The truth about having a puppy & a child

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image1Tucker, our Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix

Ah puppies! We all love them don’t we? but lets get straight to the point. Having a puppy & a young child is HARDWORK!

We got Tucker back in April 17 when he was just a few weeks old and Luca my son was 3. We were all so excited and thought now would be the best time to introduce a new member into the family. What I didn’t anticipate was that puppies are literally like wild, undisciplined, biting, over excited toddlers without nappies on. Puppies have to be taught everything from scratch. It’s a bit like when your pregnant for the first time and you always imagine what it will be like when the baby is here and you picture all things lovely and peaceful, even when you try to think about the sleepless nights and crying nothing really prepares you for the real deal does it. No matter how prepared or ready you may feel, you don’t understand the reality of having a baby until BAM the babies here and is screaming non stop at 4am night after night and you don’t know what to do. That’s kind of how I felt with Tucker.

 

So we had this little gremlin running wild around the house, weeing and pooing where he liked, chewing everything he found, nipping everyone and taking 20 second catnaps in between. Our life was turned upside down by this little puppy, it was funny and stressful all at the same time. Luca couldn’t play with all his toys out in the front room anymore as the puppy would chew them, Tucker would cry and howl all night long for the first couple of weeks never wanting to be left alone, I had to wake up several times through the night to let him outside to do his business. I would stand in the freezing cold or rain for 30 minutes sometimes waiting for him to do something, to then come back inside and he does it in the kitchen instead. NOBODY likes cleaning up a dog turd at 3am!  We had to stop drying clothes on radiators for a while as Tucker would rip the clothes of and chew holes in them, he pooed on the sofa, he would hump the cat, bite the cats tail, he tripped Luca up a fair few times as he would pelt it through your legs at any given moment, and the list goes on…

I was beginning to go a little bit crazy especially since I couldn’t take the puppy for a walk until all his vaccinations were done. Those first few weeks were absolute carnage, who would of ever thought a little tiny animal could stir up so much trouble haha!

It took awhile for us all to get into a routine, but life defiantly gets easier when your able to take your puppy out on walks. A tired puppy is a good puppy! We were all able to explore together and it made us all bond more. We couldn’t imagine our life without Tucker, he’s a family member and as hard as it is raising a puppy it’s also incredibly rewarding. Here are a few helpful tips if your thinking about adding a new fluffy member to your family:

  • Consider the timing – Luca being 3 was the right time for us to get a puppy for many reasons. Consider how old your children are and your own situation before jumping straight into getting a puppy.
  • Discipline and apply boundaries as soon as your puppy gets home.
  • Supervise, supervise, supervise – The minute you take your eyes of the puppy he could be nipping your child, weeing on your favourite rug or chewing your shoes.
  • Set up a puppy space for when you can’t supervise – Weather that’s a crate or the kitchen, your puppy needs a safe space where they can go and you not have to worry about what they could be getting up to.
  • Have a daily routine for your puppy – Housetraining goes more smoothly if your puppy knows what to expect everyday.
  • Socialise your puppy – From the moment your able to take your dog out, let them meet other dogs. I also made a point of having Luca’s friends round even more when we first got Tucker so he would get used to children. (This defiantly paid of as he is brilliant with children).
  • Don’t leave anything laying around the house – Puppies will chew anything in site, everything is a toy to them at first so if you don’t want it destroyed pick it up.
  • Toys, toys and more toys – Just like children puppies get fed up of the same toys, so keep rotating them.
  • Check your dogs poos – Gross I know but you can tell a lot about the puppies health from his/her poo.
  • Vet & Groomer costs – Apply to The healthy pet club you will save money!
  • Take lots of pictures – Puppyhood goes by so fast.
  • Be prepared for your puppy to become a stubborn little brat age 6-10 months – Congratulations your puppy is now a teenager – good Luck 😉

 

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