This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BARK. All opinions are 100% mine.
Honest talk: getting a new puppy with an almost-four-year-old and an almost-two-year-old only 5 weeks after our beloved first dog’s death wasn’t exactly the best decision I’ve ever made. To add to the fun – the day we picked up Porkchop was the same day I found out I was pregnant with Emmy. But we’ve managed and now here we are, over a year later, with a 5-year-old, a 3-year-old, a 6-month-old, and a little French bulldog puppy who’s almost 18-months-old. And I’m still standing – albeit wobbly at times – but still alive ;).
Here are my tips on how to survive life with a puppy and young kids:
Make Good Introductions
When we had Emmy, Porkchop was about a year old. We introduced her into our home by bringing home a blanket with her newborn scent, and had Porkchop come outside to sniff her on neutral ground and then we all walked in together – as a “pack”. Sounds weird but it really works to alleviate any sibling rivalry between puppies and babies.
Start Socialization on Day One
It’s really important for your puppy to spend time with your kids from day one. My kids are rough, rambunctious, and loud – so Pork had to get used to that, as well as being handled (gently) from the moment he joined our family.
Give the Dog A Special Spot
Porkchop has a kennel in our kitchen as a place to escape from the kids and as a sanctuary/den in which to hangout and do dog stuff. He naps there during the day and sleeps there at night.
Play On, Player
Honestly, lots of kid’s toys are super appealing to dogs. And we lost *quite* a few of toys to Porkchop’s puppy teeth. It was really important to get Porkchop his own toys to channel that puppy energy properly. Some of his new favorites are from BARK’s Destroyers Club – a line created to maximize the joy of toy destruction. Destroyers Club has identified four types of toy destruction – shop all Destroyers Club toys. We have the Totally Ripped Collection, which is such a cute fit for our family. These are the toys engineered specifically to maximize the fun in toy destruction:
- Thrasher – extra long floppy parts to grab & thrash
- Squeaker-Seeker – packed with multiple squeakers and a variety of squeaker types
- Shredder – with long hair for gripping & ripping
- De-Fluffer – packed tight with double the fluff to be ripped out
BARK has a really fun new program where they’re actually rewarding toy destruction – Destroyers Club members earn points for things like free trophy toys and credits by submitting pics of their dog’s toy destruction skills or buying Destroyers Club toys – you can join the club to unlock prizes. SUCH a cute club to join! Learn more about Destroyers Club here.
Pork and Cooper playing around
Investing in training – both time and money – is so important to get your dog adjusted to life at home. We did a puppy preschool when Porkchop was new to our home but we’re about to have an in-home trainer come to the house for a series of lessons on our turf.