In just under 2 months our little Honey bun is going to be a year old which is so crazy, the time literally flies and I can’t believe she’s not going to be a puppy anymore, although in our heart she will always be our little baby (yes, I’m a crazy dog lady and I’m not ashamed!). Truth is, the love that I feel for our little legged, long bodied and fluffy sausage is something that I’ve never felt, and couldn’t comprehend. EVERYTHING she does amazes me, literally even the fact that she is alive amazes me, I love to watch her and spend time with her – and would spend all my time with her if I could. She’s so loving -unconditionally, and she’s clever, she’s cheeky, funny and makes me laugh. It’s so cheesy, but she’s the best thing thats ever happened to us.
Now that she is almost no longer a puppy anymore, I thought that whilst this is all still fresh in my mind, I would compile a little list of things that I would’ve have found helpful whilst raising this little pup of joy. So, here’s a list of things I wish I knew before we got her:
- You don’t need to buy EVERYTHING! It was about a week before we were due to go and collect her, so we popped down to Pets at Home, went to the puppy section and bought just about one of everything and spent a hell of a lot of money. Most of which we’ve hardly used. Obviously you’re going to need the essentials, a bed/cage depending on what you’re going to do. However, if possible I would really recommend seeing if any family/friends have a cage you could use or getting a second hand one off Gumtree as they can be very pricey! Especially if your pup ends up not liking it like Honey. She never went in it and way preferred a bed or blanket on the floor so we gave up and dismantled it after a couple of weeks. Puppy pads? We’ve still got about 90% of the pack that we first bought and we really didn’t need to, she peed on it like maybe 4 times, and didn’t aide teaching her to go outside at all. Just get the essentials – Bed, water bowl and a couple of toys and pick up the rest as you need it, most breeders will give you some food, so you can hold off getting some until you’ve settled them in and see what they have been eating and what you decide to do.
- Don’t be scared to take them everywhere! Obviously after they’ve had their final jabs and are safe to mingle with other dogs and be around people, but puppy socialisation is so important especially within their first few months of life so introduce them to as much as possible in this time. Even if you’ve only had them a few days and you want to go out to dinner, don’t be worried about taking them or them getting scared by the noise/people, it’s the only way that they will learn that these situations are safe and make it so much easier in the long run.
- Ignore the books – Puppies are babies, and just alike human children they all develop, learn and grow at different paces, so if within the first few weeks your pup isn’t 100% toilet trained or won’t lay down the first 50 times you try to teach them – that’s fine! Be patient, keep trying, and give your pup time to think and lots of praise! They love to make you happy and get so easily excited when they’re pups.
- Don’t ditch the puppy socialisation classes – we made this mistake and we will never be making it again. When we got her we would take her everywhere, take her to the park and have her meeting new and different dogs every day so we thought that we’d ditch the classes as we thought we were socialising her well – WRONG! Unfortunately, where she is so small she get’s scared super easily, and in true Dachshund style when she’s scared, she barks, and she barks at everyone and every dog. Sometimes she has even gotten so overwhelmed when a larger dog comes up to say hello to her that she has pee’d herself or tries to run away. We are now having to try to combat this by taking her to socialising classes to teach her how to deal with these situations, and working on introducing her to other dogs in a safe and controlled environment.
- It’s OK to be scared s***less! – When we first bought her home for about the first 12 hours I was absolutely crapping myself (even though I didn’t let Toby know). I was so scared by the responsibility and the commitment as the realisation that we were now responsible for this life sunk in. I felt like I was the worst dog-mum ever for having these horrible thoughts of have we done the right thing? is it too late to go back? and to top it off for the first hour or so in the car on the way home Honey was crying non-stop, so much so that we were both crying and Toby was so close to turning the car around and giving her back to her doggy-mum. The next morning though when I woke up I couldn’t wait to go downstairs and see our beautiful pup, and she was just as excited to see us.
Anyway, there’s just a few things that I’ve picked up that I hope might be of some help to any perspective doggy parents. They really are the best thing in the world and I could never imagine my life before her 💕.