Monday, August 7, 2017

11 things to expect with a new puppy - my first foster puppy

I am currently fostering a 6-week old mix-breed puppy (who is chewing on my furniture at this moment) and she's my first foster puppy ever! I've never had any puppy at my place for more than a few hours and I didn't know how much time and effort it took to take care of and clean after a puppy.
Here are a few pointers to expect if you are about to get your first puppy, or foster your first puppy (or even puppy sit for someone else).

Here's the video on the same, if you'd like to check it out:

1] Your puppy will either be super energetic or super sleepy

There is no in-between. There may be a 5-15 minute transition stage between the two depending on your puppy but otherwise, it's just running around with toys in his/her mouth or having a one or two hour nap every few hours.

2] Lots and lots of pee

I didn't realize how much a puppy was capable of peeing till this little one came into my life. There will be little trickling once in a while but when your puppy's bladder is full, there will be a lot of pee (and it will be everywhere if your puppy chooses the floor over your grass bed or newspapers).

3] Different kinds of poop

If your puppy is allergic to something (a lot are allergic to milk, for example), fully expect to find out when your puppy has explosive diarrhea. However, once you start figuring out what works for your puppy and what to stick to, you should be good.

4] Potty training isn't as easy as it looks

My puppy, on her first night at my place, only peed on the newspaper and I was pretty surprised because I didn't try to make her do it that way. I would reward her when she peed on the right place and tried to get her used to an absorbent sponge sheet by keeping it under her when she peed (hoping the pee scent would make her want to pee there again), but it didn't work a bit. In fact, the next night she peed on her bed. Twice!

5] Unpredictable pooping timings

If you don't want your room to stink of poop, you will probably want to keep an eye on her after she's done eating. But the problem is that your puppy won't always finish digestion and excretion in 5-10 minutes. In my case, Snowy (my foster pup) only pooped twice a day so sometimes she would poop right after eating and sometimes she wouldn't. I try positioning her right under the newspaper in hopes to potty train her but somehow she manages to poop right when I go to clean something up in the bathroom (e.g. her sponge sheet or her bowl).

6] Lots of energy

My puppy was luckily pretty healthy and so there was nothing draining her energy. When she plays, she plays. She will even play on her own if I'm busy and bang her head into every solid thing possible. 

7] Stepping over her pee and poop...

...and getting dirty paw prints everywhere. If you have noticed, full grown dogs (at least the ones I have encountered) will dodge their poop while making it look like they didn't even have to look at it to do so. Either it's a puppy thing or it's just my puppy, but she gets at least 2 paws in her poop/pee. If I'm not in my room, I come back to a hundred tiny pawprints on the floor.

8] Whining 

Puppies will whine when they want food, when you leave them alone in the room when you are about to bring them their food but they think whining will make the process faster, you name it. It requires a lot of patience to deal with that and try to teach your puppy that whining won't give her everything she wants.

9] Waking you up in the middle of the night

My puppy woke up me a few times during the night the first 2 or 3 nights. It's tiring but you know you have the responsibility. There will be a lot of cleaning pee in the middle of the night and also you may have to wake up early when your puppy wakes you up. If you don't wake up, you will just wake up the floor filled with pee (and maybe even poop).
Life hack (works perfectly for me): Keep your puppy awake right till you want to fall asleep. If she's energetic, she'll play on her own and eventually fall asleep. This may keep her from waking up at night and whining till you get up too.

10] Ripping any kind of paper or cardboard to shreds

My puppy instantly learned to pee and poop on the newspaper most of the time but she also instantly learned how easy it was to rip it. Next thing you know, newspaper pieces are everywhere. My puppy doesn't ingest it but you should keep an eye.

11] Biting you

Puppies are biting machines. It's understandable because they are getting their teeth and it itches the crap out of them probably but sometimes your puppy will get a really good grip (you may even bleed, and trust me when I say it's not fun). You may find chew marks on furniture, your body, etc. Giving a chew toy helps, but when she's on your lap with nothing in her mouth, she'll go for it.

That's about 11 things I can think of to expect when you have a new puppy.
Here's my foster puppy, in case you were curious:

Isn't she adorable?!

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