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So you're bringing home that cute little puppy from the best breeder after doing all that research, or you found the most adorable "mutt" at the pound, where you were just going to look, you swore. And now you realize that you weren't as prepared as you thought. Maybe you're planning in advance for the new bundle of joy. Either way, we'll give you some valuable tips we've learned over the years of bringing home little bundles of terror - I mean joy :)
Learn as much as possible about potty training, and expect none of it to matter, especially when you step in their deposits at 3 a.m. in the pitch black - it WILL happen!
Buy the smallest bag of puppy chow you can find. Your dog will hate the first one, and the second one and the third one. Buying small will help you overcome the horror of the money you've just spent on the 7th brand of dog food in 2 weeks.
Strip naked or at the very least to a swimsuit before bathing your dog. You WILL BE WET. No way to avoid it, even in a 2 foot deep sunken bathtub. Personal experience talking here.
Prepare yourself for the fact that the toy you thought was SO COOL in the store, will be sniffed and promptly ignored until the end of time. Your dog will only like the toys that will drive you the most crazy. One of the favorites in our house (NOT purchased by us) is a big skunk with a plastic bottle inside. Inside said plastic bottle is a marble. Aaaaaargh. 'Nuff said.
That gorgeous dog bed you bought? You know, the one that cost almost as much as the new king size bed you got to accommodate the new dog? Yeah, the dog will rarely, if ever use it. Preferred dog beds in this house? Couches, blankets dragged to the floor, pile of clothes, carpets - and of course, our bed, preferably leaving as little room as possible for the humans by stretching as wide as possible.
Training? What's that? Mine occasionally come when called, and usually sit when told, but that's about it. I've given up. Did you know that a dog can be flunked out of training school? Neither did I until it happened? to ME!
Fill in the blank: my favorite ______ will be chewed to death. Expect it. Embrace it. You will live it.
I think the biggest tip I can give to a new dog owner is to become a firm believer in Murphy's Law: whatever can happen usually will and at the worst possible time. Of course, if you'd like to avoid my jaded outlook on life with a dog, visit our website, http://www.a1-dog-info.com/tips-to-take-care-of-a-new-dog.htm for more tips to help you survive living with a dog.
Tara Pearce is the author and webmaster of A1-Dog-Info.com. Please visit us for all kinds of information about dog food, toys, health, books, supplies and clothes.
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