Don’t get me wrong, getting a puppy was the best decision I have ever made. The BEST decision. Even if I knew every single one of these things before hand, I would have not made a different decision. I love my dog and I would 100% consider her to be my first child. However, I do wish I had known a few of these things before we got her so I thought I would share them for any one who is thinking about getting a puppy, new puppy parents or just anyone who loves to talk, and read, about puppies – like me!
Those first few nights are SO HARD! I had heard a few people say ‘it’s like having a baby’ and I genuinely thought they were over reacting and making a big deal about it. Turns out, I was wrong. Now, I am not someone who enjoys to admit that they are wrong, but I was! The first week that we had Winnie, she slept in the kitchen where she had her bed and a puppy pad. She was so good, I filled up a hot water bottle and she cuddled up and went to sleep. I found it so hard to leave her, it was absolutely heart breaking. Because we gave her the puppy pads we didn’t have to wake up in the night because she just went to the toilet on those but it was really sad. Once she started sleeping in our bed she would wake us up a couple of times a night to go for a wee. We still use puppy pads at night but she won’t jump off the bed unless we take her to the bad so she still wakes us up. The only time she wakes up for a wee now is if my boyfriend wakes up for a wee and she will go too whilst he’s up.
Almost as hard as those first nights, the first walks! One of the things I was the most excited about when I got my puppy was going to the park for walks. If only I had known. The first walks are PAINFUL! It will probably take you about an hour to get five minutes down the road, the dog won’t walk, every single person will stop you to chat and if you want to get anywhere you will have to pick up the dog. My dog loves to walk now but when we first started going out she wanted to sniff everything, she wanted to stop to listen to every single sound and she just stopped every two seconds to stand still for a moment.
When we first went to the pet shop to buy toys, treats and everything else that our puppy could ever need, I seriously underestimated just how many treats we might need. I had the mindset that she was a little pup so she probably wouldn’t need that many treats. When I think about it now, you end up giving treats every single time they do something good or cute which, when you’ve just bought a puppy, it’s constant. We have gone through so many treats and, like the vet told us, at this age – no amount of treats is too many.
No more chilling out!
Gone are the days of coming home from work, eating some dinner and passing out on the sofa in front of the TV. You have now began a new life of coming home, feeding your puppy before you feed yourself, playing with your puppy, running around with your puppy and finally crashing out with your puppy on your face! I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it is a whole different evening routine!
Puppies are SO needy
This, I had absolutely no idea about. Obviously I knew that a puppy would need you, you’re the one who is going to do everything for them but I had no idea how needy she would be. I don’t know if this is all puppies but Winnie just wants to be as close to you as possible, sleeping on your lap is NOT good enough for her, she prefers to lay across your neck or, if possible, on your face! Bath time and toilet time is no longer you-time, it’s now a family event. I was in the bath the other day and Winnie spent the whole time with her nose on the side of the bath and she cried every time I stopped stroking her! Going to the toilet is also now a group event – enjoy!
You will panic like you never have before
I have had a dog before but I have never had a puppy so this is all new to me. Because it’s all new, I don’t really know what I’m doing and every single thing makes me panic. If she has a loose poo, sleeps more than usual or doesn’t eat, I’m online looking up what could be wrong and contemplating whether to go to the vets. It’s so scary because you just want the very best for your fur baby and you would never forgive yourself if anything happened but at the same time, try not to worry. If the same abnormal symptoms continue for an extended period of time, give the vets a call and ask if they think you should come in but generally, especially with young puppies, it’s all a process of getting to know their environment, you and your routines.
You will become ‘that’ owner
Before I got a puppy, I would look at other dog owners and wonder why they have a whole Instagram account dedicated to their dog, why their dog has a bigger wardrobe than they do and why, why on earth are you cooking real human food for your dog? Well guess what guys, I got a dog and now I am ‘that’ owner. My dog is my baby, I call myself mummy, I post photos of her every day, she has a huge wardrobe and I cook her homemade dinners. It’s not what I would have ever expected to be doing but here we are!
It takes twice as long to get anywhere
Now don’t get me wrong, I know my puppy is adorable – I love her, but I never knew how many other people would think that! It takes so long to get anywhere because everyone wants to stop and have a cuddle and a chat. I don’t mind it because it’s lovely to meet other local dog owners and of course she loves the attention. That being said, make sure if you are going out, leave yourself twice as long as you would usually take or you will never make it on time!
Say goodbye to your home as you know it
I made the mistake of buying a brand new sofa right before I bought my puppy home. I didn’t really have a choice as we had just bought our house so we needed furniture but if I had realised how soon we would be getting a puppy, I think I would have gone for a cheaper sofa. We have been very lucky with Winnie and she hasn’t really chewed much up but our sofa is destroyed. Those damn claws are so sharp that everything she touches falls to pieces and she doesn’t even know how!
Your heart will never be so full
I knew I was going to love my puppy, who doesn’t love a puppy, but I had no idea just how much I was going to love my puppy. You might have worked this out from everything else I’ve said but my puppy is like my child, I treat her like a baby and I would do anything for her. I never thought I could love a fur baby just as much as I do, but my god my heart is full!
Love always, Alice x