Submitted by: Pauline Simpson
When buying puppies, it’s wise to take things slowly. The moment you see his cute little puppy face and waggly tail, it will be too late – you will have already fallen in love – it’s all too easy to get caught up in the moment without giving the cost of dog ownership too much thought! So, before you decide to give a puppy a home, step back and give it some serious consideration – most important of all, be honest with yourself.
Here are some of the questions you might like to consider before buying puppies:
Can I Really Afford To Look After A Puppy?
Buying puppies can be expensive, particularly if you’re buying a pedigree such as a cocker spaniel, however, no matter what you pay for your puppy, there will always be other, ongoing expenses such as:
– Puppy food and treats:
– Food and water bowls, collars, leads, toys, etc.
– You’ll need at least one dog bed, a couple of blankets, perhaps a dog crate and a dog carrie
– Pet Insurance – always recommended!
– Veterinary’s fees are never cheap and soon mount up (that’s why it’s good to have insurance)
– Regular worming tablets
– Regular flea treatments
– Vaccinations and annual boosters
– Microchipping – essential if you plan to travel abroad with your Cocker Spaniel!
Not to mention the cost of kennels should you go on holiday and need to leave your dog behind, and professional groomers don’t come cheap either. It’s not until you actually stop and list out these expenses that you realise just how much it can cost to own a dog – make sure you can afford it!
Can I really Afford The Time To Properly Care For A Puppy?
A dog with too much energy, and poorly trained, can get up to all sorts of mischief and, over time, can develop serious behavioural problems which can lead you to wish you’d given the prospect of owning a dog a lot more thought!
Give Your Dog Plenty Of Exercise
When buying puppies you need to be certain that you have enough time to devote to exercising and training your puppy – at least one hour each day to release all that pent-up energy – some dogs may need more. Don’t forget to add in the time it takes to get to and from the park or area you intend to walk your dog, and then add to that the time it may take to rub him down or dry him off, if he’s been swimming or if the weather is wet. This can easily add another hour to your dog-walking duties!
A Well-Trained Dog Is A Happy, Well-Behaved Dog
Puppies and dogs need consistent training to help them to develop good manners. Each family member should use the same training methods and commands so as not to confuse your pet. His training should be reinforced regularly to ensure his good behaviour continues into adulthood.
Whilst we don’t need any encouragement to play with puppies, we’re sometimes guilty of not taking enough time out to play with our dogs as they move out of puppyhood – get out into the park with a frisbee or a ball! Dogs and puppies need both mental and physical stimulation. Plenty of exercise, play, and training will ensure those needs are met and will result in a happy, contented, and well-behaved pet.
Do I Live In An Environment Suitable For A Dog?
Before committing to buying puppies, it’s important to consider your home, garden, and surrounding environment – is it safe for a puppy?
What about inside the house? It may help if you imagine a new baby coming into your home – what changes would you make?
The chances are that these will be the same for a new puppy, for example, trailing electrical wires will need to be tidied away or at least lifted up off the floor, potentially poisonous plants moved to higher ground, as well as small items (which may be a potential choking hazard to a curious puppy), and treasured possessions, moved out of reach.
Accidental poisoning in the home happens more frequently than we’d like to think. Puppies are inquisitive little creatures and, if the opportunity presents itself, a curious little nose (and mouth) will be exploring the contents of your kitchen cupboards in a flash! Chocolate (very poisonous to dogs) and toxic household cleaners should never be easily accessible to puppies they should be kept safely locked away.
Ideally, your yard will need to be large enough to allow your dog to exercise freely and should be securely fenced so that he can’t escape and run off.
Buying Puppies Shouldn’t Be Done On An Impulse
In conclusion, buying puppies should never be done on impulse. We strongly recommend you consider the above points to help you understand the true cost of dog ownership, both in terms of financial cost and the time needed to properly care for, and train, a dog.
It’s cruel to leave a puppy or a dog home alone all day, so if you’re working full-time and don’t have a sitter for your Cocker Spaniel, he’s going to be pretty miserable!
If, after considering all the advice in our Buying Puppies article, you’re still committed to bringing a little cocker spaniel puppy into your home, we wish you well and hope you and your dog enjoy many happy years together.
About the Author: Pauline Simpson passes on her comprehensive knowledge of caring for Cocker Spaniels at
where she covers early puppy stages through adulthood and beyond including information on buying puppies at