By: LaShonda K. Rogers
Proud Puppy Owner/ Part Time Dog Walker
For me, this was an enlightening experience when I adopted my puppy Hazel which is a Jack Russel Terrier from a nearby shelter in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before this time, I had never owned any larger pet animals. While I filled out some paperwork at the dog shelter, the lady that helped me get my little Hazel warned me that being a first-time puppy owner will come with its ups and its downs, and sometimes there will be more downs than ups. Boy did I underestimate what she said?
Are you considering getting yourself a new puppy? Thinking of all the good and fun times you guys will have? Although it is true that you and your new puppy will be creating very memorable moments together with each other that will also come with some things that you might have not considered before getting your new puppy. Here is a list of things every puppy owner should know.
Are you someone that finds yourself getting upset very quickly? Is it hard trying to maintain your composure and not flipping out in certain, rather minuscule instances?
Ever been told that you need to seek anger management classes? If you answered yes to any of those questions that you might want to reconsider your new puppy. Or before getting your puppy attempt to resolve any issues that may lie within one’s self. All too often I find dog owners that abuse their dogs either physically or verbally for no reason or fault of the dog.
Honestly, your puppy will make mistakes. It is a creature that simply acts on instincts and nothing else. You must learn that a puppy is just a puppy. What you think your puppy is doing wrong is not even in their mind that anything wrong has just occurred.
You will often find yourself cleaning up poop all day long, repairing damaged furniture, or anything else your dog can get its mouth around. It’s just some of the things that come with being a dog owner. Rule #1 of being a dog owner, patience is necessary, patience is key.
Did you know that some dog breeds suffer from really bad separation anxiety? I know I sure did not. Luckily, for you, I figured this out the hard way.
Yes, that is a picture of my carpet completely torn apart in my less than a 1-week old apartment. Not only that, but Hazel is a repeat offender because she also did the same thing in an Extended Stay Hotel I was staying at for the weekend.
Needless to say, if you are a very busy individual that might not be able to be in your puppy’s face 24/7 then make sure there is somebody there to monitor and spend time with your pup.
You will notice very early if your dog suffers from separation anxiety very early. Some signs of separation anxiety to look out for are whining from your puppy when he/she thinks you’re not around, you will often find things either partially chewed or just destroyed depending on their capabilities, you will find that your potty-trained puppy will get its revenge on you by using the bathroom in very obvious places of your house and so much more.
As your puppy grows up you will notice that they will learn that the anxiety will get better and you will come back to less and fewer damages each time. (Hopefully) A handy dandy little toy that I picked up for myself to avoid even more damage in my home was Furbo Dog Camera (link to Amazon).
It allowed me to have some peace of mind because I was better able to watch Hazel when I was not around and I was even able to speak to her from wherever I was and even toss a few treats to her every now and again just for being a good girl.
Some people think that (including myself) maybe if I get a dog with short fur that they won’t shed as much. This is the furthest thing from the truth. The only difference in shedding between a long-haired dog and a short-haired dog is the length of the hair that you find littered throughout your couch.
My dog Hazel sheds like she is attempting to undergo a metamorphosis each week. I often find myself spending my entire afternoons cleaning up clumps of fur that she has scattered throughout my apartment. Helpful hint: Invest in a vacuum if you don’t already have one.
What I am in the process of doing to cure her of her aggressive shedding is by adding just a teaspoon of vegetable oil to her food bowl. This will not only help her to keep her fur where it’s supposed to be which is on her body, but it will also add a bit of a shine to her coat. It can also be applied externally to help your dog with dry skin, flaky, itchy, or visibly irritated skin.
Another helpful product that I used to use on Hazel that really helped her with her shedding was Krill Oil Shed-Free Soft Chews (link to Amazon). My only reason for not continuing its use is because I just simply don’t enjoy the smell of it and she did not seem to enjoy it any more than I did. But, besides its smell, it works like a charm and does what it is intended to do.
3 Things You Should Never Feed Your Puppy
#1 – Grapes & Raisins
These can be extremely toxic to a dog’s kidneys and can cause serious intestinal damage to your dog which can result in blood in their urine, blood found in your dog’s poop, kidney failure, urinary obstruction, or even death. You may think that a grape is a fruit that is organic which means it is safe.
I thought the exact same thing. This is why I found myself googling “can dogs eat grapes” before considering feeding Hazel a bowl of some mushy grapes that I just can’t enjoy. Thank you, Google.
#2 – Chocolate
There are things found in chocolate that a dog’s digestive system simply just cannot break down or metabolize quickly enough. Feeding chocolate to a dog will usually upset your dog’s stomach and result in them suffering from an upset stomach, vomiting, or even diarrhea.
#3 – Human Food
Trust me, I know how it feels to be sitting at your dining room table devouring a full course meal while your dog just stands beside you whining and whimpering in hopes that maybe just a tiny piece of turkey legs falls from your plate onto the floor.
Although dogs can physically process some human foods you should not begin a habit of feeding it to them. Doing this will usually cause your dog to beg you for everything you eat but worse is you will find that your dog will often neglect their own food just to share in on your next meal.
Begging dog behavior must be discouraged and put away with as soon as you encounter it. It is easier to stop a bad habit sooner than later.
It is best that before you consider getting a puppy to take a dog personality breed test. This test will analyze your characteristics or traits and use that information to find a dog breed that will be perfect for the type of individual you are.
I am a college nursing student and I spend a lot of time doing research and working at hospitals, so I rarely find time to spend with Hazel. I found that by using this free tool that Hazel was the perfect dog for me because after she reaches adulthood, her breed will usually not display any signs of separation anxiety if they had to be left alone for an extended period of time.
If you are someone who finds great enjoyment in reading a book in a quiet room, then maybe something like a rambunctious chihuahua isn’t really the dog for you. Also, if you live an active lifestyle and are maybe in the market for a pet workout buddy then I don’t think a pug will effectively close the gaps for you.
Training your puppy or dog can be a lengthy, rigorous, and time-consuming process. We know! At smarterpuptraining.com there is an abundance of articles and other related content that is associated with tips and tricks to training your puppy such as teaching them to sit, stay, stop biting, the entire potty-training process and so much more.