Sunday, 30 June 2019

10 Things no one tells you about getting a puppy

It's true, I did it. I got a bloody puppy didn't I? Come on now, are you really surprised?
I always told myself once I bought a place of my own (which I managed to do in March of this year) I would get a dog. It actually took me a while to decide on the breed etc and I finally chose a Chihuahua (go ahead, mock me).

No matter how many videos I watched and blogs I read, nothing could have prepared me for when my bundle of joy finally arrived home. So here are 10 things no one tells you about getting a puppy.

1. You won't leave it alone, but you have to.

Puppy's are easily prone to separation anxiety and when that little pupper comes home you will want him/her in your arms constantly. I did. He was little and mischievous and the only way to keep him out of everything was to remove his use of his legs. Not long after, I realised this wasn't a good idea. He needed to explore and it was lazy on my part to hold him instead of supervise his investigations. Pretty soon he was jumping up and wanted to be in my arms every second. As cute as that is, it's not practical or healthy. We've now gone through a bit of scaling back with cuddles and he's far more confident in himself.

2. You will be exhausted.

Puppy's, as I have found, are not unlike babies. They choose when they're awake, barking, crying, pooping and have no consideration for your schedule. So be prepared to be tired. The first few days of having my puppy, I really questioned whether I had made the right decision and honestly considered giving him back. I am so glad I didn't because we're at a point now where I don't know what I would do without him. Honestly though, be prepared and if you have some kind of support system to come over and give you a break every now and then, use it! You'll need it.

3. You will worry about everything.
What is he eating? What's in his eye? Is he walking funny? Why hasn't he pooped? You are responsible for a little life that cannot communicate it's needs or desires. You will feel like you are becoming some kind of canine mind reader. This feeling is largely only in the early stages. You will learn that they are more resilient than they look and if you didn't get it right, they'll tell you. You will soon pick up on signals and queues as to what he wants and when. It's all about giving it time.

4. Everything will smell like pee.

I have never done so much washing in my life. Puppies are babies without the nappies so expect pee. Expect it everywhere. I recommend a decent carpet cleaner, blankets or towels on the couch and puppy pads everywhere. At first your home will look like chaos but eventually puppy will learn where he should and should not go. You must never tell him off for accidents but instead show him where you want him to go next time.

5. You won't get anything done. Ever.

If you're not running round with him constantly when he is awake, playing, training, cleaning up pee and poop, cuddling him. You'll be watching him when he sleeps, because trust me, it's adorable. I don't think I've been able to focus properly on a tv programme since getting him. 

6. He will destroy everything you love.

Dramatic right? But trust me, if it's fluffy, stringy, shiny, crunchy, colourful, smelly, whatever, he will want it for his own. My recommendation, keep everything you don't want him to have high up or in another room, you'll thank me later.

7. A pen or crate will be your best friend.

I wasn't really into the idea at first, it seemed, in my perception to be cruel. It's totally not. I ended up getting a fabric pop up play pen for him and he loves it, he takes himself off into it all the time to play or sleep. I can tidy all his toys away in there and close him in there if I want to grab a shower or do some cleaning and I know he's perfectly safe and happy. It's worth considering.

8. You will get scratched and bitten, a lot.

If you have kids, keep an eye out. My pups claws are razor sharp even after cutting them down, as are his teeth. He will claw you while playing and climbing on you and jumping up. It's a fact of life and you can't do anything about it. Teething is a big issue with my boy and he's constantly trying to teeth on my fingers, he has needle like teeth and has drawn blood a couple of times. Always have a toy on hand to replace your fingers with and remember it's never malicious biting so no telling off.

9. Everything is new.

Getting new experiences out the way early is good for your puppy as they will learn to not fear them. I take the puppy in the car daily as my mum looks after him when I work. He is so happy in the car now he just sleeps. He's had walks and baths, met big dogs, small dogs and cats. Everything is new for him so be gentle and calm and let him discover, it's a great way to build trust with your pup too.

10. If you can put up with the beginning bit you'll be set.

Puppy's are a handful and the first couple of weeks are a killer. Once you get into your stride and begin learning how to communicate with your puppy best, everything will become a lot easier. You need to remember they are babies and are experiencing everything fresh, so you can't be too hard on them. Do your research to make sure it's right for you and be prepared for lots of work and tiredness. It is so rewarding once you have built a bond that you won't even remember how hard the first weeks were. Most importantly, enjoy it. They won't be that small and cute forever!


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