My Advice For New Puppy Owners



There are so many things to consider before you make the decision to get a new pup. Me and Alex decided just over three years ago was the perfect time for us to finally get our two pugs, Doug and Dolly. Since getting them I've learnt the importance of research and preparation and since it's National Dog Day, I  thought I'd write a detailed post giving any advice I can.




DO YOU HAVE THE TIME?

Before you get a puppy it's important to have a real hard think about your lifestyle and how a pup would fit in. If your life is already hectic and you find it hard to find a spare second, take a chance to re-evaluate. 

If you find it hard to have a second to yourself already, imagine the added impact having a puppy would cause.

Equally, if you know you have the time for a pup, make sure you have enough time for the breed you're looking at. Different breeds need different care. Different exercise patterns, different food. Just make sure the pup you're looking for fits into your current life and routine.

I'm really lucky that although Alex works full time, I'm able to stay home with the pups to take care of them during the day. I love being able to play with them in the garden and make sure they're okay. When I was also working, we're able to count on members of Alex's family to come over and let the pups out for a few hours a day, it really did help and it put our minds at ease to know they always had someone there.

IS IT THE RIGHT TIME?

This is probably the first question you should ask yourself. Is it even the right time for you to have a pup? I know when me and Alex were living in our apartment I begged and begged for a dog, but being the sensible one, he reasoned with me that it simply wasn't the right time, and as ever, he was right - don't tell him I said that!!

In our apartment we didn't have a garden, it was only two bedrooms, we were on the top floor and it just wouldn't have been fair to bring a pup into a home that wasn't suitable.

Once we bought our own home, we settled, decorated and enjoyed our space for a year before deciding we were ready for our little horrors.

It's also important to make sure you can afford a pup. Food, toys, beds, a crate (if you choose to use one), insurance (which we will also touch on), it all adds up. You need to be sure you can financially support a pup comfortably.

PICK A BREED THAT SUITS YOU

I've always loved Pugs, I've wanted one of my own for years. It started from a love of their wrinkly little faces. But the more I read and learnt about the breed, I knew they were perfect for me. They're super chilled out and only need around 30 minutes of exercise a day; and as Alex was never a fan of dogs before, I knew it wouldn't be too much of a shock to the system with our pups. He learnt with them and now I know he couldn't live without them.




If you're looking for a dog such as a greyhound, they need so much more exercise, if you aren't able to give them what they need, try to re-evaluate your choice, you will find one that's perfect for you!

NOTHING IS SAFE!

I learnt this the hard way. You can give your pup as many toys to chew on and play with as you like, but I promise you, they will destroy something at least once!

We've been lucky enough to have our carpet, TV unit, side table and even our dining table (which we built ourselves...but it's fine, honestly it's FINE) completely chewed. That's not even all the things they've managed to get their chops on, but it's important to remember they're learning, teething and need discipline.

It stops after a while, but don't be too heartbroken if they do chew a shoe, I'll tell ya, it's definitely made us tidier!

PUPPIES HAVE ACCIDENTS

While we're on the more unpleasant subjects, please please remember, puppies have accidents. It's important to remember, pups are baby dogs, they're babies. Would you be surprised if a child were to have an accident? Pups are just the same. Training, patience and love will get them through it.

There is so much advice online with how to train them so I won't go on about it, and there are so many products available to help. Puppy pads being one of the main ones, but remember, just because it's something that may suit you, it doesn't mean it'll suit your pup. My two used to just eat the training pads so we gave up using them pretty fast.

We've had our two since the end of April 2016, and it took them about a year to get used to the idea of always going outside. They still have the odd accident (for example, if they're left alone too long) but we're getting there!

BOND AND TRAIN

It's not only important to train your pup, but it's super important to bond with them. If you don't take the time to play with them, to cuddle them and talk to them, they won't learn that you're their friend. If you concentrate on training them and bark orders at them, they won't want to listen to you and training will become so much harder.




Enjoy your pup and let them enjoy you! You'll find training will become so much easier and enjoyable for both of you.

SHOULD YOU NEUTER/SPAY YOUR PUPPY?

This question required the most thought for me and Alex. Once we had Doug and Dolly, deciding what we should do with regards to neutering/spaying them took a lot of discussion. With them both being pure breed Pugs, we knew if we were to stud Doug or breed from Dolly, we would not only have the experience, but would defiantly end up keeping one of the pups.

But we decided to be more realistic. I've had  male dogs all my life, and any that hadn't been neutered we had issues with them 'marking their territory' and getting defensive. Because of this, as well as the possible change to his attitude, I decided studding Doug wouldn't be the best idea and Alex agreed we'd get him fixed.

Dolly was harder. I knew I wanted to get her spayed, but Alex was reluctant. He knew she'd have beautiful pups (look at her!) and thought it'd be a great experience for us to try. For once I was the sensible one and explained to him that not only would dealing with her seasons cause me to have a mini breakdown, but also, if she were to have a litter, I'd get over attached and it'd end up being like 101 Pugs.

That pretty much settled it for us and we decided to get them both fixed.

It's important to think long and hard about this decision, it's irreversible and could change your pups life, so use your noggin.

side note - Doug and Dolly are siblings from the same litter and I would NEVER have breed them with each other. It's unhealthy and unsafe and I love my pooches too much to put them through that. 

SOCIALISE!

I cannot stress this point enough, socialising your pup is the best way to make them comfortable in the future. We've been sure to have Doug and Dolly around friends and families dogs, cats and even children. It's so important to make sure they're okay in these situations from an early age because I know I'd hate for it to develop into a problem down the line.


Now they're fine with other dogs and just want to play! They love children and are gentle but willing to play. They don't mind babies except for when they cry because they can't help - Dolly has even cuddled up with a friends baby before, supervised of course, but we needn't have worried. It's a massive worry for so many that can be easily avoided if they're put in these situations early and continuously.

BE SURE TO INSURE

The importance of insuring your pet has been made all too real to us on a number of occasions. Most recently when a friends dog needed a back operation or when another friends cat had a radiator fall on her. Neither pet had insurance and the cost, as you can imagine, was phenomenal.

Thankfully, they're both okay, and happy to carry on with their lives. I cannot stress the importance of insurance. Get insured!

THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT

I cannot tell you how much entertainment I have had from these crazy pups. They're so lovable, funny and the biggest characters. My life is complete and my house now feels like a home having them here. If you are considering getting a pup and you have thought about all of the things mentioned, do it! I cannot tell you how content I am since having Doug and Dolly in my life.