Many people will be of the opinion that you should always rescue… however, I personally feel that if you and your breeder are both responsible, then there is no reason at all not to get a puppy. You just need to make sure to do your research and make sure you’re ready to commit. Sadly, I have been hearing more and more lately, of so many people getting new puppies without realising how much hard work is involved.
There are links on this post but none are affiliate. All opinions are my own and I’ve received no form of payment for this post, I just do it for fun!
I’m no expert of course, but after a successful first few months with Reggie, here are 8 things that I think you need to consider before you get a puppy!
There will be some sleepless nights and early morning wake up calls
The first two nights that Reggie was first home were very hard, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that. We were fully prepared for it though and it wasn’t a shock, and actually we didn’t really mind, although hearing your new pup cry endlessly is absolutely heartbreaking.
We had already decided that Reggie would not sleep upstairs with us, so the hardest thing was not to give in to his cries and let him come up. It’s really important to ride it out though and start as you mean to go on.
Here are some helpful tips for the first few nights!
- Play with your puppy for a while before bedtime, and try not to let them sleep too much during the day.
- A good breeder will give you a blanket, or something with the mother’s scent, this will reassure your puppy when you’re not around.
- Start as you mean to go on. Wherever you want your dog to sleep, do it from day one and don’t give in to the temptation to change it “just for the first night”.
- You will still need to keep a close eye to make sure they’re not too distressed. I suggest going to check in between cries and whines, to hopefully promote to them that you will come back when they’re NOT crying.
You won’t get much sleep the first night, and guess what? The second night is even worse. Persevere though, and after the first few nights it should be fine!
Not only will you not get much sleep during those first nights home, but you’re going to need to get up early too. We were up at 4am from the first morning with him, which gradually got a bit later and now he generally lets us lay in until about 6am, although we often still hear him stirring very early. (I will say that we are also early risers anyway, so perhaps he’s just got used to that!)
There will be plenty of accidents
Our breeder had done a fantastic job of getting toilet training started, but that doesn’t mean Reggie came home and knew exactly what to do and where to go for his business!
We had plenty of accidents for the first couple of weeks and had many poops on rugs, and even a wee on our brand new sofa… but it’s just what happens when you get a new puppy. It can be frustrating, but you have to just accept it!
Here are some helpful tips for toilet training:
- DON’T get angry and punish them, just take them outside or to wherever you want them to learn to go.
- When they go in the right place, give them plenty of praise and treats.
- When you think they’ve cracked it… there will still be accidents! Don’t be discouraged, they’ll get there. Reggie went weeks with no accidents in doors, then all of a sudden… it was like he just forgot it all over again.
- Buy an odour destroyer! This will get rid of the scent and prevent the pup going in the same place again.
- Take then out to the toilet regularly, even if they might not need to go. We took Reggie outside every two hours for the first couple of weeks and it really helped.
- Be prepared you either get up in the night for a toilet trip, or get up super early.
- Be prepared for diarrhoea, and probably vomit too, not just a little bit of wee or poop. I hate to break it to you, but your puppy will probably have an upset tummy when you first get them home.
Besides toilet related accidents, there will always be a mess
Our house is never clean and tidy anymore. Plain and simple! Even when it is, it doesn’t last long… Some mess that we have been left since having a pup:
- Stuffing from toys
- Dog food on the floors and walls
- Fur. So much fur.
- Laundry taken from the basket and strewn everywhere
- Chewed up shoes
- Permanently muddy floors
- Water from struggling to give him a bath
- Leaves and dug up plants from the garden
- Torn up post… bonus info… puppies CHEW EVERYTHING!
You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and in all weathers
This should be a given but we hear of so many people that don’t walk their dogs! I shouldn’t have to say it, but dogs need to be walked and it doesn’t matter if it’s bad weather outside.
Of course, not all dogs require the same amount of exercise so you should make sure that you research the particular breed you’re getting to make sure you give them the correct amount.
Reggie does actually sometimes refuse to walk in the rain, but we still encourage him to keep going so he can at least go to the toilet and burn off some energy.
You need to give your constant attention (even when you’re unwell or tired)
Again, different breeds require different amounts of attention and maintenance, but it goes without saying that when you first have a puppy they will take up all of your time and focus.
They will want to explore everything, chew everything, eat everything, go to the toilet all the time… so you need to keep a close eye! Not only that, but there’s the training and playing too. You’ll be on the go much more than you might think!
Much like a new baby, a puppy will require your undivided attention and honestly it’s just not fair to them if you can’t commit to that.
There are times that Dale and I are really tired, or have been ill, but we still have to walk, feed and play with Reggie – it’s not always cute fun and games!
Make sure you’re financially prepared
Again, different breeds costs different amounts but it seems common that breeders have put their prices up significantly recently, however it’s not just the cost of getting your puppy to consider. You also need to think about:
- Vet bills – worming, flea treatments, neutering and the unfortunate unexpected bills (research common health concerns in your breed!)
- Food and treats
- Toys… I’m terrible for wanting to get Reggie all the cute toys we see!
- Replacements for all the things they will destroy…
You’re not just getting a puppy, you’re getting a dog
That probably sounds silly but many people just think about the short term, cute puppy they’re getting. But remember this, they’re not puppies for long… you’re committing to having a dog for a significant number of years!
You will have to leave them home alone at some point and the guilt is awful
This was the thing I wasn’t overly prepared for… I genuinely didn’t realise how guilty I could feel leaving my baby at home… yep, my baby. Unfortunately though, we can’t stay home with them all the time, or take them everywhere, so it does have to be done at some point.
Of course, you can’t leave them alone too long either and so another responsibility to consider is making sure someone can always get home. We never leave Reggie alone for more than 4 or 5 hours and I hate it every time we have to do it.
However, it’s always something to look forward coming home to!
So, that’s 8 things I think everyone should consider before getting a puppy! If you have anything to add to the list then be sure to mention it in the comments.
Stay tuned for more puppy and Corgi related posts ❤