I grew up surrounded by dogs. We’re talking about at least 12. Yup, happy days. But now that I’m living alone and working full-time, getting a puppy crossed my mind. This turned out to be one of the wisest and craziest decisions I made last year.
Things to consider before getting a puppy
1. Ask yourself: why am I getting a puppy?
It’s been a year since my partner left for Canada. I don’t mind having the apartment all by myself. Besides, I enjoy solitude. However, there are days when the apartment feels so empty.
Getting roommates is off the table.
I appreciate the comfort and privacy of living alone.
So I thought, why not get a dog? Besides, I’m no stranger to taking care of pets.
For some people, getting a puppy or a pet of any kind is considered the best form of self-care. In fact, there are studies that show pets help manage stress, depression, anxiety, and other long-term mental health problems.
Aside from the benefits, fur mommies or daddies should also consider the responsibilities that come with it.
Once you finally made the decision, make sure that it benefits you and your pet. You’re not getting a stuffed animal. But a living and breathing creature.
2. Conduct research
To buy, or to adopt?
It was in March of 2019 that I decided I really want a dog. First, I considered adopting.
In the Philippines, there’s the Philippine Animal Welfare Society or PAWS. It is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) which advocates campaigns against animal cruelty and pet neglect.
PAWS also runs a shelter called PARC ( PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center). Here, over 300 cats and dogs rescued from cruelty or neglect. These animals are rehabilitated in the hope of finding them new homes and a second chance at a good life.
The center is also a low-cost clinic that provides veterinary services including spay and neuter (kapon).
Eventually, I realized buying a puppy is my best option. I was excited to raise one on my own. So I looked at Facebook groups and found Kuya.
Seven months later, I decided to get another one. At first, Iza was against it. But I noticed Kuya is bored. He needs a playmate.
There are instances where I am glued to the computer all day that we can’t even take a walk outside for some exercise and fresh air.
Again, I searched on Facebook groups to find Kuya’s playmate. Finally, I found him. Here’s Bunso. An adorable Shih Tzu.
My work is still stopping me from going out often. But having Bunso made a huge difference. Sure, they fight all the time. But they also love the attention they’re getting from each other.
3. Puppy-proof your home
I cleared my apartment to make room for playtime.
I moved most of my stuff upstairs. The rest, I threw away.
I considered buying a cage for each of them. But the guy from the pet supplies store where I buy their food said, it’s better if they’re free-roaming, and I agree.
And honestly, having less stuff did well for me, too. Cleaning was made easy, and I have less stuff to think about.
Plus, we can run, play fetch, and hide and seek without anyone getting injured.
4. You will never pee alone again
When I pee, everybody pees.
It’s hilarious and creepy especially during wee hours of the night.
Both of them would be at the door of our bathroom watching me.
After I flush the toilet, they would pee next, and go back to sleep as if nothing happened. Sometimes, I feel like they’re sleep-walking.
Same thing while I”m cooking, doing the laundry, or taking out the trash.
They go wherever I go.
It’s not annoying actually. Having them around makes me feel safe.
5. Is getting a puppy REALLY expensive?
Before I answer that question, let me give a breakdown of the things I bought for them.
Food and nutrition
Every week, I buy
- 5 kilos of chicken breast Php 825
- 1 kilo of chicken liver Php 120
- 1-kilo potatoes Php 100
- 2 kilos of Monello dog food Php 250
That’s Php 1295 pesos (or more) worth of food alone.
If I’m feeling fancy, I would buy 1 kilo of beef but that will only last for a day.
Aside from food, I also buy vitamins. But not all the time.
Lucky for Kuya, I got him a free anti-rabies vaccination from our barangay, 3 weeks after I got him.
It was the election period.
Normally, it costs Php 250.
Meanwhile, Bunso was able to have a few vaccinations when I got him. But I followed up on Kennel cough (Php 450 x 2) and Anti-rabies (Php 250) vaccinations.
A few months ago, Bunso was diagnosed with fungal infection.
He suffered from skin redness, itchiness, and irritation.
The vet said it’s not life-threatening though.
She recommended that I change his diet. No rice.
He was also given a prescription. That’s another Php 1,300.
Infographic by petMD.com
Kuya is a large dog, but he’s the low-maintenance kind.
When it comes to supplies, I spent a lot mostly on his dog leash and collar. He outgrows them.
He has his own soap and shampoo and that’s it.
Bunso, on the other hand, is a little fancy.
He has his own soap and shampoo (prescribed by the vet), leash, collar, nail clippers, and monthly grooming. I also got him toys but Kuya murdered them all.
For treats, they love Breadstix.
I also got them these chew toys for Php 99 each. This will last for a week.
6. There’s fur EVERYWHERE
Sometimes, I wake up with Bunso licking my nose, and Kuya sitting on my stomach.
And when I start making my bed, I see fur everywhere.
Same thing when I sweep our floors inside and outside the house.
Good thing I’m not getting complaints from the neighbors yet.
Getting a puppy is one of the biggest decisions I made last year.
It spells responsibility, lots of it.
At times, I find it difficult to keep up with their energy.
But they bring joy to our apartment, and I feel blessed to have them in my life.
To Kuya and Bunso, I wish both of you a long and healthy life.
How about you?
Do you have pets? How many?
What’s the biggest challenge you encountered from owning one (or two)?
Let me know in the comments.