Last month, my partner and I welcomed an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy into our home. His name is Vinnie, he likes long walks around the kitchen, tummy rubs and chewing the furniture.
Yes, we’re one of the many Australian families who got themselves an ‘Iso puppy’ this year. With more time at home and some forced savings from a cancelled wedding and overseas trip, the timing just felt right.
But I’d be lying if I said we went into pet ownership knowing exactly what we were in for.
My partner has owned dogs before so had more of a “he’ll be right” attitude, whereas I’m a first-time dog owner and more of a planner.
Before we picked Vinnie up, my brain was buzzing with questions: Should we crate train? Will we introduce wet food or keep him on dry? How do we avoid separation anxiety if we’re at home all day?
I did my research, but with SO much information out there (hi, endless Reddit threads about dog training) it was hard not to feel overwhelmed.
I’d also been warned multiple times that we had a few crucial weeks to do the right things to avoid turning our new addition into a tiny monster.
Veterinarian Dr Ben Porter knows what it feels like to want to set your pup up for success, but not know exactly where to start.