Planning for a Puppy
Planning for a puppy – do you plan for something like that? Some of you may be considering getting your child, or your family, or just yourself, a puppy for whatever reason. Do you know what you’re getting into?
Okay, first, can I just say how much I ADORE Katherine Hepburn’s house coat? And her lines!! *sigh* I’d forgotten how much I love this movie.
The point is, lots of families will be welcoming a new puppy into the family this winter. You’ll see it as a gift, as a way to teach your child responsibility, as something cute and cuddly. What some of you may not realize is that a puppy is YOUR responsibility for a very long time. I’d like you to be prepared to take care of this living, breathing thing before it arrives. Before it goes through the terrible twos.
Terrible twos? Surely that’s just a toddler thing, a human child thing? Oh no no no. I can’t tell you the number of dogs who get dumped in the country, or in suburban ares, or taken to the pound, in February every year. People think, “I’ll just leave him where someone will find him and take care of him.” And why?
Puppies chew things. You think toddlers teething is bad? Puppies destroy what they chew. And housebreaking a puppy is like toilet training a toddler, but with your floors and furniture being casualties.
Geez o’flip. Everyone wants the cute puppy like this one. How adorable is that? But see the pup attack the slippers? It’s that behavior that encourages chewing on shoes. Like when a toddler, who’s learning to speak, mimics mom or dad and cusses. Hilarious the first time. Not so much when they cuss in Sunday school, or in front of Grandma.
Do you drop said child off in a wealthy neighborhood, hoping someone more genteel will raise him? I doubt it. Though now that my three are teens, there are days I wish I had done that when they were two.
I kid! I kid!
So what do you do? Not get your family a puppy like you’d planned? Ah! There’s the key! Planning.
With human babies, we have nine months to plan, to prepare. We stock the nursery, buy furniture, take Lamaze classes, talk to people older and wiser, get advice (lots and lots of advice). We prepare for the child-to-be. Some of us, after the birth, take child rearing classes to boot. We talk to other parents with children just a little older than ours, working through some of the problems we’re having, commiserating. We may not solve everything, but we feel better.
Planning for a puppy is what I’m suggesting. Don’t give up on that cute little bundle of joy because it is work. Get ready for it. Do it right. Do it well.
- Research breeds, visit different shelters, take online quizzes about what breed is right for your family
- Once you have a breed in mind, find out what they need – will the dog be large, small? Active? Long hair? Short? Prepare for the grown up dog. – Collars, bowls, beds, etc.
- Sign up for classes. GO TO THEM. One of the best bonding things you can do with your puppy is to take obedience classes with them, and take your kids, if you have them. Train the whole family along with the dog
- Research the best food you can reasonably afford for your dog – there are a lot of views on what’s best for dogs. Slim Doggy has an assessment tool I used when changing dog food. I think I can safely say, though, that the best treats for your dog will be Jones Natural Chews. 😉
- Look for a good veterinarian in advance. How do you find a good one? Go to your local bark park and ask dog owners which vets they use, whether or not they like them, how much you should expect to spend for vet care.
You can do this. I know you can. Planning for a puppy lays the foundation for a great relationship. Families benefit, in so many ways, by having a dog. Please do your homework. Don’t be one of the statistics, one of the families whose dog gets dropped off someplace because you aren’t prepared. Your family will love you. Your dog will love you. Know what you’re getting into. I’ll love you. Forever and ever. 😉
And don’t forget to enter the Jones Natural Chews giveaway for the Beefy Straight Crown! Click here to get to the entry post. Your dog wants this. And there’s nothing like a sturdy bone to keep puppy teeth focused away from your shoes.
Spreading the good chews …
Today’s post is gently recycled. Be green. Recycle. Reuse. Resomething.