While thinking about what I wanted to write about this month, I realized I was staring right at her! Just about every buyer I have worked with has told me that one of the things they wish for in their new home is a fenced in yard for their current (or future) furbaby. Last year when we moved into our first home the first thing we wanted was a puppy… we had fantasies of family walks and playing fetch in the yard but I’m here to tell you it’s not all puppy kisses and happy frolics! It is those things sometimes, but it’s also a lot of WORK! Being new to the whole puppy thing I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned in the last 3 months being a dog mom….
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
We had originally planned on getting a puppy right away, but after surveying our new yard (or lack there of) we realized we had a lot of work to do. Even though we were pretty well fenced in, we had gaps that needed to be filled and gates that needed to be fixed. Not to mention our yard was a mud pit at first! We also wanted to enjoy the peace and quiet of our new digs for a little while before we welcomed in a ball of chaos! Even though you might be really excited to open your home to a new family member right away, it’s not a bad idea to take some time to get settled in and comfortable in your new routines. Your new puppy should learn to live by your routine, not the other way around, which means feeding times and potty breaks will have to revolve around your schedule.
We have a brand new renovated house that I took great care and time to decorate. I love the way the living room came out with my white rug and perfectly placed throw pillows… but that didn’t last very long. My pretty pillows became her favorite chew toys and my white rug was now her personal training pad. If you plan on welcoming a brand new puppy, I suggest keeping all those pretty decorations safely tucked away until he or she is house trained and done teething. Even if you plan on adopting an older dog, there is still an adjustment period where accidents can happen. It’s best to plan on moving things you really care about until you trust that they won’t be tempted to chew or have any accidents.
THEY HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY!
I quickly learned that although we lucked out with getting a really well behaved puppy (that’s not usually the case), puppies naturally have SO MUCH energy. Most of us have pretty busy lives, I myself work 7 days a week and my husband works 6. I knew right away that morning walks were a must and that the dog park was going to be my new favorite place. I made sure that she got to release as much energy in the morning as possible. My mom has also been a huge help in coming over to take her out for walks while we are at work. Keeping your puppy as active as possible is good for them, and a tired puppy will be a lot less likely to chew on things or damage something while you are at work. If you aren’t as lucky to have a puppy Nana, I suggest looking into a doggy daycare or a dog walking service to help you out. Below are a few links to a few local businesses I have had great experiences with.
VETS ARE EXPENSIVE
When we got our puppy she came to us with most of her vaccinations and was already spayed. I thought, “Great! I won’t have much in the way of vet bills right away”. WRONG! I found out fast that having a puppy is a close second to having a baby. Within the first month she had conjunctivitis and kennel cough (basically a cold for dogs), as well as bad reactions to the few vaccinations she needed and I had to cook special food for her twice a week (STILL doing this by the way!). Make sure you plan for some unexpected expenses off the bat. I would also recommend looking into pet insurance, at least for the first year, that could help with some of the costs of vet bills and almost all vaccinations. Make sure to ask your vet which plans they accept.
I will stop here, even though I could go on forever, but I don’t want to overwhelm you! Even though it’s a lot of extra work and time, I wouldn’t trade our puppy for anything. She is happy to see me whenever I walk through the door (even if it’s only been 5 minutes) and brings so much joy and life to our home. I don’t think I realized how much work it was going to be, and I definitely didn’t know how much she would steal my heart. I just wish our cats felt the same way!
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