Our puppies(dogs), Max and Bella celebrated their 2nd birthdays this past week. I thought it would be nice to reflect upon the lessons we have learned being proud parents of these two furry children.
14 “Dog Parenting Lessons” we have learned so far:
1 – Unconditional love – Max and Bella are always excited to see us, snuggle with us and provide great companionship.
2 – Getting two dogs at the same time was a good idea. – At first everyone thought we were crazy and so did I, but they play nicely with each other (most of the time) and keep each other company when we are not home.
3 – Crating puppies is helpful for housetraining, general training and a safe way to transport your puppies. – We have not “crated” our dogs in a long time, but it was very helpful in the beginning. We now restrict them in an open pen/enclosed area when we are not home. It keeps them safe and out of mischief.
4 – Avoid certain foods and don’t give them too much food. – Never give them raisins, grapes, onions and chocolate. Until I had dogs, I had no idea these items (especially chocolate) could be very dangerous for them.
5 – Give them one or two toys at a time. – If you give them too many toys, they may not know your shoes are not a chew toy.
6 – Teaches kids great sense of responsibility – We all know who is doing most of the work (me!), but at least our daughters know they have to help with walking, feeding and taking the dogs to relieve themselves. They do what they can with a smile when asked.
7 – Favorite Dog Products
– Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray – taste deterrent which prevents destructive chewing
– Kong Dog Toy – favorite chew toy which we usually fill with peanut butter and then put in the freezer. The frozen peanut butter will keep them busy for a longer period of time.
– Nature’s Miracle Advanced Stain & Odor Remover – smells nice and helps prevent repeat accidents in the same place in your home.
8 – Puppies are like toddlers; you can’t leave them unattended. They may eat small items (erasers, pencils, etc. ). Be careful of the chewy toys which squeak because if they eat the “squeaker”, you may need an emergency visit at the vet. (Luckily, this has never happened us.)
9 – EST every day – Exercise (walking the dogs), Socialization and Training are important for dogs, but this winter was a bit tough to keep up with regular exercise. Keep in mind walking dogs is regular built in exercise for you.
10 – You meet a lot of people in your neighborhood – it’s a great way to meet your neighbors!
11 – When dogs bark, there is usually a reason – We can now recognize by the sound of their bark if they are hungry, need to go to the bathroom or if someone is coming to the door before they ring the doorbell/leaving a package.
12- Dogs just want to please us and really enjoy belly rubs. – They like positive feedback and recognition – don’t we all?
13 – They love to get their rest, relax and play. We could probably all benefit from learning these “skills” from them.
14 –Travel requires more planning – While you lose flexibility to just get up and go away for longer periods of time, the love and affection we have received from Max and Bella is well worth it! Can’t imagine our lives without them!
Happy Birthday Max and Bella. We love you!