It's a Puppy! Welcoming a Fur Child to the Family

 
Image Courtesy Unsplash

Image Courtesy Unsplash

We are getting our second dog next week. I’m counting down the days and hours. He’s a golden retriever and he’s so adorable and fluffy. He’s just so soft and fluffy. Did I say he’s fluffy?

It can be hard to remember what it’s like to have a puppy when you’re so distracted by the oh-so-sweet videos the breeder has been posting of the fluff-ball on Facebook.

But it’s starting to sink in. We’re getting another puppy.

It’s kind of like welcoming another baby, from what I remember of when we first got Sunny, our golden lab who’s now almost nine.

But I’m a very prepared person. And I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how our life is going to change. And because I love sharing knowledge and tips I’ve created a bit of a list of how we’re getting ready to add our second fur-baby to the family.

  1. I will start with what I think is most important. Chatting with the kids about what to expect. He’s going to be energetic and will want to play a lot. He’s going to have those pointy puppy teeth. He’s going to want to jump on you and we’re going to remind him to stay down. I’ve also set up a list of easy rules for them to follow. Never let the little guy outside by himself. He must be with mom or dad at all times when he’s doing his business. Be very gentle. He may be hyper but please be careful with him and respect his space. Make sure to pick up snacks, wrappers, Lego, stuffies, anything you don’t want him getting into or he can’t get into. This is a great rule. My kids need to learn to pick up after themselves more anyways. I HATE finding granola bar wrappers on the floor! And I’ve also reminded them to make sure to give our first gal Sunny lots of loving too as we don’t want her to feel jealous.

  2. Speaking of Sunny. As I said she’s been the master of our home for a long time. She’s quite spoiled and she’s a big part of our world. My son has formed an amazing bond with her over the last year or so and that’s what got me thinking about it being a great time to introduce a second dog. Besides giving her lots of attention too, I’ve been reading about introducing puppies to older dogs. The biggest advice I have taken from that has been making sure to give the older dog the space they need. So if I have to let Sunny escape to our bedroom to catch some ZZZs while the puppy plays in the living room, that’s exactly what we will do. I will be keeping an eye out for signs that Sunny is getting annoyed.

  3. I’ve been scrambling a bit to get the house ready. It’s kind of like that nesting feeling you get when a baby is about to arrive. The crate is already set up in our master bedroom. Sunny has been sniffing it every day, wondering what’s going on. I’ve put away all the Christmas decorations, been catching up on laundry, keeping the dish pile low, and I will be doing a really good general deep clean before he arrives next week. I don’t want to worry about housework for that first week and it’s a good idea to clear clutter anyways and items he might get into.

  4. On the crate subject: We’ve borrowed a crate from a friend, which was amazing as it saved us a lot of money. I think it’s a really good idea to crate train a puppy, especially when you have little kids. It’s nice for the puppy to have a safe and quiet place to call its own. And it’s great to have a secure place for it to hang out if I have to step out for a bit and also to sleep in at night. I will also use it in the car for the first while as he will be out and about with us and I would hate for him to chew the leather seats while I’m running into the school, for example. This dog is going to be social! The kids at Jack’s school are going to love him. There are obviously other items to buy beforehand, including a leash, collar, poop bags, chew toys, treats etc. Get this stuff before! It’s one last thing you have to do.

  5. And rolling on through to schedules. I’ve tried as best as I can to clear our schedule. We won’t be doing any long day trips to Victoria, for example for awhile. I’m not committing to much for the first few weeks. One sacrifice I’ve already made is not signing up for the next round of my beloved yoga classes. Once the puppy gets a bit older I will resume, however I will be spending those mornings now with him and Sunny and we will be getting lots of walks and fresh air instead. And I’ve already been scoping out puppy classes for the little dude too. How fun!

  6. And lastly, I’ve even been thinking about pre-making some meals for us for that first week or so, so we don't resort to fast food. I may even throw a hint or two out to my parents to bring over a lasagna… well that might be a bit extreme but I wouldn’t say No.

Ashley Degraaf