Prepping For A Puppy
If you haven't heard by now, Tom and I are getting our first puppy. We have been waiting to get this specific puppy/breed (Bernese Mountain Dog) for over three years now, and it's been occupying my mind almost constantly since we signed the contract to get this little guy (and yes, it's a boy). We are so overjoyed!
In all honesty, it took us this long because...
1) we thought our life would look a little different than it does - but God's plan is not ours
2) I needed to mentally prepare for the shedding of this breed
3) we needed to be sure we could handle the financial and care responsibilities
Since we have no control over number one, we asked ourselves a few questions and worked out a few logistics in our minds before going through with getting this giant breed dog. Once we made the decision that we were ready, we needed to take some action on prepping for this little bundle so we'd be well-prepared for his arrival. To be honest, everything aligned so fast, and so perfectly, that our three year wait suddenly diminished practically overnight. So our prepping went into hyper-drive! Today, I'm sharing some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before getting a puppy as well as some products we've purchased for his arrival that may be helpful for you too.
Questions to consider:
- Does your home suit a large or hyper dog?
- Does your lifestyle suit the breed you're looking at? (ex: if you're active, are you looking for a running partner like a lab? Or a lazy dog like a berner?)
- Will you be able to handle excessive shedding?
- Do you own a lot of high quality/expensive items you'd be furious over being chewed or ruined by a dog?
- Does the breed you're looking at do well alone for hours, or will it become unhappy being alone for 8+ hour work days? This can sometimes lead to destructive behavior.
- Is this breed good with children or other pets?
- What kinds of health issues might this breed run into?
- Will boarding this breed be reasonably priced?
- Can you handle the basic needs of food, time for play, time for potty breaks, grooming, etc...?
- Do you understand the financial investment? Some breeds cost upwards of $2500 just for a puppy.
- Are you willing to become more limited in terms of travel?
- Can you afford to replace anything it might destroy or perhaps a new vacuum?
- Are you sure you're not allergic?
- Will it be an inside dog or outside? Will it spend the day barking at the neighbor's dog and driving other neighbors insane?
- You want a puppy, but what about an adult dog? (It will grow!)
- Are you settled, will you move, or bring children into the world soon?
- Do you have the time/patience to train?
... just to name a few. It was these sorts of questions and more that had us thinking. It wasn't until the last several months that we finally answered positively to all these questions. Two years ago, our travels were too important to us, but now, we're more settled and not as likely to hop a plane to Fiji on a whim. Now, we genuinely want to add this little pup to our midst and give up a few niceties. However, I am a bit of a tough critic on these sorts of topics. Perhaps not everyone needs to mull over so many scenarios or questions, but I'm a planner and I like to be prepared, so these were all important for me to feel confident about before diving into puppy ownership.
Now that you've decided on your breed, and you're ready to handle shedding and dirty paws on your floors, where do you go next?
Well, we sought out reputable breeders, but maybe you're into rescued pups. Either way, that's the next "prep-step." Find your dog and confirm a date when he/she is coming home.
Once that's underway, I suppose it's up to you to decide how much or how little to prepare for your new pal. Like I said, I don't like to be caught in a lurch, so we've already ordered and received most of our puppy necessities (and he doesn't come home for nearly three weeks). Here's the list of items we purchased... all from Amazon. These are affiliate links, FYI, but of course, they'll cost you nothing extra should you decide to purchase through them.
We also purchased a collar and ID tag elsewhere, and besides perhaps a blanket, food, and shampoo, we're pretty well set. I'll be sure to circle back after a few months with our pup and let you know if any of these have been problematic or useless, or if we discovered some better products along the way.
The one that I must admit has been nearly impossible to find, is a decent dog bed for a large breed like a Bernese. Everywhere I've looked they've seemed too flat to support such a big dog, or the cover isn't washable (idiotic). We'll stay on the hunt, but it's been a no-go thus far.
I hope this little informative post can help you along in bringing home your new four-legged family member. Or maybe it's caused you to think twice about whether or not you're ready for all a pup could entail. I urge you to research breeds and dog care as much as possible in your own time before deciding to make the leap. I know this time of year can be especially tempting to gift a puppy to a loved one, but please re-think that idea if you're not ready for a possible 15 year responsibility.
If you found this post helpful or you think it would be helpful for a friend, give it a share!
And now, what you're probably here for... puppy pictures! These are the puppies from the actual litter we're getting our little guy from. They were five weeks old, and the most adorable balls of happiness. Enjoy!