5 Puppy Tips
You Really Need
So about 6 months ago when Boe first came home I wrote my first blog post about being a new puppy parent! It was 5 must know tips for new puppy parents and it was also an excuse to share some adorable pictures of Boe - because why not?!
Fast forward those 6 months and our tiny Boe has made our house a home and we simply couldn't imagine life without him. Our days revolve around him and we wouldn't have it any other way - he's genuinely the best decision we've ever made.
But what about those tips? In all honesty when I first wrote that blog post it was very much for the new new puppy parent like me, who was feeling overwhelmed with advice and information. It was my attempt to share with anyone else in the same situation that you just need to take a deep breath and do what's right for you and your new pup, which isn't always the same as those offering advice albeit thoughtful advice.
So after 6 months of sweet Boe what 5 tips did we really need to hear last autumn and what actually would make a difference to any other new pup parents?
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Each Pup Is So Unique
Some of the advice and tips we've received over the last 6 months have been invaluable, others have been hit and miss and others just haven't applied to our situation. I must admit I had a lot of anxiety around the volume of advice we got in those first few weeks and a lot of that stemmed from the fact that so much of it was contradictory. I found the way forward for us was to take the advice we were given and use it as framework for our family. Some things worked wonders, others didn't seem to be something Boe needed and others are still things we're working on as Boe goes from puppy to pup. After all each dog is so unique and after getting to know Boe and his funny little personality we know so much more about him. We know what motivates him, we know he loves routine, we know his likes and dislikes and we know what's right for us as a pack so to speak. Your new pup is such a unique little soul so take the advice you're given, offered and discover yourself but mould it into the advice that's right for you and them. Not only has Boe changed a whole lot in the past few months, so have we!
Pet Insurance is a Must
One piece of advice we got almost immediately from so many dog owners was to make sure we applied for pet insurance and to research the insurance that was the best for us in regards to Boe's breed. Certain breeds are of course more susceptible to certain illnesses and injuries over time, so real research here is key. Of course it's a privilege to own a pup as well to be able to afford to keep him safe and healthy and so this was one tip we organised and prioritised the day we brought Boe home. We've actually already had an unexpected incident in which Boe hurt his paw after missing a step (I can't even describe to you how much my heart hurt...) but even though we didn't need the insurance this time as it was only a minor issue that resolved itself, the peace of mind it brought knowing we had pet insurance in place as we hopped in the car to the vet, was wonderful. I would so recommend organising it the moment you bring your new family member home if you're able to and don't put it off - I know it would be one of my first pieces of advice to any friends bringing a pup home now!
Walks Aren't Straight Forward
If you're also a dachshund parent you'll know I mean this in more ways than one haha! I definitely had an expectation after our research that 'walkies' would be relatively straight forward because all dogs love walks right? Wrong! We've always stuck to the '5 minutes x no. of months old = x amount of minutes' sum. A sum that's just a super simple way of working out the the number of minutes walk a pup should be taking, twice a day, while they're growing. But when it came to actually trying to walk a mini dachshund - I've often thought of how trying to walk a herd of wild wildebeest might be a more straight forward task. Any tips here are still very much welcome by the way but from other dax/mini dax owners I've spoken to on my DMs, I know this might still take a while to figure out fully yet. We've gone through wanting to walk only on a lead to preferring a harness, only wanting to walk towards home and not away from home and most recently just not wanting to leave the house at all but then enjoying himself so much he doesn't want the outing to end when we try to com home. Talk about contradictions! Of course nothing is ever simple and especially not the things you think might be, but I so wish I'd had someone tell me about this!
Routine is Key
We've found with Boe that routine is key but that our routine of course is unique to us. Unique to Boe, unique to our home and unique to our family. Try not to let someone else's routine dictate your own because whatever routine you develop will always be built around all thing things that make your house a home as well of course, as your dogs breed. Dogs are so very clever but their sweet little personalties are so unique that we've personally found Boe thrives with a routine that feels an equal mix of work and play. He knows when it's time to eat, he knows when it's time for a cuddle, he knows when it's time to play/learn some tricks and he knows when it's time to get up. Of course there's always exceptions on each day/week but a routine has really been key, especially in teaching Boe boundaries in the house, toilet training and replacing any biting/chewing habits we saw forming with toys. Of course it's something we'll always have to keep up as dog owners but we're so glad we stuck to a routine from the first weeks he came home.
Google is Your Friend
Of course you can never take anything you find on Google for granted but as a new pup owner finding forums online were people chatted about being new pup owners and especially new dax/mini dax pup owners, was such a comfort. Of course we had an idea of what we were doing when Boe came home and we'd done so much 'research' in advance for his particular breed, but sometimes like any topic you need to hear that someone's experienced what you currently are. From working out the pros and cons of crate training all the way through to wondering how long pups should sleep for each day to ensure they're well rested and their growth is supported and then even something as simple as what toys are best for keeping them engaged and challenged. It's been so interesting, so reassuring and shown me yet again how the internet can be such a positive place.
If you want to take a look at my first advice post to new pup owners then you can head here to see if I was right in hindsight and also to coo over some absolutely adorable puppy pictures of Boe. I can't remember him ever being that small!