If you have been following me for a while then you know I dog sit. A LOT. I love all pups. This past week Phoebe, Lupin, and I had a puppers visit us for 4 days. It was definitely a tiring 4 days. VERY VERY TIRING. I wished for naps the entire time. I didn't have enough energy for both dogs. Luckily majority of the time they entertained each other, the only problem, my place is too small for the both of them. When I was downstairs while they were upstairs it honestly sounded like there was a stampede in my home, so we went to the dog park almost every day.
One thing I want to touch on is Lupin, the OG, the head of house, my cute little kitten, and how she handled the temporary addition. The dog I watched has never interacted with a cat. To say I was nervous is an understatement. I mean this dog is bigger than my dog and loves to chase rabbits, birds, anything small. Luckily, Lupin did wonderful. She held her own. Showed her claws. Still the head of house hold. She had to show her dominance, it was important in this adoption.
Since her dominance came out she has let Phoebe know when she wants to play and when she does not. At first I thought she was pissed the entire time they were playing, but then I watched her closely, when she wants to play she walks back and forth in front of Phoebe and will lay down in front of her to get Phoebe to look at her. Since I have bought Phoebe rawhide Lupin lays in front of her more often.
So dog sitting with my new puppy. It was rough. I couldn't believe what I was saying out loud before leaving for work. The most common phrase was "Why are there so many turds in the hallway?!" Both dogs raided the litter box daily. I MEAN DAILY. I didn't have to scoop out turds for 4 days. It was quite fabulous in that aspect, but I was picking them up elsewhere.
Phoebe also learned doggy etiquette. She got to learn when and how to play with other dogs and pick up on their queues. Only a couple times did the other dog growl at her when she got too rough.
Despite it being tough, I will say she did learn a lot, but she learned from the other dog, not so much from me. Her training kind of came to a standstill as her attention was focused on the other dog. I have been house training her and the accidents happened more frequently with the other dog here. Now with the other dog gone, I have been able to keep a calendar of accident free days. Yes a calendar. I am treating it like a workplace accident.
So if you are thinking about adopting a puppy, I have created the following list for you to consider.
10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Puppy
1. Patience. Do you have it?
It's important to have a lot of patience. You will be spending a lot of time training a puppy. Getting them on a feeding schedule, house training, or even using a crate. There is a lot to consider.
2. Take time off work.
If you are able to take a couple of days off work. Do it. I didn't do this and I wish I did. I adopted my puppy from the Humane Society. Before adopting her she had a rough prior 24 hours, but I don't feel bad that I didn't take off. She was able to get used to the sounds and smells of my house without me there to make her nervous. She stayed in her cage majority of the time, but I do think she would have acclimated quicker if I was there with her.
3. Give your puppy space.
Read above reason. I gave her time to get acclimated. If you don't have your puppy in a secured area then just keep a watchful eye so you don't have any potty accidents.
4. Get ready for food sensitivities.
Make sure you transition food properly, otherwise you'll get a puppy with diarrhea. I transitioned the food properly like the bag suggested AND it went very well. However, while I was dog sitting, the other dog ate a different brand, which Phoebe ended up eating when I wasn't looking. She ended up with diarrhea. It was fun...
5. Don't dog sit.
As much as you want to help out your friend, I suggest not dog sitting shortly after adopting a puppy. I know this may not happen, it was just a coincidence in my case, but still something to think about. My puppy had a lot of fun, but the strides me made to scheduled eating and house training kind of went out the window.
6. Energy. Do you have it?
A puppy has a lot of energy and you will need a lot too. I mean a lot. My puppy goes and goes. Luckily we have the same energy levels at the same time. We may have adjusted to each other, but by the end of the day I am passing out hard. It is recommended to exercise your puppy about 30 to 60 minutes per day. It is much needed for their health.
7. Pet proof your home
No matter how great you did at pet proofing your home, I can almost guarantee your puppy will find something they shouldn't. My puppy still finds my socks and shoes. The one thing to remember is to just take it from them and hand something they are allowed to chew. This will help them to know the difference.
Are you financially able to take care of a puppy? Do you have money set aside for any emergency pet visits? Have you thought about pet insurance? These are things to think about because let's face it, it's a puppy. Puppies eat anything and everything. You may keep a watchful eye on your new puppy, but sometimes they swallow something so quickly you don't know what it was. If they eat something they shouldn't have and they get sick, you may be paying a hefty vet bill. Setting aside savings for your family member is important.
9. Existing Pets
You know your current pet more than anyone else, so when you are thinking about adopting keep your current pets temperament and personality along with yours in mind. This is important because you obviously want both animals to get a long and you don't want to give up one because it doesn't work out.
10. Your Lifestyle
Are you home a lot? Do you go out? Will coming home to take care of your new family member be a burden? Will you feel inconvenienced? There's a lot to think about before adopting a puppy. Especially when it comes to your work schedule, travel plans, weekend plans, and so forth. You now have a life that you're responsible for.