Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Truth About Owning a Puppy

Hello all! Today I am here with a slightly different topic. Fashion and beauty are important aspects of my life of course; however, being the mother of a 9 month old Vizsla puppy is an even more important part of my life and I'd like to share my thoughts with you. 

As a young kid, everyone always knew me as "the girl who loves dogs." I grew up having dogs and I cannot imagine my life without them. When my childhood dog Cookie passed away last April, I was devastated. After taking some time to heal, I decided I would get a dog of my very own. I saved up money for months and then the unforgettable day was finally here. On July 31st, 2016, little Sophie came into my life and things haven't been the same since.  

Sophie was only 7 weeks old when I brought her home. When people say that taking care of a puppy is a huge responsibility, boy are they not kidding! I am 9 months into the journey so far, and it's been a hell of a ride. I have definitely learned and matured so much from taking care of this little life, so I'd like to share some of my knowledge and tips with you.

This is so, so important. Puppies are very expensive, and much like a child, they need A LOT. I ended up saving a little over $1,000 to cover the cost of the puppy and the supplies needed to take care of her. You also have to take into consideration the cost of vaccinations and vet visits. I will get into how to save money for those in a future post

I seriously cannot stress enough how crucial this is. Where your puppy comes from is the most important decision you will make. If you're thinking about buying one from a pet store, you better think again. Pet stores get their puppies from awful places called "puppy mills." I could go on and on about how terrible they are, but you should just watch the documentary called "Dog by Dog" and then you'll change your mind. I also do not recommend looking online for a puppy because most "breeder" sites are just puppy mills in disguise. Go to your local animal rescue or shelter to find a puppy or ask around by word of mouth. I ended up finding Sophie through my neighbor who grooms dogs and shows Cocker Spaniels. Someone she knows breeds Vizslas and I was lucky enough to bring one of them home. A reputable breeder should let you meet the parents of the puppies and come to their home. Also print out these questions to ask the breeder by phone call or email.

This is very important because you do not want to end up with a dog that you cannot take care of to the best of your abilities. Do some research on different breeds that fit in with the lifestyle you possess. If you are an active person who spends a lot of time outdoors, opt for a working breed. If you are more of a homebody who wants a lap dog, opt for a toy breed. I went for a Vizsla because I wanted a dog that I could take on long walks and hikes. Vizslas are also very affectionate and love to be lap dogs after a long day of exercising. The bottom line is, don't choose a dog because you like the way it looks. Choose one because it fits in with who you are. You and the dog will be happier that way.

If you get a puppy, you NEED to be prepared for lots and lots of training. It's great that we live in a day and age where we can just google anything we need to know. YouTube is a great place to look up training videos. I highly recommend watching Zak George's videos and picking up a copy of his book. He really knows his stuff and he uses methods of positive dog training that will make it fun and exciting for your dog to learn. I also recommend going to dog training classes so you can get hands on work in with a certified trainer. I've been taking Sophie to classes at Petco and they have helped a lot. 

This is the #1 important thing you need to take into consideration. You need to make sure to feed your dog the right food, provide them with the proper amount of exercise, and stay up to date with vet visits and vaccinations. When looking for the right food, pay very close attention to the ingredients. I suggest looking at Dog Food Advisor. They have tons of information on brands of dog food that will help you make the right decision. 

Last but certainly not least, give your puppy all of the love you have. They will be depending on you for the next 10+ years, so stay committed and stay responsible. They are more than just a pet; they are your best friend and family member. Taking care of them will be a lot of work and cost a lot of money, but it will be 1000% worth it. Bringing Sophie into my life was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I never regret it even for a second. 

I really hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you would like me to do more like these in the future. Thanks again! 

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