Top tips from real first time dog owners
We asked real dog owners at Blue Cross for their top tips and the things they wished they'd known when they first got their dogs. This is what they told us:
"The one thing I wish I would have known before getting a puppy is how challenging it is to crate train, you need to be persistent and realise that it isn’t going to happen overnight and takes time for the puppy to get used it!"
Lola the dachshund’s owner
"I wish I’d known how those puppy dog eyes can make you feel guilty for even popping to the shops. Even going on holiday without them can leave you worrying! The new addition is like a family member you are 100 per cent responsible for their whole life."
Shortcake and Pippin the Labradors’ owner
"With a busy family life, we include Diddy in our family activities. So weekends are full of exploring different walks, teaching him new tricks and then all snuggling down for a movie. This makes sure Diddy gets the exercise and stimulation he needs, as well as that fresh air and activity that is good for the family too."
Diddy the lurcher’s owner
"Don’t underestimate how hard [first time dog ownership] will be. There will be moments that you’ll doubt yourself and your ability to be a good dog parent. With persistence and patience, you’ll break through the other side and be overwhelmed with love and pride for just how far you’ve come together. There’s no feeling quite like it."
Flynn the lurcher’s owner
"I went through about 10 harnesses before I found the right one. Try to choose carefully, take your dog to the shop to be fitted and don’t buy a fleece one if your dog is going to get wet a lot!
"I wouldn’t have it any other way as he gives me so much back, but you need to be prepared that your life is going to change and everything will now revolve around your furbaby! You’ll have to consider them anytime you want to do anything that will take you away for a little while so be prepared to start saying, 'sorry I have to get back for the dog!'."
Rigby the staffie’s owner