I imagined that when I got my puppy, we would run through fields of pink fragrant flowers while holding hands and singing.
Singing not because we had to, but because we could.
When I got my puppy Max, this didn’t happen. Instead of running through fields of flowers, we ran through the middle of speeding cars on the filthy streets of London, UK.
Apparently puppy how-to books had forgotten to mention that some puppies will only poo in the middle of gravel roads – risking your life and your street cred with the gang that live near your apartment.
I’m here to tell you all the things that a new giant poop bag full of Amazon doggy books could never tell you.
Here is part 1 of 10 things people don’t tell you about owning a puppy:
1) Mad 5 minutes – When puppies go crazy for 5 minutes without warning
As if out of nowhere, puppies will erratically run around in circles and grunt for a few minutes perhaps once a day or a few times a week. In England we called it mad 5 minutes.
Apparently this is completely normal, but the first time I saw Max do this, I thought he had gone crazy, and I would have to give him ‘special’ care moving onwards.
The best way I can describe puppy madness is similar to when humans have a lot of energy. They let it out by going to Cross Fit in Yaletown or Caprice nightclub on Granville Street.
However as dogs don’t have gym passes and wear too many Ed Hardy shirts to be allowed into Caprice (they’ve really upped their security measures recently), they sporadically let energy out whenever they feel like it.
Here is Max going through his 5 minutes of madness which he still does even though he is 5 years old…
2) Food allergies: Why your puppy might be vomiting
Max would throw up tons as a puppy. All the books said he might have diseases so I freaked the hec out and kept taking him to the vet. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him and he would get kicked out of emergency because his yappy barking was “rattling up the other dogs.”
If your dog is throwing up a lot as a puppy and your vet can’t figure out what’s wrong with him, it’s likely he has food allergies. Max had a $700 allergy test where we found out he’s allergic to chicken, turkey and dairy and pork.
If your dog keeps getting sick and you don’t know why and you can’t afford an allergy test, test your dog with different types of meat every week. You will know which food he is allergic to when he has stomach issues when he’s on that type of food.
Also try raw foods instead of dry. Many dry foods, no matter what meat they are, irritate Max’s stomach.
3) Puppies will likely show no indication they need the toilet
Although all of the fab books about housetraining write that puppies will start sniffing the floor if they need to pee and like Mary Poppins you will float out of your balcony with him and he will magically pee on the grass, that doesn’t always happen.
I know this because my puppy has peed on me numerous times without batting an eyelid and I had no idea it was happening. In fact, he has peed on me while we were in a pet store, and I was holding him in my loving arms. He did it so gracefully and with such perfect aim, that it looked like I’d peed myself.
4) Puppy housetraining is not easy
Housetraining isn’t easy. The easiest way to housetrain a dog is by taking it out with an adult dog that can show him what to do and praising the crap out of him when pees correctly. (Believe me. I tried everything to try and train my dog. I was so desperate after a year of failed housetraining that I resorted to buying fox pee over the internet and spraying it on grass when we would go outside. I never want to be known again as that lady who carries around a bottle of fox pee.)
5) Puppies nip your toes
I am not sure why puppies nip toes. I am pretty sure they think it’s funny. Initially it is, until it gets to the point where it isn’t. Then it gets creepy. Books ask you not to react to it, because that rewards your dog. Good luck with trying to ignore something that’s like a cute little furry piranha chomping on your toes. Don’t worry – eventually they grow out of it.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.