A Day in the Life of... Pepper and Minnie: Part 2
This week with Pepper and Minnie covers buying a puppy, breeder tips and bringing your puppy home.
Hello, we’re back! As I sit on our bed (my husband & mine not the dogs & mine!) to write the second part of this blog I am about to fall off the side as I find my two 6kg dogs are taking up so much space! I know they are long but this is ridiculous, I’m not even sure this would be acceptable if I was sitting on a single bed! Anyway, I am the bigger idiot as I let them push me to the edge - I know, I know, how does a miniature dog push a full grown adult – but ask any dachshund parent, they won’t be able to explain how but they will confirm this is exactly what happens.
Following on our journey of love…after giving in to my husband’s doubtful logic, the road to buying a puppy was short for us; it took us longer to choose a name than find the perfect puppy!
We knew we wanted a puppy as opposed to an adult dog and we knew which breed we wanted. I also knew that I would need a kennel as the dog would be staying outside, but apart from that we didn’t think about much else.
With a little research my husband found a reputable breeder close to where we live and by pure chance this breeder was almost ready to sell the puppies of a recent new litter. So appointment made, we took the nervous drive to view puppies. If anyone has ever seen nine week old dachshund puppies they will understand how in about five seconds flat my heart melted. I knew exactly which one I wanted – the little one at the back who was very timid and quiet – they say dogs are like their owners – so of course I would fall for the quiet, timid one - why anyone I know reading this is laughing I have no idea!! ;)
Buying a puppy
Before you start looking for your perfect canine companion consider your situation:
- Your family (single, with partner, kids, age)
- Your accommodation and outdoor space
- Your lifestyle/your work (are you away from home for long periods)
- The amount of time you can dedicate to exercise
- Do you have any other pets
- Your neighbours (do you want a howling breed that will make you ‘that’ neighbour)
are a few considerations. Once you have an idea on the breed which will best fit your life, go investigating. A word of advice, be prepared for being so super excited, you will want to bring your new little baby home immediately!
If you decide you want and can commit the time, emotion and finance to responsibly look after a dog then there are many options for buying a puppy – through your local papers, from a breeder, from a family or friend or look on your local vet/pet shop’s notice board or visit your local rescue centre where you might fall in love with a dog who needs a new home.
Tips for buying a puppy from a breeder
- The person selling the puppies should be the person who bred them
- You should be able to meet the parents, or at least the mother
- You should be able to see where the puppies are kept
- Do not buy from a breeder who doesn’t meet you in their home
- The puppy should be at least 8 weeks old before you can bring them home to make sure he/she has had the necessary vaccinations
- Be wary of a breeder who says they can get you any breed, sex or colour – they most probably are a puppy farmer
- Check you can you find out how frequent the breeder sells puppies
- Do not buy if you have any doubt about the breeder or their situation
- Consult with a local owners club who might be able to advise on reputable breeders.
Remember you don’t have to opt for a puppy you can be brave like Gemma and rescue a dog from your local centre.
Referring back to my earlier comment “I knew I would need a kennel as the dog WOULD be staying outside”, that is literally the only thing I thought about before I met our breeder and her new beautiful litter of pups. On the excited journey home, I started to list all the things I would need to make our house my new little baby’s home, which my husband had to go and buy the next morning so I could get my new pup home ASAP.
- Food - it's a good thing we do a 100% natural puppy food
- Water bowl
- Grooming equipment (breed dependent)
- Puppy training pads or newspaper
- Bed (don’t buy a soft, plush bed as puppies are known for ripping them apart – think about using old blankets/sheets/towels on the floor or a crate made comfy with soft material)
These are the necessities – you can think about other things they need (or you want) as you develop your relationship with your new family member.
You will note that kennel is not on my list. Yes that’s right, just to make it clear Pepper and Minnie enjoy the full comforts of our home downstairs and upstairs. Although I shouldn’t admit that they go up and down the stairs as this is not recommended for my low, long bodied little beauties. In my defence, we brought Pepper home in December 2010 – one of the coldest winters on record; the snow was deeper than Pepper’s wee short legs. How could I put her outside in a kennel – have some compassion!
Taking a new puppy home
Have your home ready to invite your four legged bundle of joy home. This goes beyond deciding if you buy a crate or use old blankets, sheets or towels for your pup’s bed. Here are a few watch outs to help you safely welcome the new boss in your home:
- Dog proof your house by moving any low down, breakable items higher until your new family member gets used to their surroundings and integrates into their new home
- Remove electrical cables so they are inaccessible
- Some puppies like to chew, so be mindful where you leave shoes, kids toys, etc
- Decide where his or her's bed is going to be
- Decide where in your home you allow your new pup to wander, explore and make theirs – then block off those areas you do not want your dog in and train them that this area is off limits
- Make your outdoor space secure so your pup does not go wandering where they shouldn’t
- License your pup
- Buy pet insurance
- Register with a local vet.
You might have guessed that I adore my two girls, they bring much joy and fun into our home. But I don’t want to mislead you that being a dog parent is all sunshine and rainbows.
Be prepared for the crying for the first few nights when you bring your new pup home, be prepared for the potential damage that can be caused by chewing or accidental knock overs, be prepared for the poop and pee accidents which can happen on the floor, be prepared to take the time to properly train and socialise (with other humans and dogs) your new pup, be prepared for the amount of loud barking directed at the poor post or delivery man/woman, be prepared for the heartache of leaving your dog behind when you go on holiday and be prepared to take holidays that accommodate your new situation. Just a few cons – but in my experience the pros will far outweigh these trivial cons.
Next week we will talk about introducing your four legged children to new additions to your family.
Bye for now,
Elaine, Pepper and Minnie x