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Dh said yes! We're adopting our foster!

(74 Posts)
steppemum Tue 21-Nov-17 13:46:05

So excited (and nervous, are we MAD!)

fostering a gorgeous spaniel, we've all fallen in love, especially teenage son, and he (dog) is just LOVELY, LOVELY, LOVELY. (ok son is lovely too, but he is already mine grin)

we've never owned a dog before, always thought it was too much work, too expensive.
But started fostering as I like getting out for a walk. really enjoyed it, decided that I want a dog for me, as I love waling them. Every time a dog left the kids said - when is the next one coming?

Spaniel arrived last week. 12 hours and we were all in love. I think we all felt he was ours.
Not without issues (see my thread on weeing dog) but dh came in from his run this morning and said - let's do it.

Just texted rescue and asked to adopt him. They said yes!

I REALLY wanted to surprise kids as a present, but dh rightly said no, we all have to be on board before we make the decision, family meeting tonight. Kids need to commit to training, playing with him, coming out at weekends for the occasional walk etc.

So many things I don't know about dogs eeeek!

I need a thread of questions, trouble is, I don't know what some of the questions are, let alone the answers!

So - top 2 things you think every new dog owner should know?

Elphame Tue 21-Nov-17 22:35:01


As you've been fostering you will know a lot of it already grin . Puddles, sleepless nights, loss of freedom.....

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 11:33:11

Thank you Elphame
Where is everyone today?!

The difference with fostering (and looking after other people's dog's) is that we didn't have to decide anything, we are just told - this food, this often etc!

So questions I have:
1.Which insurance do you use and why?
2. I see a lot of discussion about raw food v not raw etc, I don't even know what it all means (what exactly is kibble?)
My cat eats Asda's own brand cat food. Tell me why I shouldn't feed him the equivalent dog food. It says it is colour and additive free? Do I need to go grain free?
3. I know about chocolate and raisins (and we have a strict no human food rule) but is there anything else I should actively keep away from the dog?
4. Should I change his name? (I hate it, but he knows it)
5. What do you do for holidays - friend, kennels, home boarding?

justsomeone1 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:41:30

1 . Use comparison sites. Read small print and go for a lifetime policy otherwise if you use it for a stomach bug sometimes they won’t let you claim on other stomach issues if not lifetime. But then your locked in with that company

justsomeone1 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:43:51

Start again 😂 2! Raw fed is increasingly popular. If done right it’s cheaper than buying dry. If you decide it’s not for you good quality kibble ( doesn’t need to be expensive! ) will be cheaper than buying lower end as you feed less. All about dog food is a good site. I personally reccommend Arden grange or skinners.

justsomeone1 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:46:33

Re bad foods just google it and look at images. Save a picture on your phone. Poinsettia too ! Flowers & food
4 that’s up to you smile
5 I would use Home boarding. It’s stressful in kennels. Do your research early ask local vets/dog walkers use word of mouth. Ask on Fb selling sites for recommendations

Good luck welcome to dog owners club !

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 11:48:34

thank you, didn't realise that you fed less of the more expensive ones. That makes sense.
The rescue always uses a mixture of wet and dry, so kibble (is that just the name fro dry food) with a tin of meat.
Dry always looks a bit boring!

justsomeone1 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:51:21

Try natural instincts for raw then go diy . Make one weekly batch on a Sunday saves messing but probably need an extra freezer!
I use Arden grange I pay 28 a month and feed 3 dogs
Buy the likes of shop bought I’d actually pay more
Zoo plus often has offers or subscribe to amazon monthly then you also get a discount
Can feed wet & dry but I find dry fine and a Sunday dinner as a treat!

BiteyShark Wed 22-Nov-17 12:01:20

My dog isn't a fan of just dry so we feed 70% wet and 30% dry so he has lots of flavour with the wet and texture from the dry. We also alternate flavours to keep him interested. I use millieswolfheart but I recommend you look at for a guide on what food to buy.

For insurance I use pet plan and have had no issues claiming. Be aware that any preexisting illnesses will be excluded from most insurance policies so use a comparison site but check the T&Cs closely.

You can google poisonous/toxic items for dogs. Be aware that lots of garden plants are toxic so check what they might be munching on.

If you hate his name I would change it. Use both together for a bit then drop his original.

I always thought I would use kennels but I can't bear to leave him with a stranger so I use my dog walker who also does home boarding.

CMOTDibbler Wed 22-Nov-17 14:17:03

Congratulations! I wondered how long you'd last smile
Go ahead and change the name. Dogs don't care!

Food - I feed Vitalin dry food and Butchers wet (just to make it more interesting - one tin between two large dogs per meal). Its wheat free (which my ddog needs), and with the addition of a tin of sardines a week my dogs look great and in fab health - I get complimented on their condition.

I use home boarding or more recently, a house sitter. The house sitter works out really economically for me as they deal with the cats, chickens and dogs, plus also obv are keeping an eye on the house. But the dogs love going to home boarding as they hooley round with all the other pointies and come home shattered.

We use Sainsburys pet insurance

Elphame Wed 22-Nov-17 14:17:54

Ask the shelter what he's eating if you don't know and if you want to change it then phase in the new food over a week or so. I've opted for premium wet as feeding heavily processed doesn't sit well with me. I'm still considering raw but the pup is thriving on his current food so I'm holding fire for a bit.

I've not found the lists of poisonous plants very helpful myself. Many contradict themselves.. They muddle up the names too and rarely give the Latin which is essential for accurate referencing. They use poisonous to cover anything from may cause a mild gastric upset to absolutely deadly.

Likewise human foods. I was looking up nutmeg this week (it's in most cocktail sausages which are a common training treat). One specialist animal poison control site says its fine in the small quantities found in food. Another says absolutely deadly - if your dog even samples a food containing it then rush them to the emergency vet. Kale according to some sites should be avoided at all costs - at least one commercial dog food has it in it. Avocado too. Which to believe?

I've just discouraged him from eating anything in the garden and picking all my atropa belladonna berries which really would have been lethal. He's outgrowing the tendency to sample everything in sight though which is good as I can't police his eating habits so well when he's out on a walk.

Name change - yes do it if you want to. I wish we'd changed the rescue cats name as I've always hated it. It's been 5 years now so I guess it's a bit late.

3rdrockfromthesun Wed 22-Nov-17 14:21:06

Start changing the name if you hate it! Dogs will respond especially if you use food. So he will associate that name with food and will respond

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 14:23:46

1. Insurance needs to be a life policy. Do some shopping around and see if your vets will only claim direct from some companies. Some companies are much better than others at paying out.
2. Raw food is just that. You either buy a complete (normally frozen) or you have to work out ratios of bone, meat and offal yourself. Kibble is biscuit. Anything you buy in the supermarket won't be great quality TBH. There's also wet tinned food.
3. have a Google. Onion. Grapes. Acorns.
4. Pick something vaguely similar?
5. I used a boarding service at a friend's house. Big kennels can be noisy.

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 14:24:06

Oh and HUGE congratulations!

wheresmymojo Wed 22-Nov-17 14:32:40

Is there a picture?

I love spaniels!

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 15:25:51

Oh thank you everyone, lots of helpful stuff.

CMOT - I kind of knew fomr the beginning that if the right dog came along we might fold! But dh was always adamant about it being too difficult for holidays etc.

ds was also just not interested in the fosters, as he found it too difficult to bond and then lose them. He is one of the reasons we fostered, as he would love a dog (he is 14) but I knew that I had to want the dog for me, as I would do most of the walking and care, long after he has left home.
Ds' face last night made me choke up. Ddog ended up in ds room last night too hmm

Picture will need to wait as we only have the ones from the website and they have identifying stuff in them.

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 15:26:11

Current name Buddy.

Any suggestions?

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 15:48:29

Something else starting with B?
Or something with the ddy sound?

Catsrus Wed 22-Nov-17 15:50:35

Congratulations smile Spaniel? Winter? How about “Muddy”?


steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 16:15:09

Castrus - Oh yes, my kitchen floor looks like the bottom of a pond. I am extrememly grateful that we have a side gate and back door. He danced through mud and then swam in the river today, but insisted on getting out at a different place to where he got in.
As he is on a long lead, that meant the whole lead ended up going through the river as I had to hold dog and pull lead through from starting point.
Came home and hosed him down. He really didn't understand why he was confined to the kitchen for a while.

Still, I love a good muddy woody walk, and I am not house proud bloody good job

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 16:16:48

I really like Barney. Kids not keen, although dd2 suggested Barnaby, that might be a goer.

He's a springer, and black and white, with black ears and silly spaniel eyes.

Wolfiefan Wed 22-Nov-17 16:33:37

Why did I put Buddy when he is Buddy now?!!!
Barney is lovely.
Barnaby for when he's misbehaving?!

steppemum Wed 22-Nov-17 16:36:28

Ha ha , dh has vetoed any thing which is long-name-with-shorter-version-for-everyday-

Just give the dog a name. One name!

yawning801 Wed 22-Nov-17 16:38:41


yawning801 Wed 22-Nov-17 16:40:20


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