Between my sister and I we have 3 French Bulldogs. Here's just a few things we learnt collectively as fur parents to puppies.
1. TAKE TIME OFF
Take 1-2 weeks off work when you first bring home your pup.
- Be around to help your puppy settle in and set the tone for your dog training and house rules.
- Bonding with your fur baby is key as they adjust to their new surroundings.
- Puppies require constant supervision in the early days - eat, poop, play, nap and REPEAT.
2. FIND YOUR VET
Research your local vets before your pup comes home.
- Do not underestimate this - you could need a vet visit sooner than you think!
- Try different vets until you find one you are comfortable with.
- Once you find a vet you like, stick with them for your dog's familiarity and comfort + ease of medical history.
3. GET PET INSURANCE
Having pet insurance can potentially save you thousands of dollars if disaster strikes.
- Pet insurance can help unburden the cost of major illnesses or injuries - it did when our puppy Louis required surgery on his knees.
- Shop around with insurers and read the fine print - be aware of Pre-Existing Condition exclusions.
- Think about when to incept cover as there is usually a Waiting Period before you can claim.
4. MAKE TIME TO TRAIN
Puppies love to explore and test boundaries as they figure out their place in their new forever home.
- Training is ongoing but it's integral to start from DAY ONE.
- Be Consistent. Every Day. It is hard to maintain but consistency will make the good behaviour last.
- YouTube has so many dog training videos you can definitely DIY, but a few sessions with a good dog trainer is an investment as they also teach you how to behave in order to get the best out of your pup!
5. KNOW YOUR BREED
You might think a dog is a dog but each breed is different.
- Each breed has unique characteristics (i.e. prone to overheating, tendency to dig or bark, good around children).
- Familiarise yourself with your dog's breed. You'll understand them better and manage your own expectations (by knowing what you're in for).
- Help your pup manage these traits and set them up for success!