Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022
Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022

Jennifer McShane

These charming Irish cottages are the perfect weekend getaway
These charming Irish cottages are the perfect weekend getaway

Shayna Sappington

Breast Cancer Awareness: ‘There were days I was so sick, I didn’t know how I could get through it’
Breast Cancer Awareness: ‘There were days I was so sick, I didn’t know how I...

Edaein OConnell

How a group of women began rowing on Galway’s River Corrib to aid their recovery from breast cancer
How a group of women began rowing on Galway’s River Corrib to aid their recovery...

IMAGE

‘We almost died’: Gwyneth Paltrow on her 2 very traumatic childbirth experiences
‘We almost died’: Gwyneth Paltrow on her 2 very traumatic childbirth experiences

Sarah Finnan

Susan Jane White’s super-simple, healthy(ish) brownies
Susan Jane White’s super-simple, healthy(ish) brownies

Meg Walker

US ‘Office’ star BJ Novak’s response to discovering he’s an international catalog model gives us big Ryan the temp energy
US ‘Office’ star BJ Novak’s response to discovering he’s an international catalog model gives us...

Sarah Finnan

Missed our Business Summit? Watch the Sessions on-demand here
Missed our Business Summit? Watch the Sessions on-demand here

IMAGE

Here’s everything we know about Adele’s upcoming album
Here’s everything we know about Adele’s upcoming album

Megan Burns

Our picks from Rowen & Wren’s predictably dreamy new collection
Our picks from Rowen & Wren’s predictably dreamy new collection

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

5 things to know before getting a puppy


5 things to know before getting a puppy

So you’ve decided to welcome a furry friend to share your life. But now what?


“It’s just like having a baby” is the most common reaction I hear when I share our furry baby news to friends. This week we will welcome an 8-week-old Labrador puppy into our home. And we haven’t underestimated the work involved. It’s been the culmination of years of being worn down by the children who swear they will pick up every poop and walk it ‘a hundred times a day’. Poor puppy.

But the truth is that it is going to be my baby, that I want it more than them. And I couldn’t be more excited. Our family circumstances mean that we have to buy a puppy rather than the better option of rescuing or fostering a dog which is usually encouraged. This life-changing event has been on the cards for a long time — we wanted to wait until our youngest was almost six years old. Her birthday is in November.

There has been a lot of criticism for the surge in pet ownership during lockdown. Some rescue centers believe that once people’s circumstances change and they return to their “normal life” or back to working outside of the home, that pets are the ones who will be left confused or worse, given away.

Do your research

There are a lot of unreputable puppy sellers out there delighted to overbreed and take your cash. As you embark on your puppy journey, make sure you choose a breeder that is registered with the IKC (Irish Kennel Club) and who is happy to let you see how your forever friend spent his or her first few weeks. A good breeder will give you tips about the personalities of the puppies in a litter and match you to one that suits your needs best.

If you like nothing more than hiking every weekend, a more energetic puppy might be for you. A curious but self-assured puppy might be more biddable when it comes to training. A family pet might have different needs.

“Look for a puppy who is happy to engage with you but also happy to move away”. 

Choose carefully

Cathy Matthews is a dog trainer and CEO of WonderPaws. She encourages people to take the time to observe the litter before choosing. “I would speak to the breeder who knows these pups and how their personalities have developed in the first few weeks. Ask him to recommend a calmer, more thoughtful puppy rather than a shy or boisterous type.

When you meet the pups, look for a puppy who is happy to engage with you but also happy to move away. Avoid a shy pup who does not approach you/hides away or a boisterous pup who may bark or cry for constant attention.

Ask the breeder what socialisation he has specifically done with the puppies from birth to 8 weeks. Has the litter been exposed to different environments and noises, a wide variety of people, people in masks, car journeys or similar?

Has the litter been introduced to different experiences, handling by strangers/children? Has the litter started a toilet training routine? Has the litter been introduced to a crate to help them make the transition to their new homes? It is well established that early experiences have a profound, often permanent impact on the developing animal.”

Prepare yourself

The gear that comes with a new pet can be overwhelming too. You’ll need a crate if you are crate-training, a harness, lead, puppy toys, bedding, food, identity tags, a grooming brush, nail-clippers and have a vet trip booked to keep vaccinations up to date as well as keeping any parasites under control.

But preparing yourself mentally is also important. This is a huge commitment. It is a little life that will depend on you. Ask yourself if you have enough time to take care of a dog? Do you have the money? There will be health emergencies, exercise commitments, smelly carpets (for a bit). Too many dogs end up in rescue centers because owners didn’t ask themselves these very questions.

 

Clear your diary

The first few weeks are arguably the most important. Try to have a few days in a row to settle your new arrival into his new home. Puppy’s first few days away from mum and the gang is a big upheaval. So when you bring them home, you’ll need to give them your undivided attention. If you can spend time showing your puppy around, feeding them, and letting them have a good sniff about it will make their first night a little easier.

Puppies, also like babies, need their sleep. If you have young children, they can easily play with the puppy too much and overtire them. Make it a rule that they must never wake the puppy up. Don’t get annoyed with your new little friend if they poop or pee indoors — just ignore and redirect. Be ready to give a lot of praise when they do go outside. This will all take time.

Make sure you have support

They say it takes a village to raise a child. But a cute little puppy might just need an entire city of helpers. What will you do with puppy if you are away? Where do you go to get help with training? Having a plan, no matter how basic it might be, is a good start.

Align yourself with a trainer or class or puppy socialisation group to find that support where you can. And lastly, enjoy every moment with your new ball of cute. Animal ownership brings endless benefits, relieves stress and reduces anxiety.

It will also hopefully get me out and about a little more. Updates to follow…

Image via Unsplash.com 

Also Read

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

5 things to know before getting a puppy
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

5 things to know before getting a puppy
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan