be worth it and she’ll be safe and happy from now on. I’m looking forward to enjoying the remainder of her puppyhood and adding another pawprint to the collection on my heart 🙂