New puppies are awesome, but before that wonderful new puppy comes home, you grab your checklist, you grab your books, you sign up to pupdates, and you get your home puppy proofed and ready to roll – what are the things you need to be prepared for? Realistically?
Let me walk you through it! The good and the bad…
Why? Because you need to know what you’ve signed up for, and that it’s not going to be easy, and these are some of the most common issues that puppy parents experience. I’m not trying to put you off at all! But having a realistic picture is really important. I hate that so many people claim it can be done quickly, that there’s a single answer for everyones problems — because there isn’t.
The perfect puppy doesn’t exist. And if he does? Contact me, because I’m going to get a statue carved in your honour! (it may not be a big statue, but let’s go for it!)
Anyway! Let’s have it! Here’s our Top 10 Things New Puppy Parents Wish They’d Known Before Bringing Their New Puppy Home (From real puppy parents!)
1 – How Fast They Grow
There were days and I came home from work and Indie had grown. It happens so fast that you don’t even realise as it just zips past. So make sure and take lots and lots of photos and videos in order to remember this time well!
You’re going to love having them to look back on when they’re out of this phase, because they really will be your best friend, and so much more!
2 – That The Puppy Blues Is Real
How real this is, just is not funny. I’ve been through it when I was a new puppy parent, and judging by how many people are commenting on the puppy blues post, and emailing me about it too, a lot of you do too.
Getting a puppy is tough! And so many people when they have their wonderful little fluff butt understand it all just a little too late. Being a new puppy parent is tough.
3 – How Sharp Their Teeth Are
Needles, toothpicks, call them what you want, those little gnashers are awful sharp, and no matter how many times you’re told? You’re still going to find your new puppy and their teeth more troublesome than you expected.
Especially when you’re tired. You’ve spend hours cleaning, and then they hit land shark mode… oh god…
Blood, band aids, pain & frustration all come with this. It’s worth remembering that some breeds are worse than others too? I mean, there’s a reason that Malinois are fondly known as “Malligators” at this age…
If you need more help with puppy biting? Check out the blog post.
4 – That They’re Pretty Gross.
Poop? Theirs? The Cats? Vomit? Theirs? Sure, that’s edible… And if it’s not edible? Hell Yeah, I’ll roll in it!
And it will make you vomit in turn…
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that they’re animals at heart, isn’t it? We humanise them a lot! But every now and then they just have to remind us that they’re pretty gross at heart! God, I wish I’d been prepared for this when I had gotten my puppy! Licking cowpats was a highlight – oh i have to stop my stomach is lurching at the thought!
Moving swiftly on!
5 – How Difficult The Whole Puppy Phase Is
Whilst I maintain the first two months are some of the most difficult moments you’re going to face? That first year is just tough. That’s why I planned my pupdates (the weekly puppy update email that guides you through that exact period!) the way I did.
Make sure you have support! Why? Because it’s not easy being a new puppy parent! They change a lot and they change fast too. You can feel like one day you’ve really nailed it, and then the game chances from checkers, to chess… and you’re left there reeling. What now?
Be prepared, conquer that but with pupdates – you won’t regret it.
6 – The Lost Sleep
This was my single biggest complaint about being a puppy parent. I love my sleep, and missing it made me a very cranky person.
From the midnight toilet break, to the early morning rising, your sleep schedule will be a wreck. Count on minimal sleep, and try and stock up and be very well rested when puppy comes home! That’s my best advice then.
7 – They’d Need To Pee/Poop So Much
1-2 hours is the time they can last whilst awake between pees when you get them home. Yep. That’s a lot of wees! So it means you’re not going to get a lot of work done. It means you’re going to be outside a lot (so think about when you want to get a puppy!) and it means there may be accidents too.
Are you ready for that? I hope so! It comes as a surprise to a lot of new puppy parents. Toilet training isn’t fun, but it doesn’t last forever, okay? Soon enough they’ll refuse to go out in the rain and you’ll be standing there like an eejit – so don’t worry! It’ll come when puppy starts to take a break from their dinky little bladder.
8 – That Puppy (And Dog) Wee Kills Your Grass
As you ace toilet training, you’ll notice circles or patches of yellow sprouting up. Hmmm… then you’ll realise it’s actually the spots your wonderful puppy is peeing on. Yep! Your lawn is falling victim to puppy pee!
You can solve this by regularly watering your lawn, or by reseeding spots as you go! Doesn’t mean it’s fun to see though, especially if you’re proud of your garden!
9 – You’ll Find Treats & Poo Bags In Everything
Coat pocket, hoodie pocket, in your jeans, your handbag and in your robe! You’ll find treats and poop bags everywhere. Because you need them at pretty much all moments, then you’ll forget they’re there. And at some point? You’re going to pull a very soggy one out of your washer.
Yep, such is the life of a new puppy parent… and a dog parent in general. This one doesn’t really go away actually!
10 – That They Needed To Understand More About Their Breed.
Research is the only solution to this! You need to understand the breed of dog you’ve chosen, picking activities which will stimulate your dog, for example, a kong? Might not be worth the effort to a bichon, but a hound? They’re very different dogs! And yet a bichon will nail trick training, and a coonhound probably won’t.
This is a common problem, that people think a dog will always just fit in with their lifestyles, and we forget that until relatively recently, our dogs (mainly) had a purpose. German Shepherds herded and guarded, bloodhounds tracked, sighthounds ran down prey, spaniels beat the bush, and all together? It’s hard to overcome generations of selective breeding, and oftentimes we boil it down to our dog being stubborn, stupid or similar, when actually? It’s often our ignorance or misconception of our breed.
(this goes as much for mixed breeds too! Though they are difficult at times depending on generation)
Did I put you off?
Don’t be put off, because whilst this is the reality of bringing home a new puppy, the reality of the dog you’re going to create (hopefully with my assistance!) will be worthwhile, you might even say rebarkable.
Honestly, as a person whose best friend is her dog? I can say that for sure. Indie was a pain when he was a puppy, but he’s such a marvellous dog that I couldn’t imagine being without him.
He’s a good dog because he’s had a lot of time invested in him when he was my new puppy. And trust me, that’s a huge part of it.
Keep going! You Got This!
It does end, I promise, but if you do need a guiding hand, I’m here. And that’s my speciality. It’s what I deem myself an expert in and I cannot wait to help you. Not all puppies are the same, but having me in your tool kit in order to predict what’s coming, and problem solve what blindsides you, what do you lose?