Tag Archives: Dogs

Surviving The First Night With Your Puppy

Last week we discussed anything and everything you could possibly need for your new puppy. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how about we discuss surviving the first night with your puppy!

Surviving The First Night With Your Puppy

Surviving The First Night With Your Puppy

The first night home with your new puppy can be a trying experience for both of you. It’s the first time your puppy has spent the night away from his mother and littermates. Because dogs are pack animals, your puppy knows instinctively that being separated from the pack is dangerous. Whining and crying at night is your puppy’s way of calling for his pack to find him. Of course it does nothing to comfort you.

With a little preparation and patience, you can make the most of the first night with your puppy.

What to do before bedtime…

Take up any food or water after six or seven o’clock to make sure your puppy is running on empty when it’s time to sleep. Otherwise, you’ll be making trips to the bathroom all night, or worse, your puppy will eliminate in the house.

Shortly before you go to bed, spend some time playing with your puppy. You want him to be tired enough to sleep soundly. Definitely don’t let him nap within an hour or two of bedtime or else your puppy will be ready to play when you’re ready to sleep.

Just before bed, take your puppy outside to his soiling area and wait for him to go. When he does praise him and bring him back inside. This reinforces good behavior and begins the house training process.

Where should puppy sleep?

If possible, you should let your puppy sleep in your bedroom to reduce the chances of whining or crying at night. Also, the constant contact throughout the night will help your puppy adjust to you and establish you as pack leader. One note of caution: Don’t let the puppy sleep in the bed with you. He’ll eventually expect to be allowed in the bed, and it can lead to numerous behavioral problems as your puppy grows. Although, I’ll be honest with you, I currently fight one dog and four cats for a spot in my bed, so I probably should have taken my own advice a lot sooner.

If you or the breeder have started crate training, you should put the crate in your room and use that to confine him while he sleeps.  Puppies usually won’t soil the area where they sleep, but if he has the opportunity to wander he may get up and go during the night.

As a last resort, you can keep your new puppy somewhere other than your bedroom. Make sure you puppy proof your house first and put a sweatshirt or other article of your clothing with him for your scent. A ticking clock or a radio set to a low volume can also help soothe a puppy the first night home. You should check on him throughout the night for bathroom breaks.

If you have multiple pets in your house, it is important to NOT let the puppy sleep with the other pets until they are properly acquainted.


Stop puppy from crying at night…

If and when your puppy starts crying at night, you need to decide if he has to go to the bathroom or if he’s looking for attention. If he’s been quiet for a few hours and suddenly starts to cry or whine, he may need to go out. Puppies have small bladders, so you’ll likely have to take him out at least once during the night. A good rule of thumb is to add one to your puppy’s age in months and that’s generally how long he can go without a trip outside. So a two-month-old puppy can wait three hours. That means your puppy will probably need to go out at least twice during the night.

If your puppy is crying and you’re sure it’s not for need of relieving himself, reach down and soothe him a little. Don’t be too doting or coddle your puppy. This will only reinforce the behavior and he’ll cry even more. If he continues to whine, a gruff “Quiet” and a quick, but gentle, shake by the scruff should settle the matter. If all else fails, ignore him. Tough love may be difficult, but eventually your puppy will learn that crying at night gets him nowhere. The more persistent you are in your approach, the quicker the situation will be resolved. If you’re stern one minute and sympathetic the next, your puppy will only be confused and his behavior will continue.

In the morning…

Congratulations on surviving the first night with your puppy!

Now, get up right away and take your puppy outside to his soiling area. Carry him. Don’t let him walk there or he may be tempted to go before he gets outside. Let him empty everything out, and praise him when he’s finished.

As with any new baby, you may not get much sleep the first night with puppy. If you’re patient and understanding, your puppy will learn what you expect of him when it’s time to sleep. You both should wake up rested and ready for the day after a few nights together.

I hope this has helped you with surviving the first night with your puppy! If you can think of any additional tips, please comment below or email me at aliciainasmalltown@gmail.com!

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It’s been a rough week…

So, I can’t lie to you. It’s been a rough week. Getting back into the work/school routine has been less than fun… And I didn’t play the Power Ball, so I have no chance of having won and not going back. 😉 Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but we came back to school to find that two of my favorite students were transferring to different schools… It took everything in me to not cry at school.

On to something positive…

Training Trigger is going good! I can say that he is almost 100% housebroken, walks super great on the leash, and does perfect in his crate. Plus, he’s such a love bug! He tends to be a bit of a lap baby, but I’m okay with that. 🙂 I was able to get in touch with someone who got a puppy from a previous litter from his breeder (same mom and dad) and they said that their pup who is just over a year old now weighs 110 pounds! I may need to get the lap baby thing in check soon, but I really enjoy all the love…

As you can see, Trigger loves when I come home from work! He laid on me and wouldn't let me up when I got home from work!
As you can see, Trigger loves when I come home from work! He laid on me and wouldn’t let me up when I got home from work!

My Favorite Amazon Items This Week…

As you can see in the photo above, I have a brand new phone case. It is AMAZING! I have to have a wallet phone case, because I am constantly forgetting my driver’s license and debit card in either my purse or yesterday’s blue jeans, so this one is kinda perfect. What makes it completely perfect is that it has a removable magnetic case for your phone. It also has three separate slots for cash, receipts, and whatever other loose papers that you may have.

Galaxy Note 4 wallet case

We’ve had so much rain these last few weeks that I’ve been desperately needing rain boots (especially when my front yard turned into a pond!). I searched and searched, and finally found these cute and affordable ones! They are available in several different prints, but I got these black ones with white polka dots with the intentions of adding my monogram in red. I’ll have to update the photos when I finally get a few minutes to add the monogram.



Getting Healthier…

So, here’s the topic that I dread talking about… I really need to get healthier. I will be keeping you all updated with my weight, measurements, and workouts throughout the year. Without further ado, here are the numbers—

My Fat Loss Journey

If you would like to join me on my fat loss journey, I have a clean copy of the sheet I created that you can download here

Well, until next time! I hope you’re all joining me tomorrow for week 2 of our 52 week home organization challenge!

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DIY Dog Rope Toys

Long before I knew I was getting Trigger, I started looking into DIY dog toys… Mostly because we do have Izzy, and I have been trying to win her over for over a year now (I’d like to report that I think it’s working too!).  Anywho, with my research, I found a way to make DIY dog rope toys that are absolutely awesome, mostly because the dogs LOVE them, but also because they are virtually free to make!

DIY Dog Rope Toys

So, how do you make DIY dog rope toys for free? By re-purposing old t-shirts! That’s right, we’re making these dog rope toys out of t-shirts.

Let’s start first by making t-shirt yarn. I love this tutorial!

You can make the toys out of just one color, but I like making them colorful with at least 3 colors or more (which means finding several t-shirts that you don’t need anymore, so you’ll be doing yourself a service by cleaning out your closet!).

Now comes the even more fun part!

It’s time to make the DIY dog rope toys!

Take your t-shirt yarn, in the colors of your choosing (here’s a hint: your dog won’t care what colors you choose, but you will!) and lay it out. Now, you’ll want to cut your t-shirt yarn into strands that are about five feet each. I use double the length of my arm to judge the length.

Now, how many strands you use for your DIY rope toy will depend on the size of your dog. You can make them with as few as 12 strands, but I prefer to make them nice and thick with 24 strands.

After you have the amount of strands cut that you feel are appropriate, grab all of your strands together and tie them in a knot about 2-3 inches from the end. Once you’ve done this, you’ll separate your strands out into 3 equal bunches, and start making your DIY rope toy with a simply braid. When you’ve reached your desired length, you’ll simply tie it off and trim the edges.

I’ve made these toys in various lengths, so that Izzy and Trigger can play with them alone, or have a fun match of tug of war with them.

These DIY dog rope toys have been a HUGE hit at our house, and I’m sure that they will be at yours too!

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Everything You Need For A New Puppy

Are you planning to get a new puppy, but you just don’t know where to start? You’re in luck, I have composed this AMAZING list of everything you need for a new puppy right here!

Everything You Need For A New Puppy brought to you by Alicia In A Small Town

Since I’ve already been through the new puppy thing a time or two, you’d think I’d have been prepared, right? Not at all… I composed this list to help you learn from my mistakes. Are you ready? Here goes…

Everything You Need For A New Puppy

      •   Food. I know that is obvious, BUT it’s always a good idea to communicate with the shelter or breeder that your pup is coming from and find out what kind of food they have been eating so that you don’t buy the wrong kind and upset your pups stomach. Yes, I’ve had the misfortune of making that mistake before, and I never will again.
      • Food and Water Bowls. If you forget these, then you get stuck using bowls from your kitchen and that leads to all kinds of messy disaster. Yes, I am speaking from experience here yet again. There are two things that I like to consider when getting bowls for a pup:
        1. Is it well weighted so that the clumsy pup won’t tip it over?
        2. Is it big enough that the pup won’t outgrow it in a few months?

        Everything You Need For A New Puppy food and water bowls

      • Collar. When they’re still small, you don’t want to get a super expensive one (oh, the mistakes I have made in the past…) so find an inexpensive adjustable one for your pup to grow with over the next few months.
      • ID Tag. This is super important. If your pup manages to get out of the house and wanders off, you’ll want someone to be able to contact you so that you can get your new baby back! (P.S. I absolutely LOVE the ones below. You may want to get a backup with your phone number just in case, but almost everyone uses QR code scanners now!)

Everything You Need For A New Puppy ID tags

      • Leash. Although he may not walk on it right away, it is important to start leash training as soon as possible (otherwise you may end up with a dog like my Izzy, who has NEVER cooperated on a leash, which makes taking her anywhere IMPOSSIBLE).
      • Crate. I highly recommend crate training (even if it makes me unpopular). It keeps your pup safe, and makes house training a breeze. Make sure to get one that will grow with your pup. This is NOT something that you’ll want to repurchase after your pup outgrows it. That could get expensive.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy dog crate

      • Bed or blanket. Or both. My pups have never been a fan of dog beds… They usually chew them up and leave stuffing everywhere. Blankets, on the other hand, have always been our friends. Never put your baby in a crate without a blanket or a bed though, to me that’s just mean.
      • Poop bags. Because leaving poop lying around outside is just gross.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy poop bags

      • Treats. Treats are invaluable when it comes to training.
      • Dog chews. We like pig ears the best at our house. Why is this important? Because puppies are teething… And if you don’t give them something to chew on, this will mean that all the things you don’t want them to chew on (shoes, chair legs, etc.) are open game.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy dog chews pig ears

      • Toys. I used to hate squeaky toys, and I kinda still do, but when it comes to our babies, we get bright, colorful, rubbery toys. Oh, and stuffed animals with squeakers in them. We love them all.
      • Calming products. Because an anxious pup is no fun at all. There are several all natural routes that you can go.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy calming products

      • Vitamins and supplements. Because a healthy pup is what you need.
      • Food storage bin. Because dog food is expensive, and this will keep it fresher and better for longer.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy storage bin

      • Brush. You’ll want to brush your pup (frequency depends on the breed) often to remove dead hair and to prevent mats. Doing this as a pup will get them used to the experience and will give you less trouble later.
      • Shampoo. There are MANY options for you to choose from, and you’ll have to find what’s best for your new baby, but whatever you do, do NOT use human shampoo on your pup, it can irritate their skin.
      • Nail clippers. Because puppy nails are SHARP, need I say more?

Everything You Need For A New Puppy nail clippers

      • Dental chews. To keep your pup’s teeth healthy (and to keep that puppy breath smelling good!).
      • Flea, tick, and heartworm preventative. I have always been a fan of Trifexis, but this is something that you will need to consult with your veterinarian about. You do want to start this as soon as possible though, because any of these things can make your new baby very sick if it gets carried away, and that could be devastating.
      • A blanket or towel for the car, so puppy fur doesn’t get everywhere. You might want to designate a special towel for bath time too, unless you don’t mind sharing towels with the pup.
      • Play pen or baby gates. To keep your new pup from going into off limit areas in the house.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy gate

      • Furniture covers. Slipcovers are a must for our house. We, unfortunately, have two couches that our cats used as scratching posts and have all but destroyed the arms to. Since we can’t afford new furniture at this time, we got several slipcovers (bonus: I can wash them when they get messy, and it is super easy to change my living room decor at the drop of a hat without spending an outrageous amount of money!). P.S. Lie to yourself if you want to and say that your pooch will never snuggle on the couch with you, but it will happen!

Everything You Need For A New Puppy slipcover

      • Travel harness. Because keeping your baby safe in the car is a MUST.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy travel harness

      • Outerwear. This is really only for certain breeds… Small dogs with short coats NEED outerwear to help them through cold winters. Consider getting a sweater or two for your new pup if it gets cold where you are (or if you just want to dress your new baby up!)

Everything You Need For A New Puppy outerwear

      • Treat pouch. I like the ones that connect to my leash. This way I can reward my new baby’s good behavior when we’re out for a walk, and I don’t have to worry about accidentally forgetting it somewhere.

Everything You Need For A New Puppy treat bag

    • First aid supplies. If you don’t know what to get, don’t worry, we’ll be talking about that in an upcoming post.
    • A BarkBox subscription! BarkBox delivers 4-6 all natural treats and toys to your new baby each month. Each box that they send out is specifically for your dogs needs, and it’s very affordable!

I sincerely hope that you have found everything you need for a new puppy here, but if you can think of anything that needs to be added to the list, please write me at aliciainasmalltown@gmail.com or comment below!

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Ticks: The Reality of Having Pets

So, as I have mentioned before, my family and I have 4 cats and a dog. These animals are all indoor/outdoor (meaning they come and go at their scratching/barking/meowing leisure). There is a harsh reality about having pets that no one talks about: ticks. That’s right, no matter how much you treat your yard and your pets, they will still find their way on them… And sometimes in your house.

check you for ticks

I used to be the kind of girl that would have to get someone else to get ticks off the dog when I found one, but there are occasions when no one else is around now, and I don’t want those awful things staying on my poor babies… So I have learned to woman up and do it myself. By woman up I mean grabbing a tissue and removing the tick as quickly as possible, then running to the bathroom to flush it down the toilet.

EntirelyPets Cyber Monday Deals

Will you please check me for ticks?

Fast forward to this morning… I’ve mentioned before that I get up earlier than anyone else in the house. This morning, I got up and stumbled half awake through the house to the bathroom, phone in hand. As I was scrolling through my Facebook feeds and sitting on the toilet, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. ON. MY. ARM!

I jumped up, dropped the phone on the bathroom counter, and attempted to remove it. But I couldn’t. It was on my right arm, and for some reason (probably something to do with the fact that I wasn’t fully awake yet), my left hand wasn’t grabbing the thing good enough. I swear, I could feel the thing digging in deeper…

Then I freaked out more. I ran from the bathroom, back to the bedroom with the hubs, and the following conversation happened:

Me- “Baby, I love you, but you have to wake up.”
Hubs- “Just let me sleep one more hour, then I’ll get up and cook.”
Me- “Babe, I’m turning the light on, you have to get up NOW!”
Hubs- “Uh uh!” and pulls covers over his head.
Me- “Baby, I have a f***ing tick on me. You have to get it off. RIGHT. F***ING. NOW!!!”
Hubs- Jumps out of bed. Sees tick, snatches it off, and tears its head off.
Me- “Can you check the rest of me now?”
Hubs- “I’ll check you later. You’ll be fine.”

I’m not sure this is what Brad Paisley had in mind when he made his song… Excuse me while I let Google convince me I’m dying.

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