5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Dog
My partner and I got our little dog Abby around 5 months ago now, when she was about 8 weeks old (yes, that’s our little angel in the photos). We had been looking for about 6 months for a small dog – we set up alerts for dog adoption websites, took multiple 45-minute trips up to the Lonsdale shelters and followed so many dog rescue Facebook pages that we lost count. One night we were sitting on the couch, watching TV and scrolling through Facebook, when we spotted a litter of puppies on a rescue page, we immediately contacted the page, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Although we had been waiting so long and were (and are still) so excited about having a dog, there are still a few things I wish I had known before we took the plunge.
1. You’ll need to buy a lot of things
Sure, you know that you’ll need to be getting your dog a bed, food, water bowl, leash, collar etc., but there are so many more things we hadn’t even thought of. We didn’t think (or really know about) specific toys for teething, puppy pads for house training and enrichment toys, such as a KONG. And, as they move through various stages of their lives, their needs will change.
Not only are there things you’ll be constantly finding out you need to buy, but there are also so many things you’ll want to buy. I follow so many dog accounts on Instagram now that my partner has to stop me from buying Abby cute (and expensive) new clothes and toys.
2. You’ll lose sleep
Like my mother, and countless other people, have told me during the last few months, it seems like having a puppy is a lot like having a newborn – you lose sleep. If you’ve got a puppy, they’re going to wake you up to let you know they need to go to the toilet (or they’ve just been), or that they’re scared, lonely, bored or cold (especially in the first week when they’re still learning that this is their new home.) So, be patient, it doesn’t last forever, but it will make you tired as hell for a while.
3. You’ll spend all your time on them
And trust me, you’ll want to. Instead of suggesting a night out with the girls, you’ll see yourself suggesting your place instead, so you can stay with your new pup. And you might turn into someone like me, who is constantly asking cafes, restaurants or even wineries if they’re dog-friendly so I can bring Abby along. Honestly, you’ll wonder what you ever did with your time before your dog came along.
Then there’s vet appointments, dog parks, walks, and dog training. Regardless if you’ve decided to get a puppy or an older rescue dog (go you!) they’re also going to need training, which takes time, energy and most of all, patience. But, don’t think of training as a chore, through all my research and first-hand experiences, training your dog not only makes everyone in the house’s lives easier and happier, when done the right way, it helps to nurture and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
4. You’ll have your home chewed up
You knew this already, dogs chew things. We thank our lucky stars that we didn’t upgrade our furniture as we had intended to at the beginning of the year, because now, our old coffee table has chew marks all over it. And not just your home, some of your clothes may take the hit as well. But, that’s not forever (we hope), in the meantime, when your dog is in his chewing phase, keep those things you loved in another room with the door firmly closed at all times.
5. You’ll fall in love
Sometimes I worry that I love Abby too much. I’m the girl that is constantly Instagramming and snapchatting photos and videos of my dog. Every time she masters a new skill, my heart swells up with pride, and every time I see her sleeping peacefully on her bed my heart melts
She is now such an important part of our family and I can’t (and won’t) ever stop cuddling her against her will. Despite all of the ripped clothing and night’s sleep I’ve lost since having Abby, she is still one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Dogs really do make extraordinary companions, but getting one is not a decision one should take lightly, dogs should be your friend for life.
Do you have any tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way having your fur-baby in your life? Share them with us below, or join us over on the Ask My Friend Jane Facebook group and flood the community with doggo spam!