Things I wish I knew before getting a puppy
The time leading up to getting a puppy may seem daunting. Am I going to be a good pawrent? How long will it take for them to adjust and get used to their surroundings? And most importantly – will he or she like me?
1 - Puppies are little devils in disguise!
We can all agree that puppies are the cutest little friends who bounce around the house and follow us everywhere more persistently than our own shadow. Unfortunately, the cute videos of puppies you may see online, are only a part time reflection of the dog’s behaviour. Your puppy will experience puppy tantrums and not only that, you also need to be prepared for lots of chewing, crying, toilet training and accidents while your puppy grows up! However, the hardships will come bearing rewards as you will get to experience a little being grow up into a teenager and then an adult and have a life-long companion along each step of your own life – and surely there is nothing better than that!
2 - Consistency & Discipline in Pet Owners is Key
In order to have a well-behaved dog, as a pawrent, it is important to stay consistent with commands and to put the work in from a young age. Your pet will need to learn the rules of the house to prevent bad behaviour in later years. Therefore, even if you are a softie (like most pawrents) and will give in to the puppy eyes from time to time, do not let your puppy misbehave and discipline them for chewing your favourite pair of shoes.
3 - Puppies are expensive
When bringing a puppy into the house, you need to be prepared. Everything from food and toys to Vet bills needs to be considered. In a world where over half the population in the UK own a pet, with numbers increasing each day, it may be worth checking with a friend or a relative for any second-hand gear. Puppy crates or even puppy training toys can be very expensive and friends will be more than willing to give things away for half the price or even free to free up some space in their homes.
4 - Every puppy is different
Once you get a puppy, you will be bombarded with a tonne of advice – do not feel intimidated! It is important to recognise that every puppy is different with their own personality and what worked for one puppy, will not necessarily work for another. Therefore, do some research and speak to your Vet and do what you find works for you. As a pawrent, do not feel pressured to buy your pet the most expensive toys and treats in order to be the best. You are the pawrent and therefore you will know what is best for your little companion! You can find some helpful advice on how to select the right breed for you and your family here.
5 - Puppies require a lot of surveillance
Your puppy will become your baby, meaning you will get less sleep once your little puppy comes home. From puppy training to separation anxiety, these are the steps every pawrent will go through at an earlier or a later stage of looking after a four-legged friend. It is important to ensure your pet is reassured when learning new commands by encouraging them with an occasional treat. To lessen separation anxiety, it might be useful to keep their favourite toys available while we are away. Also, some pets might prefer a little something that they associate with us, their pawrents, as a comfort instead, such as a blanket with our scent.
6 - Dog hair everywhere!
It is worthwhile taking some time in looking what breed of puppy would suit you best – considering both their character and the likelihood of casting. Every puppy breed is different and, therefore, their casting could vary from very light and occasional to more frequent. However, it should not be the reason for holding off the idea of getting your perfect puppy! With technology and products that are available to us nowadays, it is much easier to look after a doggie who is losing their undercoat. Brushing out dead undercoat regularly is very beneficial, meaning a lot of the dead hair will be safely removed where and when we prefer it to be. Brushes not only help to remove the undercoat - detanglers also help to look after tangled disobedient hair.
7 - Dogs get cold too
Although doggies have fur, we should not assume they always stay warm outside. In colder weather, a puppy will get cold very easily. It is better to ensure the walks with our puppy are no longer than 15 minutes when cold outside and keep them even shorter if we notice our pet starting to hobble. However, there are warm doggie coats available for the colder and rainier winters for those four-legged friends who enjoy the outdoors. Every fur baby enjoys being cosy and warm, and that is what us, pawrents, should keep in mind while taking care of our puppies.
Credit: Toma Paulauskaite