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If you follow me on Instagram, you know we have a little French bulldog puppy named Porkchop, but I’ve never really formally introduced him. Here’s the lowdown on Pork….
We lost our 10.5 year old English bulldog, Rocky, in May of 2016. He passed away unexpectedly and we were totally heartbroken – he was the best boy with the kids, our first baby, and such a handsome guy. Our house felt really empty without him there. Bulldogs are very loyal and he was always in the same room as us (even the bathroom!) and, at 72 lbs, the biggest “kid” in our home.
we I decided that we needed a canine companion in our lives, STAT. I found a cute little fawn French bulldog and we set a date to pick him up in late June. Annnnd then the day we picked him up, I found out I was expecting our 3rd baby. Yee-haw!!!
While I knew adding a puppy to our family would be crazy, it’s been even more work/money/time than I expected. Porkchop was born with a lovely little condition called Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which basically means that his intestine is chronically inflamed and there are all kinds of gross gastrointestinal issues that come along with IBD. Figuring this out was a result of dozens of vet visits, specialist visits, an ultrasound and an endoscopy. He’s now on a slew of medications – seriously, he has an AM and PM pill case – and supplements and we have to be extremely careful about what we put into his body.
Regardless of the challenges we’ve had with his health, he’s our dog and we aren’t giving up on him – he’s our boy! Here are some things to consider before getting a puppy and how to welcome a puppy with little kids at home:
There are tons of options when considering getting a puppy. We chose a purebred dog, which I realize isn’t the most popular option or the right option for everyone. These are the breeds we considered because of their family-friendly reputations: labs, golden retrievers, bulldogs, (most) pit bulls, beagles, Boston terriers, boxers. We landed on a French bulldog because we LOVED having an English bulldog but wanted something a bit smaller, as Rocky was a ginormous lapdog. Rescue dogs and mixed breeds also make great family dogs. Of course, every dog is an individual and I’m making generalizations here :).
Prep Your Kids
Our kids were not quite 2 and 4 when we got Porkchop. They had also spent a lot of time around dogs, but with Rock they were able to flop on him and play a little rough. Porkchop was a whopping 5lbs when we brought him home, so “gentle fingers” was something we repeated often. This book is great for explaining how to be gentle with pups.
Puppy Proof The House
Honestly, our house was pretty puppy proofed because it’s similar to child proofing ;). We have all hardwood floors and had a rug down in our den and a couple in the kitchen and we yanked them for puppy potty training. I also put up baby gates so Pork doesn’t have free reign of the house.
Spoil Your Puppy
People will tell you that taking care of a dog versus taking care of human kids aren’t even close to being the same. I disagree – dogs need to be potty trained like kids, make messes like kids, need lots of affection like kids, have to be fed multiple times a day like kids… but I don’t have the energy or time to make fresh meals for Porkchop – or my kids, some days ;).
Freshpet is dog food that could legitimately be mistaken for a human meal. It’s refrigerated and all natural, made with fresh ingredients and free of any artificial or chemical preservatives. Take a peek at the benefits of a fresh diet for your pup. Pork LOVES it!
Cover Your Bases
The most important things that needs to be done when you get a puppy is the safety stuff – like:
- supervise your kids with your puppy
- make sure the puppy is socialized from a young age
- invest the time and/or money to properly train your pup
- teach your kids to back off the puppy when he or she is eating
Do you have a dog at home with kids?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.