6 Things I've Learnt Since Having A DogMonday, April 10, 2017
We’ve had Frank in our lives now for almost four years, and let me just tell you, that those four years have definitely been a learning curve for both myself and Henry. Having a dog, is 100 times harder than I ever imagined it would be, but also 100 times more rewarding, than I ever imagined it would be too.
To celebrate National Pet Month, I’m working with Tesco Bank to bring awareness to the month, which promotes responsible pet ownership, and how to make people aware of the mutual benefits of living with pets, as well as many more amazing things. National Pet Month is in fact a registered charity, and it runs from 1st April- 1st May, and during the whole month you can get involved yourself by raising money for your favourite UK pet charity, or even just raising awareness about being a responsible pet owner.
But now let’s get back to Frank. Over the past four years, I’ve had lots of emails, comments, and tweets about having a dog. I’ve been asked about my tips and advice, and with this month being National Pet Month, I thought ‘what better time to post about Frank than now?’
So here are six things that I have learnt since having a dog, I’ve thrown in some tips that we’ve learnt along the way as well!
Puppies are hard work.
I used to think that puppies were like these cute little creatures, that would just sit on your knee and cuddle all day. Don’t get me wrong, puppies are probably the cutest thing in the whole wide world, but let me just tell you, puppies are hard work. Really hard work. The reality set in about ten minutes down the road with Frank, he was howling like a monkey and I genuinely thought he was possessed. I was like ‘Henry what do I do?’ and he was like ‘I don’t know!’ Those first few nights, Frank cried and I cried, however, we got through it.
Frank was full of energy and nothing seemed to wear out our little ball of fluff. He was too young to take on proper walks so we found ourselves struggling with a crazy puppy. However, we did find that playing fetch in the garden worked wonders, and now if I were to do it again, I’d take him to puppy classes and perhaps buy things for the garden such as agility equipment like a tunnel, that he could have played with. I would have also bought a few more hard toys, as he may not of eaten so many of my shoes then!!
My essentials for having a puppy are; puppy pads, a blanket/material that smells of their litter/mum (doesn’t that just break your heart though?) a cuddly toy, a crate (I know these are controversial but we got a pretty big one, that Frank loved sleeping in as a pup, he then gradually got used to sleeping alone but the crate was a huge help) toys and patience!
You will wish your dog could go to the loo like a human.
Picking up dog mess is part and parcel of having a dog. It’s not a nice job, but you have to do it. Frank loves to go in front of an audience, and always picks a busy street/ in front of loads of people to do his *ahem* business. But I guess this is to get me back for all of the pictures, I constantly take of him. My advice? Buy puppy pads (these will clear up any accidents super easily) and 2. never buy super cheap/thin poo bags, you will regret it. Take it from me.
Dogs need walking a lot.
Okay so I know this probably sounds a bit naive, but I didn’t realise how much dogs need walking. I used to think that dogs just needed a quick walk round the block, however, you really need to make sure your dog gets a nice long walk every day. I take Frank on a 4km walk every day, and then we take him on a shorter walk in the evening. You have to walk them no matter what the weather is like, or how you feel; rain, wind, snow, you gotta do it. You will need to invest in a good coat, wellies and a good harness for your dog (just in case they’re a bit of an eager beaver like Frank and try to take you on a walk!)
Getting into a sleeping routine is hard.When we got Frank as a puppy, he was like a little baby. He cried most of the night, and would wake up at the crack of dawn. I remember thinking to myself ‘if this is what having kids is like, I’m out.’
Anyways, I’m glad to report that Frank is now settled into a routine, thanks to us buying him a super cosy bed (tbh I’d sleep in it) and making sure he has his own space. You may be tempted to have them in with you, *we do this sometimes, but regret it at 4am when Frank has 3/4 of the bed and we’re hovering over the edge! * We trained frank to get into his bed, and would give him a treat every time, so he associated his bed with a nice thing. Thankfully this has worked and all of us now get a good nights sleep.
But I kinda just imagined that dogs would just sleep absolutely fine, but oh no, it takes time, patience and lots of tears (and that was just me!) You’ve got to make sure they feel safe, and happy and then you’ll be getting back to a good nights sleep in no time!
They probably won’t be a fan of having their photo taken.
Frank is not a fan of having his photo taken, let me tell you. Usually I try to get a photo, and he’ll either run off or he’ll sit and then bark at me till I stop (diva.) Treats and holding a tennis ball up to the camera are your best friends, when it comes to taking photos of your dog. Also when you get a dog, be prepared for 90% of your camera roll to just be pictures of your pup.
They are amazing.
Okay so I have to admit that I wasn’t really a dog person before we got Frank. Don’t get me wrong, I loved puppies but I wasn’t aware of how amazing dogs are. Frank is so much more than our pet, he’s a part of the family and a part of us. We’re Corrie, Henry and Frank, we come as a three. Working from home all day, means that myself and Frank spend a lot of time together, and although he’s a dog, and he can’t talk, he’s really good company. I have no idea what I’d do without him, and I never realised how intelligent, loyal and amazing dogs were till I got one. I would 100% recommend getting a dog, but do remember how much hard work they are. This is something I didn’t really think about, and although, I wouldn't change Frank for the world, sometimes I wish I’d thought more about the responsibility it would be.
Having a dog is hard work, and a huge responsibility but it’s worth it. The feeling of coming home and your dog running to greet you, beats all those times you had to walk them in the rain, or they ate your fave shoes.
My priority as Frank’s owner is that he’s happy, healthy and safe. I think it’s important for all of us to ensure we do this, for all of our pets.
I could go on all day about the things I’ve learnt since having Frank, but for now I’ll stop (and try to not get too crazy soppy dog lady!)
Like I mentioned, I am working with Tesco Bank on this post for National Pet Month and here you can see how you can get involved with the charity over the next month.
You can also see below, my video that I (and Frank) did for the campaign, and it’s a reality vs expectations of having a dog! I hope you like it :)
If you have a dog, or in fact any pet, what is one thing you have learnt, since getting them?
*This is a sponsored post, however, my opinions are 100% honest as always. You can read more in my disclaimer here.*