When Is The Best Season To Get A Puppy?!
October 20, 2023
I know some of you have been drooling over our puppies for literal years!! Sometimes the timing just isn’t right! We get that! But when is the best time? Is there a season that is better than others? Will things be harder if I get a puppy in the winter verses the summer? These are great and very valid questions. Most people answer these mostly by envisioning standing in their yard during that season trying to get their puppy to go to the bathroom, some people think about how busy they are during that season, there are lots of factors. In all truthfulness, there are positives and negatives to EVERY season and by far the most preferred time from people to get a puppy is the warm weather months! But as a breeder there are some super important things that need to be taken into consideration that most people don’t think about!
The most important factor that is also the most frequently overlooked is immunity!! Your puppy leaves us at 8 weeks old with a vaccine of Neopar (to boost immunity to parvo) as well as their first 5 way vaccine (out of a series of 3). These vaccines start your puppies protection but they do not have full immunity until they finish that set of vaccines. I know the first thing we all want to do when we get a puppy is take them everywhere with us, and can to a degree, but you have to be so so aware of the fact that they are vulnerable to picking up dangerous strains of viruses and flu’s! Places that unvaccinated dogs could have been going to the bathroom are extremely dangerous to your puppy and you need to keep that in mind until your puppy has all of her vaccines! Parvo, as an example, can be very deadly to puppies. It can live on a surface for 6 months to a year! Even withstanding freezing temperatures and some disinfectants! à So what does immunity have to do with what season to get your puppy? Most people automatically think that the nice weather months are ideal for getting a puppy because they will be able to bring them everywhere with them! While that can be true to an extent, you have to take the immunity issue into account… and really.. its not always safe to bring them everywhere with you until they have completed all their vaccines…
Sleep and Rest
The next overlooked factor is how much puppies need sleep and rest! They are still just little babies when you bring them home with you! They sleep a lot!! But the thing with puppies is they have serious FOMO (fear of missing out)! They don’t want to miss out on any fun and will skip eating, drinking and sleeping to keep having fun! As puppy parents we have to make sure they are slowing down and taking time to get rest! They aren’t ready for a long walk down the street at 8 weeks old. They are just learning to walk with a leash and collar period, and they are whooped after a short walk. Now as all terrier lovers know, this does phase out entirely, but it’s a reality of getting a young puppy! à So again, what does this have to do with the season? We are way more active in the summer, and we envision long walks on summer evenings with our new puppy and the reality is… it takes a little time to get to that point!
So is Summer Best?
The next topic to address is the thought that summer is best because during the puppy phase we want to be able to burn their energy outside! This is totally valid! But like the above point… 8 week old puppies are easily played with and burnt out inside the house. It’s the 5-10 month old puppies that start needing additional playtime and well… patience! That’s the toughest age for a terrier puppy in most people’s opinions. à So yet again, how does this tie in with season? In the above point, if you get your puppy in the fall or winter, you are hitting summer at the most difficult energy phase of a terrier puppy, they have full immunity by then, they have the energy to go on long adventures and they need more wearing out at this age than ever before! Which is the recipe for the perfect time to take them everywhere with you! They are also old enough and in enough of a routine by then that if you have a vacation planned they can be boarded or have a pet sitter without tons of worry by you that you would have with a much younger puppy.
Am I noticing a trend with you Anne? Are you telling me not to bring home a puppy in the summer months? No, I really am not telling you that because there truly is no right or wrong answer. Every family has their reasons for when it’s a good time and truthfully… sometimes there is no ideal time, you just have to go for it, and it will go great no matter when you get your puppy. But I am saying, while bringing your puppy home in the summer is the most popular time for puppy buyers, it does come with some downsides and there is great benefit to getting your puppy in the fall or winter that many people overlook. One more thing to share with you; a little a breeder’s secret. Winter months are the very slowest for puppy sales, which means benefits for you (the buyer). Discounts on puppies and getting first pick of the litter are way more common in winter months than in busy warm months! So is that why you are suggesting the winter months Anne? No, genuinely, I promise you that’s not. My own personal preference is to get new puppies (and actually have my own babies) in the winter! I don’t like being so tied down in the spring and summer, I like being ready to fully embrace summer the second it hits!! That’s just me though!! We all love summer! It can be a great time to start your journey with your puppy! Kids are home, teachers are home! I get it! There are lots of positives. But the winter months are always inevitable overlooked and I encourage you and your family to think about some of the other points I have talked about here when you think about when you should introduce a new puppy into your family. Think about how things will look when the puppy hits that difficult 5-10 month age. There really isn’t a perfect time or a universal answer for every family!