Yep. We bought a puppy. I wonder if every parent second-guesses that choice once they make it. But nonetheless, what’s done is done and she is super cute. So, here’s some tips to help you when you buy your puppy too.
Of course, this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve had other puppies before. It’s kind of like having a newborn; you forget the hard stuff because they are so darn cute. Anyway, here’s some puppy raising wisdom that will hopefully help you.
Buy the right kind of puppy
There are tons of different kinds of dog breeds out there. Some dogs are easier to own than others. Plain and simple. We chose a golden retriever. Do your research to understand what you want and what you’re getting into. Check out this link: Dog Breeds You Should Think Twice about Getting.
Keep your dog off the carpet
This is, of course, a personal choice. But I once had two big Great Danes who literally took over the house. There was dog hair everywhere. I was embarrassed to have anyone over. So, the minute your puppy comes home, establish the carpet line. They will learn really quick that they are only allowed in the kitchen or whatever area you decide.
Provide a free-roam kennel
Puppies need a safe place. That’s what kennels are for. But when our puppy howled every night for weeks inside her kennel, I was about to give up. Then, one night, I just left the kennel door open. I put her inside and gave her a treat. She stayed in the kennel all night. Don’t force it and they will start to love it.
Invest in a fence or perimeter collar
You need to be able to leave your home without worrying about your dog escaping and terrorizing the neighborhood. I can leave our puppy in our fenced backyard all day and she is completely fine. Here’s a cute sign you can hang by your gate to remind people to keep it closed.
If you don’t have a fence, that’s okay. You can buy a perimeter dog collar that creates an invisible fence around your home. If you dog tries to leave your property, his collar will shock him.
Put your kids to work
If your kids really want a puppy as much as they say they do, then take advantage of that motivation. All dogs poop and you should not be the one in charge of picking it up. Every other day is optimal, but once a week will do. Check out this pooper scooper that makes it even easier!
Consider your own situation
Aside from being a dog-owner, I’m also a landlord. If you’re renting, maybe having a dog right now in your life isn’t such a good idea. If you’re lucky enough to find a place that allows dogs, you’ll probably be paying a pretty hefty monthly dog fee. And then most-likely, your dog won’t have a yard to run around in. Is it really worth it?
Invest in some chew toys
Puppies like to chew. They will chew whatever they can find, including your brand new pair of $100 shoes. So, buy them a really good chew toy and make sure they get enough exercise each day. They get destructive when they are cooped up all day.
Pay close attention when your puppy is inside
Potty training a puppy really isn’t that hard as long as you keep a close eye on him. But, if he goes when you’re not looking, you can’t discipline him later. You have to catch him in the act. That’s why it’s nice to keep him off the carpet too. It’s much easier to clean up accidents on tile.
The puppy phase doesn’t last forever. Once he is an adult, he becomes less-destructive and more obedient. Before you know it, he’s the perfect little companion.
Don’t go bankrupt for your dog
I have a strict $500 vet bill policy. I won’t spend more than that because guess what, it’s just a dog. Heartless, I know. But I refuse to go into debt for an animal.
Have fun with your puppy
Don’t wish the puppy phase away. It can be stressful, but they are so freaking cute and it doesn’t last long. My kids fight over who gets to play with Ruby next. They truly love her so much.
What other ideas do you have when raising a puppy? Leave your comments below.
Related link: 10 Job Ideas for Kids to Earn a Little Extra Money