Do Your Truly Want That Puppy? Be Prepared for What They Don’t Tell You!
It drives me crazy when people get dogs and are not prepared, and then get rid of that dog without thinking much about it. I bet you know someone that has done it. “the dog just didn’t work out”, or “it was to much work”, “he was crapping all over the place” etc. Where do you think those dogs go to? Given to someone else that does the same thing? Dropped off at a shelter? All because the first person expected that puppy to come home, be cute and be no trouble. That is not fair to the dog that they took the responsibility to care for. I’m not trying to scare you into not adopting a dog, I just want you to know what to expect. After reading this, I might also suggest reading my article The New Puppy Checklist! Are You Prepared?
When you pick up your new puppy, you instantly feel excitement, love, and the instinct to care for this little furry life now in your charge. You may have purchased a bed, dishes, collar, leash and toys all ready to be used by your newest family addition. But are you really, truly prepared for what a puppy will bring into your home? There are things that many don’t speak of when it comes to raising a dog such as chewing due to teething, whining, and a lack of potty training that can lead you to put your newest best friend in a cold kennel at the local shelter, unwanted and in danger of euthanasia.
You may have heard that puppies have the cutest puppy breath, but their mouth is not the only place funny smells come from. Puppies can defecate up to 5 times a day or even more! Even when raised in a clean whelping environment from an ethical breeder or foster home, puppies have no idea where they are supposed to do their business. The only thing the puppy fully understands when he comes into your home is that when he’s got to go, he needs to go! He does not understand how, or why, to tell you that he needs to be taken to do his business, just like a human baby doesn’t know until they are trained. Between this and the puppy’s undeveloped body, he cannot hold his waste for long! It is up to you to make sure all potty accidents are prevented and not punished while you adhere to a potty schedule of letting him go in his designated spot at least once every 45 minutes to one hour! So, expect a puppy to pee and poop in your house! You can not expect a puppy to last all day when everyone is at work.
Outside of the regular waste management, you must prepare yourself for exposure to internal parasites. Even the best of breeders and rescuers will still occasionally have a puppy who’s worms made it through the worming process. This means when they potty, they may shed some dead, and sometimes living, round worms in their stools. In other words, puppies are not for the faint of heart or the squeamish! If you get all required shots, this probably will not happen but it could. Your puppy should be taken to a local vet within 3 days of coming home. It doesn’t matter where you got it, it needs to be checked by your vet right away.
Along with stinky stools comes the completely natural and common act of regurgitation. This is when a puppy had just eaten, and within minutes later will regurgitate his food and eat it again. Let him eat his regurgitation! This is a normal part of digestion for puppies, even though some do it and some don’t. You can tell the difference between regurgitation and vomit by how digested the food is. Regurgitation happens only moments after eating with most of the food still in tact with only some liquid, and the puppy will want to eat it. Vomit is when the food has already been mostly digested and the puppy feels sick, not wanting to eat. And yes, the regurgitation smells!
They require boundaries!
Like with human children, puppies require strict boundaries that you must adhere to just as much as he does! This means not allowing your new pup to go everywhere and whenever he wants. Giving a puppy too much freedom before he is fully trained is only asking for trouble and a string of bad habits to start that can plague the both of you throughout your lives together! This includes bad potty habits, such as doing his business in the guest bedroom when you’re not looking and chewing up your slippers when he is out of your eyesight. Letting this happen, instead of keeping him secure in a safe place, teaches him that he can do whatever he feels like doing as long as you’re not around. Punishing him for it continues to teach him that you should not catch him in the act, making him be more sneaky instead of associating the unwanted behavior with the punishment. This can be totally prevented from the get go if you set boundaries and stick to them!
Using boundaries means the use of an appropriately sized crate and, sometimes, a play pen. Puppies are raised in whelping areas, which are small and give just enough room for a place to potty, a place to lay down and play, and a place to suckle milk from their mother. You puppy, no matter what age he is, will continue to require a small area to lay down in when you cannot watch him with your full undivided attention. First, with the help of a professional trainer help your puppy to associate his crate with positive emotions and rewards. Then, you can begin using it to keep him out of trouble while you’re not spending time with him.
Puppies are far more work than many people let on or are willing to admit. Even adult dogs that are supposedly already trained need time with you to learn their boundaries and how to operate in their new family. Are you truly ready to accept the incredible amounts of time, frustration, work and play time that is needed to raise a puppy right? Can you devote hours a week to his obedience training or handle his whining because he would rather be chewing the dresser corner in your guest room instead of waiting patiently for you in his crate? If you answered no to any of these, perhaps it is time to consider a cat. If you answered yes, your life is about to become difficult while, at the same time, more rewarding, fun, and full of more love than you could ever have imagined!
So lets go over common things you can expect when getting a puppy:
- All dogs chew, expect your puppy to chew on anything he can get his mouth on. This includes furniture! If taught correctly, this will stop over time once they have teethed.
- Puppies will pee and poop in your house. Potty training needs to be done. Dog crates are a good idea for this.
- Dogs will whine, might have separation anxiety. They can be very destructive if they are. Expect it in puppies.
- All puppies will get into the trash or take food if they can. You need to teach them not to.
- All puppies are wild, I don’t care what kind of dog you get, they will be wild. The saying “a tired dog is a happy dog” is true. They need exercise! If they are left at home by themselves all day, they are going to be ready to party when you get home. They needs walks, to run, etc. You must be willing to make sure they get it. If not, again, they can be destructive.
If you do not think that you can deal with a puppy, I would suggest getting a dog a little older that is past all those stages. Though, an older dog might be as bad but if you do your research, I’m sure you will be able to find the perfect pet.
If you need help, that is what this site is all about! You can connect with us on Facebook.
So in the comments below, share stories of people you know that got that new puppy and passed it around after not being prepared.
I started newdogowners.com for one simple reason, to help prepare new dog owners for owning a new puppy. My goal is to help stop the passing around of dogs. The forever home, should be a dog's first home.
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