I wish I'd known (in my case, remembered) how exhausting a new pup can be. This time, I'm home 24/7 so I thought things would be easier. Wrong! Maybe getting a new pup is like childbirth. You forget about all the pain after your child is born -- until you go into labor with the next kid!If you've raised a dog from puppyhood:
What are the one or two things you most wish you'd have known before you even brought the pup home? (Useful tips, information about young dogs, must-have products, etc.)
Tips from a new pup owner:
**Get another family member on board to help with cleaning up messes and/or potty runs. At least two nights a week I've had to enlist my son to cover the 8p-10p meal & potty trips and put her in the kennel afterward so I can get some sleep before she wakes for a middle of the night potty trip.
**Be sure you add an extra $1,000 into your budget for unexpected vet visits the first year. My last pooch had an allergic reaction to his shots and a couple months later, after several vet visits, was diagnosed with epilepsy and needed regular medication. My new pup has a bladder infection that didn't clear up with meds and has been referred to a costly specialist. We'll find out tonight how costly. I'm expecting to come home minus an arm and a leg.
** If you plan to get pet insurance, get it ASAP before the pup can be diagnosed with any preexisting conditions. Also know that most pet insurances do not cover well visits or vaccinations.
** Try hard to listen to what your puppy is telling you. I'm having a tough time with this one. Slowly, I'm realizing (often too late) that my pups barking is her attempt to communicate with me (ie: I don't want to be in this room alone; I need to potty; I pottied in my playpen and need it cleaned up ASAP.)
2nd Crate for the car (I don't have but wish I did)
Playpen (aka: exercise pen; x-pen)
Paper towels (lots and lots of them!)
An easy to rinse floor mop
Chew toys (several different types -- I'm working, with minimal success, to get my girl interested in chewing on her holee roller ball and a set of rubber keys. The nylabone wishbone is too large and way too hard. She has no interest in it at all.)
Bully Stick (the ONLY thing my girl is guaranteed to chomp on -- besides hands, feet and clothes)
DIY flirt stick (mine is a 3/8" dowel rod, sturdy 1" ribbon and a small knotted tug rope that I tie to the end of the ribbon. I tie it with a half knot. I like that she can eventually "win" it after a few good rounds of catch & tug; I'll make another later from PVC, rope and some larger tug toy on the end.)
I really like CptJack's comment about NOT calling the pup for something he/she won't like. Excellent advice that I'd not read anywhere else. I'm going to start training myself to do this.