7 Things I Learned the First Week of Owning a Puppy

Let me start out by welcoming Miss Madelyn Elizabeth to the family!

 Madelyn Bone

After a few months of debating and searching, my fiance and I finally got a puppy. I’d like to think that we prepared ourselves well for what to expect when getting a puppy, but I must say, there have been a few surprises these first few days. I have no doubt there will be many more to come, but for all of you who are considering adding a puppy to your home, I wanted to share my experiences from the first week of puppy ownership. 🙂

  1. You WILL be exhausted.
    Get ready because your precious schedule is about to be compromised. You can say goodbye to your social life and hobbies for a while because those first few weeks are aaaaallll about getting you and the puppy on the same schedule. The ultimate goal is to get the puppy used to your schedule, yes, but when they’re young you need to accommodate your schedule to their bladder schedule.
  2. Despite being exhausted, you will still get up ridiculously early in the morning to spend time with your puppy before work.
    Puppies cannot be trusted to have the run of the house when you’re not home, so you’ll be forced to confine them while your gone whether it’s in a crate or a pen, or a room. The overwhelming guilt you experience leaving your puppy confined while you’re at work is unbelievable. You can rationalize that it’s for their own good, but you still feel bad. As a result, you’ll get up way before you need to just to spend some time giving your puppy love and attention before you leave for the day.
  3. You will REALLY appreciate your significant other.
    I have no idea how single people get puppies and don’t lose their minds. Kudos to you because I could NOT do it! Our puppy is still getting used to the house and therefore cannot be left alone for more than 20 seconds unless she’s sleeping. This make simple things like showering a god damn strategic mission. Being able to take turns watching the pup makes life a lot easier and makes you appreciate your sig. other that much more!
  4. Regardless of if it bothered you in the past, you will no longer be phased by the smell of dogs.
    All dogs have a scent, especially when they are in need of a bath. I always loved dogs, but I hated the smell. I would pet them and immediately go wash my hands. Now, it doesn’t even phase me. Zach and I have had it bad too. Madelyn has demodectic mange and needs two medicated baths a week, but since she was spayed she hasn’t been able to have a bath for two weeks. As a result, I got used to that stinky puppy smell real fast! It doesn’t stop me from snuggling and getting kisses from my pup!
  5. Most of your conversations will be around bodily excretions and that’s a very good thing.
    “Did she poop? At what time? Was it runny again? When was the last time she had water? How much? Did she pee before or after she drank that? Maybe you should take her outside one more time…” It’s very important to communicate about poop. The second you don’t, you’ll be cleaning it up off of your carpet. Not cool, folks. Not cool.
  6. Puppy training classes are the epitome of heaven on earth.
    An untrained puppy is embarrassing. Puppy classes are the one time a week we can go take her in public with other puppy owners who understand what we’re going through and are struggling just as much as us controlling their naughty puppies. Training your puppy early is so important— you and your puppy will be happier once you have the hierarchy established in your home. An added bonus of attending training classes: your puppy will sleep like a ROCK afterwards. You will enjoy a nice, quiet evening at home doing whatever it is you haven’t been able to get to all week.
  7. You will question your abilities as future parents.
    Prior to having a puppy, I felt ready to have children (well, as ready as anyone ever is). After getting a puppy, waiting doesn’t seem like the worst idea in the world. If I’m this exhausted and overwhelmed with a puppy, how the hell can I handle having a child?! Hats off to all the parents out there. I have no doubt when you say, “It’s the hardest job in the world.”

Admittedly, the first few days, I said to myself, “What the hell did I get myself into?” But, it’s amazing how quickly you become attached. How quickly you become accustomed to your new schedule. To your new life. It’s definitely worth it. I have no doubt that all the hard work you invest in training/loving/teaching  your puppy will turn them into a great lifelong friend.

About Madelyn

We don’t know where Madelyn originally came from, but we do know that somehow she ended up in a shelter in Alabama. From there, she was rescued by an organization in Brookfield, WI, JR Pups-n-Stuff. JR consists of a network of volunteers who rescue dogs from shelters, put them in foster homes and prepare them for adoption, and help them find their forever homes. Madelyn was fostered by a loving family in Brookfield before she came to live with us.

We’ve only had Madelyn a week, and I can already tell she is incredibly smart! Her first week home with her new parents and she’s learned how to sit and lay down. She’s getting much better at walking nicely on a leash and she’s working on “shake” as her newest trick. She’s full of love and incredibly sweet.

-Sara

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6 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned the First Week of Owning a Puppy

  1. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider immune boosting supplements for the mange. Mites can take over because a puppy’s immune system is not fully developed. Also be sure to avoid any immune stressors, like vaccines. Many vets go ahead with routine surgeries and vaccinations while a pup has mange, but those things should be done to healthy dogs, not ones with stressed immune systems.

    Good luck, she is adorable!

    • Thank you! I will definitely look into immune boosting supplements. She came from a rescue so they were pretty quick to give her vaccines. Once she was testing negative for the mange for a few weeks, they took her off the antibiotics and spayed her. Right afterwards, she tested positive again and went back on antibiotics.

      My vet said she’s going to need some of her vaccines again, because she got them too young. But, it’s strange because they didn’t say we needed to wait until after the mange was gone?? I believe they even gave her the bordatella while we were there.

      • Sadly, many vets are so set in vaccine schedules that they ignore the fact that vaccines are meant for healthy animals. I’m guessing they also use a 5 or 7 combo shot? So it is called angering like DHLPP, though they might casually refer to it as the distemper shot. Those are unnecessary (imo) & really hard on a dog having immune issues. How old was she when she had her last shots? Also, what is the name of the bath she is getting and why is she in antibiotics (which do not treat mange, only secondary infections)?

      • She was 13 weeks when she had her DA2PP.

        She’s getting baths with BPO-medicated shampoo, and she’s on Ivermectin (which I don’t think is actually an antibiotic come to think of it) to get rid of the parasites.

      • Maternal Immunity typically runs out around 16 weeks, but can vary. If you don’t feel like she’s at risk, I’d push to wait and give one year boosters. I would NOT give it the same visit as Rabies for the same reasons as avoiding them now – too much stress on the immune system. DA2PP is 4 vaccines. Not perfect, but much preferable to the 7 ways that many vets give. Must don’t carry just Distemper and Parvo, because most people are OK with combos.

        I hadn’t heard of BPO before, but it looks promising, not as harsh as some shampoos I’ve heard of being prescribed. The Ivermectin is for Mange, not antibiotics, you are correct. Some breeds don’t do well with it, but if your pup is tolerating it, it should be fine.

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