Getting a new puppy is probably one of the most exciting times you can have in your life. The adventure begins firstly by deciding that the time is right for you and your family to take on the responsibility of caring for and nurturing a puppy for their lifetime.

What breed do I get? Big or small? Long hair or short? High energy or low energy? There are so many different factors that come into play when deciding what is the right puppy for you. Make sure you choose a breed or specific puppy that fits with your lifestyle as this is crucial to a long-lasting enjoyable relationship.

If you don't like going walking at 6am and again at 6pm, then getting a border collie or a boxer probably isn't a wise choice as the activity levels these dogs need are very high, so be aware and do your research to make sure you're making a near-perfect person to puppy match.

Once you've decided on your puppy, you must be cautious where you get it from. Make sure you are purchasing from a reputable breeder or a trusted local pet store, but don't discount looking at a rescue puppy as there are always rescue puppies in need of homes.

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You then want to make sure you do your checks on any prospective puppy, on their health, vaccinations etc, and that you learn a bit about their litter history, parents age and temperament etc.

Sometimes it's suggested to find a neutral vet and ask to meet breeder there and have a vet look over the puppy before taking the final step to ensure it's in tip-top condition. It may be a small cost to you but the benefit of knowing before you take a puppy on that it is in a healthy condition, is well worth the cost.

Lastly, before you pick up and take your puppy home, it is always better to be prepared so an earlier visit to a few local vets to find the one you are most comfortable with is recommended.

Also talk to your local pet specialty store and they can assist you in making sure you have prepared for the arrival with help on your puppies diet, bedding, training, water and food bowls, flea and worm treatment etc. Also investigate puppy classes to get them and you off to an ideal start to puppy life. Day cares are a possibility if you plan to be away from your puppy during the week which will also help with socialisation.

Finally, ensure your property is well-fenced and puppy-proofed to ensure optimal safety of your puppy. You should now be well-prepared to bring a new puppy home and start the wonderful journey of raising and enjoying your new friend.