Did we make a mistake getting a puppy?
My wife and I brought our pug puppy home Friday night. He is 9 weeks old and a male. This weekend has been really tough. Although we researched online and read books prior to bringing him home, we still feel very unprepared. We failed to ask some critical common sense questions, and we are doubting our ability to take care of our new puppy well. Both of us feel overwhelmed and unusually sad. I'm not sure where the sadness came from. Is what we are feeling normal? Will we be able to give our pug a good life? Will we be able to maintain our pre-dog life?
We're really doubting our ability to be good parents and even brought up the idea of returning him. However, we acknowledged that puppy care is supposed to be hard and we're hoping this gets better...(Please tell me it does!).
Here's what happened so far -
On Friday night, we brought him home. Prior to bringing him back to our apartment in the city, we stopped by my parents to drop off the car we brought him in. He saw my brother and parents and seemed to get along with them. He had an accident in the house but that was fine. Once we brought him to the apartment, we took him out briefly for a walk. He was terrified due to a driver who honked his horn for an eternity. We also live near a train station (NYC) and several teenage girls rushed up to try to pet him. I eventually brought him in. He was happy in the apartment. We made him sleep in the crate with the door locked and he went to sleep without any issue. As I write this, I am realizing Friday was pretty smooth.
Saturday was tough. I was home alone. My wife worked. I woke up at 5:30 and took him out. He pooped outside. I went out at 6:30am and he pooped again. He for some reason always pees inside only. I brought him out every hour until noon until I realized he wasn't doing too well with the walks. The day was cold and rainy. We also didn't use the bathroom as fast as we expected after eating or drinking. Books we read said he'll go in 10 minutes but he seems to go way later. Due to the weather, we decided to keep him inside. Plus, at that moment, I realized that he may be unsafe outside without complete vaccinations. We had to decide whether to stick with indoor or outdoor training. We decided indoor for now. He tried to move him to the litter box everytime we felt he had to eliminate. We had accidents but no biggie. He was super hyper too and bit constantly. I tried to tire him out but ended up tiring myself out and passed out when my wife came home lol. By the end of the day, she was exhausted from keeping him active too. We knew puppies were attention seekers but since our dog was a pug, I think we expected him to be a mellow couch potato still. At night, we put him in his crate and he screamed for a bit. We saw there wondering what the hell we got ourselves into. We've both loved pugs from a distance for a very long time. We though we were ready. In reality, we weren't. Whenever he bit, we yelped and then ignored him. When he barked or screamed from being alone or being in the crate we really just ignored him.
Sunday was a bit better. We got him up and just put him in the litter box asap. He peed and then we played with him and fed him. Then we took him to his vet. After we got home, we left him inside and went out for an hour for dinner. We felt like we didn't even speak to each other except about the puppy so we felt we needed it. The nwe got back in and the usual happened. We played with him. He bit. He whined when we left the room. He tried to make him go in his litter box. We felt Sunday was a bit easier. At night we cried and barked for a good 10 minutes after we crated him and shut the light. FYI, we doesn't cry in the crate when we are around so I think he is more afraid of being alone than the dark.
Today is better too. I'm working but my wife said today feels better. He is just chilling out and she plays with him here and there. We had to go to a doctor's appointment which took longer than expected so he was alone for 4 hours. We left him in his pen with his crate, food and water, and litter box. When she left, he whined. When she got back, she said he seemed okay and even pooped in the litter box. Today is a bit better.
Someone will be home with him until next Tuesday. We used some vacation days to keep him company.
I suppose this is the puppy blues. I actually hope so because that means our feelings are normal. Nevertheless, we have a lot of questions and concerns and are looking for any encouragement (or maybe we're not fit to be pug parents yet).
1. Can we take our puppy outdoors? There are a lot of people and dogs in the streets of NYC. We took him out because the books we've read said to starting on day 1 to make housebreaking easy. There was no mention of vaccinations being an issue. Our vet told us to keep him indoors until we finishes his series of shots. If we keep him indoors, how do we socialize him? How hard will transitioning him from going indoors to outdoors be? Should we at least carry him in his transport bag and walk around the block so he gets accustomed to the outside?
2. Are we doing the right thing by ignoring him when he barks and screams? We don't want to encourage this behavior but seeing him upset hurts.
3. Both of us work full-time. We did our best to stagger schedules but there are still gaps where our puppy will need to be left alone for long periods of time. For 3 days, someone will be home. For the other 4, he will be home for 8 hours. We are not comfortable with a walker. We do not want a stranger in our apartment. We are okay with a day care once or twice a week but the cost is high. Plus, we can't bring him to a day care until he is older. Most require complete vaccinations and neutering. If we use a pen, will our puppy be okay during the day? The pen will have his crate, food and water, toys, and his litter box.
4. I am also afraid that my wife and I may lose the life we had prior to having a dog. Every was great. In the past few days, she had to put aside time she planned to use to study (doing a career change). We realized vacation may be impossible. We hoped to go to at least one 2 week vacation and a few long weekend vacations in the coming year. We realized that if we want to have dinner Friday night before heading home, we need to go home to check up on our puppy and then head back out. Will free time to work on our careers or hobbies be available? How hard are vactions? Will we be able to have a social life like before?
Did we make a mistake getting a puppy?
Oh where to start.
I had puppy blues with my last puppy Bruno while everything was fine and dandy with my other pug Gordon.
Let me start with social live .
No problem after your pup getís a little older you will figure out how to adjust your schedule.
Your social live might change a little. New friends are made perhaps at dog school or the park.
NYC is so dog friendly anyway check out this place
Where did the puppy grow up at in the city ?
Itís time now to do short trips ( you got a carrier ? You need it for subway anyway) . There is so much this puppy has to learn , sounds , people , lights this will also tire the pup. Take some of his kibble and feed him especially if he getís nervous. Make it a good thing.
I usually agree with the vet and but very short trips in the carrier twill be enough to start socializing.
I would say a pen is better for you at this time since your pup is alone some days. I use a dog door and porch potty.
Start looking on rover for a sitter / walker it can take a while to find the right person. Trust issues can be fixed with a camera. I use a furbo camera . It will benefit you and your pup.
Routine routine and consistency is key for a pug puppy.
Play time lol my Bruno would not stop and wear himself out . We had to teach him to stop . Chews are good pacifiers ask your vet what he recommends.
Establish a calm down spot not his bed . Also make it a routine . Get a schedule going for everything from food to sleep to play to get a chew bone.
That way your puppy learns what is expected when.
Unfortunately dogs do not know weekend and until he is solid I would not change the routine.
It will get better and all pugs love to be with people and sitting on their lap. After all that is what they are bred for.
I never thought Bruno would but he is now at 1 year old. He actually demands to sit on moms lap .
As for vacation our guys come with us . But if that is not possible I say start interviewing now .
We take our dogs with us they are our family we find places .
You found PV and this is a great place to ask questions and get support. There is always someone who has a similar experience.
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