We’ve recently decided to extend our family by one member… a puppy. Now if you have ever met me you’ll know I’ve wanted a dog for years and years, since the time my mum trolled me and said I was borrowing her friends Pomeranian for the day, on my birthday no less (I’ll never forgive you for that Mum!). But here we are, and at the age of 27, I finally wore my husband down, so we’re buying a puppy.
I haven’t got much knowledge about dog’s upkeep other than feeding and walking them, so I have taken to Google to read everything I could find, and also asked the blogging community for their tips. People’s first-hand advice is always the best so I thought I’d compile a post with all of my blogger friends tips, as well as a few of my own.
When deciding on a dog.
Choosing a dog breed is the biggest decision you will make, here are a few things to consider.
- How big is your home? Having a Great Dane in a small flat with no garden isn’t going to work, so make sure you’re realistic with what breeds would work with your environment and fit into your family.
- Research common ailments, can you afford the bills should they be required?
- With the breed you choose can you give the dog the exercise it needs? Make sure you have enough time each day to walk the breed you want. (Previous 3 bullet points are from Emma at Emma Reed)
- Do you want a puppy or a rescue dog? Rescue dogs sometimes come with issues, but may be trained to a certain degree, whereas puppies will need undivided attention and you’ll need to train them from scratch.
- When you’ve chosen a breed, perhaps ask a friend with one to see if you can borrow them for a day. Every dog is different and has different needs so borrowing one can highlight the care they require. (Leyla from This day I love)
- How old are your kids? Depending on their ages, you may find certain breeds more suitable, for example, if you have a newborn a Rhodesian Ridgeback may be big and cumbersome to train with a baby in tow, whereas if your kids were older, this wouldn’t be an issue.
When visiting a puppy.
There are lots of unscrupulous breeders out there, so make sure you do your research before you buy a dog. Here are some tips to look out for when you go to see the dog. WARNING you will fall in love instantly so make sure you take off your rose tinted glasses when you pick a pup.
- The general consensus is that you shouldn’t buy a dog from an online advert (think gumtree and other pet sale sites), but that isn’t always practical. The best thing you can do when looking for a puppy is to go on the Kennel Club website, they have a “Find A Puppy” service which shows the assured breeder’s litters and you can set up an email notification of new pups. Assured breeders have had a visit from the governing body and are recommended, as they are breeding safely and not promoting dogs with breed related health issues.
- See the pup with their mother, this allows you to get an idea of what they’ll be like when fully grown and show that there is a good relationship between the dogs, if the dad is also owned by the breeder, ask to see him too. (Hayley from Devon Mama)
- Always meet your pup in person before you hand any money over, don’t be tempted to send a deposit before viewing the pup to secure her, any breeder worth their salt will ensure you can see the puppy before paying a down payment.
When you have a baby you read everything on the internet about what you need to buy, there are lists telling you exactly how many babygros to get and everything else. When they actually arrive, half of the stuff you bought stays unused and you find little life hacks to make your days easier. Here are a few tips about things to buy, that you didn’t necessarily think of getting, for your dog.
- “Get a comforter, our pup was very frightened coming into a new environment at such a young age… it helped him settle in his bed” (Kerry from All about a mini Norris)
- If your dog gulps down his food and makes himself sick then an anti-gulp bowl would be a good investment, it saved Kimberly from Odd Hogg from clearing a lot of mess!
- If you want your doggies in bed with you, it may be worth getting a super-king size bed, if you have the room. Pooches are partial to stretching out and taking up all the room. (Tracey from Kidz Cruises)
- Get a hot water bottle out of your cupboard and make it so it is just warm, if you put this on the puppy’s bed it helps them maintain their heat and settle at night. (Gemma from Life with the Peppers)
- Both Angela from The Life of Spicers and Hayley from Devon Mama said that a crate was their best investment, as it gave their pups some personal space to go to when they needed a break.
- Pet insurance is a must for a new addition, Hollie from Thrifty Mum recommends that you shop around for the best deal and make sure you check to see if you can get cash back.
- Puppy pads are also a good purchase, Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof says that the best deal is in Wilkos with 30 for £4.
If you have any tips, please comment below, I will add my tips on as I adapt to the new addition, most of all enjoy it! If you’re sensible you’ll find the perfect dog for you and your family, and you’ll have many happy years together.
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!