Hello Friends & Pet Parents,

Its Becky here with today's blog! This is my first blog entry so go easy on me.

Today I wanted to talk about what I have found to be the ups and downs of puppy ownership.

Turns out the 'Puppy Blues' is a real thing!

As a lot of you probably know, I have a 4 month old Golden Retriever puppy called Bailey. I love him with all of my heart BUT there have been times he has really tested my patience!

Here are 4 of the toughest parts of Puppy Parenting.

  1. Lack of Sleep

Im sure ALL parents can understand this one! When we first got Bailey at 8 weeks he would sleep often throughout the day and would be put in his crate for 'bed' around 10pm.
Usually he would then be awake every 2 hours after that so I was getting up at 12am, 2am, 4am and 6am for toilet breaks.

We bought Bailey a nice comfy bed and made his crate as inviting as possible but his favourite spot was the marble mantel in front of the fire so it was often a chore to get him back into the routine of going in his crate once he had woken up once.

The lack of sleep definitely took its toll on me so I can really appreciate and admire those who have young children and other puppy parents! Stay strong, you will sleep again!

Now that Bailey is 4 months he sleeps more regularly and is able to stay in his crate from bed-time to 6am.

2. Mental Drain

With a young puppy especially you have to be switched on at all times. What are they doing? What are they eating? Why are they being quiet? Why are they being so loud?

This constant awareness mixed with lack of sleep can be very draining especially in the early months, having a puppy can change your lifestyle completely and is a huge commitment. No more late nights in the beer garden for us!

Luckily, Bailey was a pretty relaxed puppy and he dozed most the day, we kept him relatively closed in into 2 rooms downstairs where we could always have an eye on him and he was always supervised in the garden as well so we managed to avoid a lot of trouble with digging and eating unsavoury things.

The odd time he did get something he wasn't meant to have we were able to get it off him and have enforced the 'Drop it' command from very early on.  

There was a point where he began to really push boundaries and the mental drain was strong during those days but just look at his little face! How can you stay mad at him?!

3. Puppy Chewing

Puppy teeth can be so sharp! They are like sharks teeth! Bailey had his mouthing stage between 10 - 14 weeks, during this time nothing was safe! He chewed on chair legs, the sofa, his cool mat, his crate. He also began mouthing our arms and legs.
At this point we knew it was crucial to re-direct him onto chew toys and teach him that it was bad manners to mouth humans.

I believe that training is an ongoing prospect of any dogs life however during puppy hood is the crucial time to lay the foundations to set your dog up for success! We still have to work hard with Bailey to get his excitement mouthing under control but he is much better then he was. We just take things one day at a time.

4. Smells

Anyone who owns a golden retriever will know about the retriever stank. From the day that puppy enters your home you have signed up to a new fragrance for your house! Especially when they get their water legs. Stagnant lake water mixed with mud and retriever fur.  What an aroma!

We have gotten used to Baileys smell now but what we cannot get used to is the gas... Yes, puppy gas is a thing. Just like anyone getting used to new foods or diets, it tends to have a rather windy affect. Bailey is no different. All I can say is, have good ventilation and buy a pet friendly air freshener to plug in!

So those were my 4 toughest parts of puppy parenting. For me, the lack of sleep was the big one. I am awful when I haven't slept well during the night!

Now onto the 4 BEST aspects of puppy parenting.

  1. You Have A Best Friend For Life

Your dog will quickly become a main member of your family, your companion and they will want to be with you all the time! Bailey loves nothing more then to snuggle up with anyone and everyone who comes to the house! He also loves hanging out with other dogs.

2. Cuddles

Bailey is always up for a cuddle. Dogs seem to know when you are feeling sad or lonely and they want nothing more then your happiness. I often wonder what we ever did to deserve dogs in our lives.

3. Socialising

Having a dog has really brought my family together as they all want to come over and see Bailey (which he loves!). My sister and I are dog walkers so we obviously adore dogs and we have always grown up with animals in the household. Having my own dog now has really given me that sense of comfort and family.

Its also great on walks to meet other dog owners and their dogs. Having a dog really does open up more possibility to meet new people whether its out on walks, at puppy training classes, doggy daycare or through hiring a dog walker!

4. Happiness

Bailey has brought so much happiness into mine and my families lives. Dogs are just such wonderful animals and can be so goofy and full of character its hard not to laugh, even when they are being naughty!

Puppy ownership can be hard and is a massive responsibility and commitment but in my opinion the good outweighs the bad.

Whether you are thinking of getting a puppy or adopting from a rescue or shelter I wish you all the best and know that you will fall in love with your dog just like I have!

Bye for now!

B x