Wednesday, 22 November 2017

We Are Getting A Puppy!

We are getting a puppy! On the 28th November, we will be bringing little Pepper, the long-haired Dachshund, back to our humble abode which will turn our two-some into a three-some and I couldn't be more excited! I have dreamt of having a Dachshund for years now and finally my dreams are coming true.

I have decided on a very big decision to go part-time and put my all into my creative work such as my blog and illustration business (currently a work in progress but all will be revealed very soon) which means I will be spending a lot of time at home to take care of a puppy. We met her last week and instantly fell in love with her and are really excited to bring her home next Tuesday.

My parents own two dogs and I was living with them at the time they got both of them so have experienced how dedicated you have to be in training a puppy and the initial costs involved. I thought I would compile a bit of a list just in case you were thinking of getting your own little four-legged friend or just wanted to have a nose at what we've been buying for our pup.

Puppy Essentials

Did you know that it is now a legal requirement for a dog to wear a tag and be micro-chipped? We opted for a Pets at Home 'Find my VIP' tag which doesn't have the puppy's name on or our contact details to avoid her being stolen. It costs around £10.00 per year and was only launched in June apparently but has been a huge success. How it works is you download an app on your phone, enter the unique ID number on the tag which then allocates the tag to your details. If your puppy goes missing then you can send out an alert to VIP members. If your puppy is hurt, Pets at Home pay out instantly so the finder of the dog can go to the vets straight away, saving precious time. The finder just calls the number on the tag which then alerts the owner of the dog. I think it's great and would recommend all dog owners get this as it offers more than a micro-chip!

Dogs are prone to accidents. This is something myself and my family learnt first hand with their Toy Poodle Toby. When he was just months old, he ran into a concrete step in the garden and shattered his front leg. He had to have a few operations and a nut and bolt fitted in his leg which would have been insanely costly if we didn't have pet insurance. (I'm talking £5k plus) We have gone for one that offers Lifetime cover, so if Pepper gets a new illness or injury, she will still be covered. It costs a little extra but is well worth it as unfortunately, there is no NHS for animals and most of us would be distraught if something went wrong and we couldn't afford to pay for it.

As Pepper is on the small side of dog breeds and has an elongated back, giving her the iconic 'sausage' look, we have to think about protecting that. We have bought her a small harness so that when we walk her, we won't be damaging her bone development.

We have bought a medium sized bed which I am sure is going to swamp her initially but it's for her to grow into. In my experience, puppies grow very attached to their beds so it's best to start them off in one big enough for them when they are fully grown. We have gone for a bed that's machine washable too so that it shouldn't need replacing for a long time. Make sure you buy a bed big enough for your puppy to stretch out in when they're small and for when they are fully grown.

We have gone for stainless steel puppy bowls as they don't collect as much bacteria as plastic bowls. We have bought an anti slip mat to sit them on so she doesn't struggle eating/drinking with the bowl moving too much.

| CAGE |
We have a very large cage for Pepper which is to be used throughout her puppy training. Dacshunds are notorious for slow toilet training so we will be keeping her in there whilst she's in training! Ensure you kit it out with lots of toys, a cosy bed, water and a puppy training pad as puppies will not do their business in their beds.

An absolute essential as this will save your carpet! When puppies are very young, they tend to have accidents when they are being trained to do their business outside, especially over night when you are sleeping. I intend to lay one out in a large cage away from my puppies bed so she can do her business.

I have been recommended to buy two different types of dog treats, doesn't matter what they are really, though I try to go for something that doesn't contain cereals. One treat should be used for toilet training only to avoid confusion and the other for generic treats for good behaviour.

| TOYS |
Get your puppy a range of toys. We have got Pepper soft toys, balls, squeaky toys, rope toys and a teething bone. Puppies are very active and will want to play a lot so this will ensure she won't eat/destroy the furniture/garden. We have also tied some toys to the side of her cage so that she feels safe and comfortable in there.

Pretty self explanatory, and an essential. You will need plenty of these for cleaning up after your pup!

Do you have anything to add to my list of puppy essentials? If you have a dog or are getting one soon I would love to hear about it so please do drop me a comment below.

Love Amber x


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