As you may have heard, puppy fever has struck the Dog Snobs.
Clearly the only option for this is for the one of us to acquire said furry infant and the nominations are in. Fang is your Miss Dog Snob puppy Owner, 2014.
Aside from being incredibly annoying about the acquisition of said puppy, she’s been making list after list after list and generally being incredibly unwilling to discuss anything else for more than three minutes so you, dear minions can benefit from her obsessing (BusyBee and Potnoodle can attest to this…not that they mind…too much).
So you got a puppy, now what. Here’s a handy guide to doing what you should already know before you got said puppy in the first place.
Pick a name
Names matter. Pick not-stupidly. We know something like 30 Bellas off-hand. Bella shouldn’t be your first choice. Also–read this
Get the stuff you need but don’t have
Leash, collar, crate, dishes, white vinegar (Urine eliminator), Xanax, whatever you will 100% truly need when the puppy comes home.
Don’t get the stuff you don’t need
Diapers, Flexis, life-jackets, backpacks, 25 backup collars, strollers, giant rawhides, expensive toys etc. There is plenty of time to acquire that shit later. Focus on the essentials.
Make a plan
Socialization with dogs, people, umbrellas, wheelchairs, cement blocks, barrels, bicycles. A good touchstone is 100 things in 100 days. What about Training? Puppy Class? Home management? Will you be crating? Tethering while home? Scheduling? How will you figure out a plan to make sure they can potty regularly? Do yourself a favor and hammer out all the details before the puppy comes home. Be flexible, because weird shit happens, but the major bits should be at least conceptualized.
Introduce your other pets
Slowly, carefully, and without being a dumbass. There are a ton of how-to’s online. Look them up.
Call your vet
Get an appointment. Maybe your breeder needs you to get the puppy examined within 72 hours, but regardless call and make a follow-up for the next round of puppy shots. Also a great socialization opportunity over there.
Make a “go-bag”
Puppies are messy, gross little things, much like children. Be prepared with your go-bag for all your puppy-relevant travels. Towels (Paper and standard), water, dishes, Benadryl, wet wipes, spare leash and collar, puppy snacks, and an occupying toy since goodness knows some days we’d kill for an etch-a-sketch when we’re bored.
Register the damn microchip.
Put your name on that sucker. You know what sucks? A dog who gets turned into a shelter, gets scanned, has a microchip and then has no current info on it. A microchip can save a life. Do it now.
Start training right away
No, we aren’t talking about getting your 8 week old pup to do a clean figure 8, but you should remember that the earlier you begin basic training, the better. Puppy may be cute and innocent for now and follow you around like well, a puppy dog, but eventually the honeymoon will be over and before you know it, they’ll have hit that super fun (read: sarcasm) adolescent phase where they roll their eyes and tell you to fuck off. Getting a good handle on obedience and forming a good training relationship early on will save you a lot of trouble in the long-run. Don’t be that person who says “oh, he’s still a puppy” when your year old dog is still acting like an asshole.
Puppy-proof. Then do it again.
This is a great excuse to clean your house and get rid of any unwanted stuff…or at least move your wanted stuff to a safe place. Puppies have a god-given gift for finding stuff you thought you had put away, so do yourself a favor and make sure that you don’t leave anything valuable, toxic, or dangerous at puppy level, and holy crap remember your electronic cords. Do what they do for babies, get down on your hands and knees (Not like that, pervs) and look around. Imagine the havoc you could wreak with just your teeth and some unsupervised time.
Prepare to take lots of pictures and annoy your friends.
At least they aren’t baby pictures but they do grow up fast. Document it, but live in the moment.
Update your emergency contact information.
Who gets puppy if something happens to you? Where do you want them to go for vet care? Any special allergies or circumstances? You need to have all this noted in that document that we assume everyone keeps in their car for travelling with their pets in case there is an accident and you are unable to answer these super-basic questions.
Patience, Patience, Patience
Remember your patience when the puppy is screaming at you at biting because god forbid you take away that toy they wanted a.k.a. Your Macbook’s AC adaptor. This too shall pass if you handle it correctly (See training above) and a time-out/nap time can be as good for you as it is for the puppy.
Make time for your other dogs too
If you have multiples (Like Fang and Potnoodle) or even one other very needy dog (like BusyBee), it’s hard not to be blinded by puppy glamor, but you still have other beasts to contend with at home. Those other beasts may also not be as thrilled with your new addition as you are. Alternate crate time for puppy and quality time for your other pets so they don’t get shafted in the time and training department. Or go all OCD like Fang and make a detailed training schedule because that involves different colors and that makes it fun.
Pick your coordinating colors and theme design
You mean not everybody does that? Seriously?
They’re only puppies for a short period of time and it goes by quickly. Love the puppy you have, train the dog you want and you’ll make the best friend you’ll ever be lucky enough to own.
And Fang’s puppy is the best puppy ever, so just get used to the shame of your less-than best puppy.
It’s okay. I’m sure you won’t even know the difference.