Sooooooooo we bought a puppy!!! Crazy I know, since I have only had adopted older dogs since childhood and have two young children filling my working mom schedule.
As our beloved rescue pets aged and gracefully crossed over the Rainbow bridge, we discussed and attempted to plan what our next furry family member would be. Our first considerations included puppy vs adult dog, rescues/shelters or breeder. With young kids, ages 5 and 21 months, we were hesitant to consider an older pet with possible unknown interaction with children and we did not feel equipped to handle anxiety or work through behavioral issues at this season in our life. Trying to raise little humans as responsible animal caretakers and handlers at a crucial age made me not risk unknown histories so we leaned toward a puppy.
Next consideration for our situation was our home life and family activities. We are usually outside, playing in the yard, gardening, feeding goldfish, birds, horses etc and have a steady stream of visitors in our house, from sitters to family members and their own pets to repairmen and employees in and out. I mention these points because I personally like German breeds but their role in life is to protect their people and properties so our situation would be constantly compromising an animal with those priorities. Also any pet with anxiety towards new people, resource guarding, other animal aggression and breeds that are “loners” or not tolerant to spending large amounts in Louisiana outdoors would not thrive in a household/lifestyle such as ours. Lastly a factor for many people that didn’t play a part in our decision were medical conditions that would need to be addressed or treated since I felt we have great resources and ability to take care of such things.
Fast forward to Jeff quietly researching terrier breeds, mainly Jack Russel’s, which have always been his long term favorites and especially since the loss of his furry soulmate Buddy, a JR mix of 17 years. After reaching out to a few breeders he suddenly was making a day trip north of Shreveport and arriving at closing time at clinic with Bookie, our newest family member. I bounced back and forth between giddy puppy mom and veterinarian, scooped him up, did a quick and somewhat subconscious vet exam while I was snuggling our new baby, scrambled a few puppy pads and toys from clinic while Brandi started his chart, then we rushed off for the puppy and kid introductions. As you can imagine it was love at first site for everyone.
In the next few days we vaccinated Bookie, started him on heartworm prevention and contacted Trupanion for a new policy. So many good perks from the policy from hereditary condition coverage to comprehensive pet health resources.
Puppy potty training and kennel training started from the jump and we are still working on it. We use lots of treat baggies and positive encouragement! They are a lot like a newborn human baby and establishing a routine is crucial. Puppies do typically follow a sleep-potty-eat-play-sleep routine. I plan on following up with our friends at Sit Happens to get more instruction on whats new in puppy training and socialization since Im a little rusty in the owner department.
Our older pet Molly also needed to be introduced and socialized to the new rascal and we made sure she has had loving and equal attention, and also provided a safe space for her to get away from his rambunctiousness. Bookie and Molly both had to learn the new rules and boundaries, and we gave them a safe & supervised space to get to know each other. While it is important they learn to get along, I always recommend consulting with Sit Happens if you think your new puppy introductions are showing signs of reactive or dangerous behavior.
Anyone who has been to our clinic or asked me my opinion on what and how to feed a pet can probably recite my suggestions, “Put food out twice a day, pick up after ten minutes, feed everyone separate”. While there are many reasons for this, medically you are establishing consistency and schedule, so diarrhea, vomit, decreased appetite and medication on full or empty stomach can all be addressed with this routine. Molly did take a little adjusting to a new feeding regimen, going from leaving her food out all day to being fed just once in the mornings.
When adopting a new puppy ask for a small bag of the food they have been on so you can transition to your vet recommended food. For Bookie’s transition to new food/new home – I grabbed Science Diet growth which is my normal go to. Hill’s offers puppy foods in small breed and large breed options, to help support the different needs of the many sizes fo growing puppies. Purina Pro Plan and Royal Canin both offer the same quality & variety of puppy foods, and we have since transitioned Bookie to Royal Canain because he LOVES the taste.