Hi guys! Today I want to talk about someone who is extremely important to me: Penelope the Dachshund! I haven’t introduced the blogging community to P (as I call her) yet but today is the day! Penelope is my little best friend. She’s a huge part of my life and I make sure I take great care of her, and I love reading about other bloggers experiences with their pets. She’s a long haired miniature dapple dachshund (what a mouthful) and is currently 5 months old.
Today, I wanted to just focus on planning for a puppy: Puppy 101. I had never owned a dog by myself before P, so it was a newer experience for me. My mom had 2 dachshunds herself but it’s a different story when the little face looking up to you is completely reliant on you for care and well being. I scanned Pinterest for hours looking at puppy checklists, what human food dogs can and can not eat, potty training, and the best food and toys for them. I got some good tips and got even better ones once my bundle of fur came into our home and I had to live with her and not just read about how to care for her. I’ve rounded up some of my best Puppy 101 tips when thinking of getting a dog for you guys. Look forward to more posts in the future featuring my little P!
Tip 1: Do your research. This is the number one tip I can give. I am by nature someone who does their research, so this was an easy one for me, but one tip I wanted to mention nonetheless. Look into how big the type of dog you’ll be getting will grow to be, how much the local adoptive fee is and if that includes spaying or neutering, if you’ll want to buy a puppy play pen or a crate, and what vets are in your area. Look into all of these things plus many more. It’s much easier to have a list of things you’ll need and prices you’ll have to account for before you have a little buddy running around and chewing on everything.
Tip 2: Be realistic. This is a tougher one for me, personally. Shane is extremely realistic and me….not so much. For my first year out of college I lived alone while Shane was still in school across the state and I was constantly begging for him to get a puppy with me. Even though I truly wanted a puppy it just wan’t realistic. I travel for work so I couldn’t always count on me being home, I didn’t have a ton of extra money, and certainly not a lot of time. I waited until Shane had moved back home, we had an apartment that allowed pets, and we knew we’d have enough time and money for her.
Tip 3: Be financially responsible. Having a dog is expensive! The larger the dog is, the more expensive he or she will be also. Penelope is a miniature dachshund so even at full grown size she’ll probably only be 10 pounds. Even so, she’s a spoiled and well taken care of girl and that costs monnnnnay baby! Plan on having money set aside for the cost of the dog, a pet deposit (if your house or apartment calls for one, which ours did), dog food, carpet cleaner (if you have carpet, it will be peed on), toys, a collar and leash, a dog bed, a crate or pen for the puppy, vet appointments for the first few months, and treats.
Penelope came with one round of shots but within having her for 2 months we did have to visit the vet twice and pay for the shots and vet visit. We have an affordable local vet but we drive about 30 minutes away from our city to visit them because they were recommended to me and are always helpful over the phone. We bought her plenty of toys so she would be less inclined to chew on everything, treats for training, a blanket, and a great brand of dog food. It’s more expensive but for me, it’s worth it to buy her great food so that she’s healthy and has less health problems in the long run. She eats Orijen puppy food, by the way. 🙂
Bottom line: caring for a dog and ensuring they live a happy and healthy long life takes time and money. Be prepared to have plenty of both!
Tip 4: Plan ahead. This applied to me and I’m sure it applies to many other dog owners. Like I’ve said, I travel for work and Shane and I take trips together. We can’t take Penelope on many of those trips so we have to plan ahead. For example, I have an hour long lunch break so I go home every day and let Penelope out. However, when I travel for work Shane is unable to go home to let P out, so while I’m gone during business days, my mom will watch P and she’ll spend the night there. When we took a trip to Vermont this past summer my mom also watched P for the week. Not everyone is lucky enough to have family around who is willing to watch their pet though, so also account for the possibility of having to board your dog while you’re on vacation.
I also keep Penelope in mind when I schedule appointments and make plans with friends. I try to meet friends in places P can come along, like coffee shops with patios or parks where she can be on a leash. However if I’m doing something where P can’t come along, I try to make sure Shane will be there to hang out with her at the house. We recently went to Straight Out of Compton (AMAZING movie btw) and it’s 3 hours long. With the drive to the theater, the credits, and drive back, I knew P would be alone for another 4 hours after already being crated during the day while we were at work. We asked my sister in law to watch her on a night she was open and then went to the movie on a night that worked for her. I know this may seem extreme to some but I know I wouldn’t want to be crated for 12 hours a day without a break. Penelope is a part of my family and I treat her as such!
Okay these are just a few of my tips and things to keep in mind when thinking of getting a dog, but I think we’ll wrap this up for today! I’d love to make a checklist for getting a puppy, a post about my recommendations for new toys, and what to do on the day you bring your puppy home but those will wait for another day. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know what kind of dog you would want to get or already have! I hope you enjoyed a few pictures of P I also included! The first picture was the first day we brought her home, and the other 2 are a bit more recent.
Disclosure: Penelope was a dog we bought from a breeder. She came from a healthy, loving, and certified home. Adopting dogs is a wonderful option and one that Shane and I plan to do in the future. However for this time in our life (aka apartment living) a small dog was a better option. I also have wanted a long haired miniature dachshund for years and saved and waited until I was responsible enough to buy her. She will be spayed and someday will have an adoptive brother or sister.