Guest Post @ Captain Capitalism. Stockpiles.

A huge thanks to @aaron_clarey for publishing my guest post on starting up a stockpile.

My first post back from the week off and it isn’t on my blog! 😛 Click here to read it.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

How To… prepare for a puppy.

We got a puppy just under a month ago. Her name is Lamu, after this girl. And she is adorable. But there are some things you need to do in preparation for having a puppy. Both Jon and myself have owned dogs in the past and had some idea what she would need, but for a first time dog owner, here are some preparations you will have to make.

How to prepare for a puppy.

1: Secure everything.

Puppies are like toddlers. They will knock things down, get onto furniture you didn’t think was accessible, chew and break things and dunk things in their food and water. Make sure everything valuable is well out of reach and dangerous places and breakables are secured.

2: Breed specifics.

Many people know to learn about their breed’s common ailments, but all breeds have specific behaviours too. Learn about the things your dog was bred to do, its temperament and its needs. For example, boxers are sociable, high-energy dogs that grumble and “talk” a lot. They will be boistrous and it is not necessarily out of defiance all the time.

3: Crates and beds.

For the purposes of house breaking and obedience training, it is worthwhile to raise your puppy in a nursing crate or dog cage for the first few months, until it knows not to soil the house or break into rooms where it hasn’t been invited.

4: Shopping.

Sometimes the person you are buying or adopting the dog from will give you some toys, blankets and food for them. But you will still want to buy a dry puppy food mix well in advance, as well as a couple of durable toys. Please bear in mind that whilst adult dogs can eat a wholefoods diet including raw meats, due to breeding methods and domestication puppies’ immune systems aren’t always quite as strong, so you will want to transition them from puppy food onto cooked foods and then onto raw foods if you wish to feed them that way.

5: Pee Pads.

These are a lifesaver. They smell of a dog toilet, which will encourage your pup to urinate on them. Keep them near the door so that the pup begins to associate walks with urination.

6: The house.

Depending on your dog’s temperament it will either own the place or be very shy and nervous. To keep it calm, introduce it to the house one room at a time, starting with the room where it will live. For the first few days, keep the puppy mainly to that room and only let it through occasionally. This way it will adjust better.

7: Other pets.

Introduce other pets very early and when the other pet is at their most confident and comfortable. You don’t want the puppy to think your other pets are inferior pack members or it may get snappy with them.

8: Walks and meal times.

Decide on a walk time and meal times long before you get the puppy. You want a time you can commit to, when you won’t be bothered about being woken up with barks (dogs don’t understand weekends) and when you won’t be rushing or trying to fit in other arrangements. Immediately before and after work can work very well for a walk followed by a meal.

And that is how we prepared for our new puppy.

How about you? How did you prepare for your new puppy? Feel free to offer anecdotes and advice in the comments.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

How To… prepare an emergency kit.

We have already discussed how to prepare for specific emergencies, such as a medical emergency or a bout of depression. But what about those nondescript “it’s an emergencies” we all get? Neighbour having a baby, sister in hospital, house ruined by fire or flood, anything that suddenly calls you out.

Thankfully, there are some ways we can be prepared for this sort of incident also.

This is part III of my ongoing “housekeeper’s kits” series. Part I and Part II at these links.

1: The bag.

You will need a bag you can easily grab and easily fill. Especially so if the contents can’t all be kept together and you need to pack in minutes. Choose a backpack or rucksack twice as big as it needs to be to carry everything you will take. This way you can also add more things without fretting.

2: The overnight items.

This is best composed of spares, so you can keep them all in the bag and don’t have to run about your house collecting commonly used items.

spare toothbrush, travel toothpaste and mouthwash

spare hairbrush and hairbands

spare towel

-spare t shirt, two pairs of spare underwear and socks

-a purse with change

-spare phone charger

-spare keys

3: The communication.

You need to guarantee you can contact anyone, even if your phone dies or is lost. If you’re called away suddenly you may not have the time to tell everyone where you’re going and why, so this is vital.

-spare phone

-spare charger and battery

-phonebook with essential contacts

It’s also wise to use a social network update to alert everyone. It’s far quicker to post “at Derby hospital if anyone needs me” than to send texts and call everyone. Plus, news spreads faster on social media.

4: The pets and children.

Have a petsitter or a babysitter you know you can contact at short notice, preferably one for days and one for nights. You never know what problem may arise and it will be very helpful to have a friend, childminder or relative who can collect or move in with your kids and pets at short notice.

Keep these numbers at the very front of your phonebook.

5: The entertainment.

We tend not to think of this in emergency situations, but after the initial rush, there is a lot of waiting. When you’re anxious or suddenly stressed, it may be hard to relax or distract yourself from the issue. But as time passes you will be waiting for quite a while and it’s best to do something to use up all that stress-based energy whilst you’re there.

-a book that’s easy and pleasant to read

-a portable games console

an mp3 player

-knitting or crochet

travel boardgame

6: The energy.

These sort of emergencies aren’t really convenient. They don’t strike when you’ve just had lunch, are rested and happy and have had time to digest. You may have been woken up at 2am, interrupted before breakfast or called out when you’ve just got home from work. You will need to keep something on you to get your energy up and keep you going. Everyone’s needs are different, but here are some suggestions for snacks you can keep almost indefinitely in a bag.

-sealed boiled candies

-energy bars

-canned caffeinated drinks

-bagged dried fruit and nuts

-caffeine pills

And those are the things you may want to keep as an emergency bag, in case anything serious happens.

What would you put in your emergency bag? Got any tips or hints for anyone making their own emergency bag?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!