If you’re obsessed with The Crown like we are, then you’ll be excited for King Charles III coronation in London! Whether you’re a Royalist or not, it’s difficult to underplay the significance of this event. The British Monarchy has survived while so many other hugely important dynasties of the past have crumbled. And of course, we’ve not seen anything of this magnitude since 1953 when Queen Elizabeth took the crown.
The history of it all is intriguing, and we get to live it in 2023!
King Charles III coronation in London
We’ve been lucky enough to be in London for the two Royal weddings that took place over the past ten years. Not only is this city full of extraordinary energy, but adding a celebratory Royal event makes it a city-wide party! With the King’s coronation, the wonderful three-day affair, Londoners are preparing for a grand celebration.
To help you get in on the action, we’ve pulled together the top five ways Londoners will be celebrating as King Charles III officially takes the crown. The streets will be lined with Union Jack flags and the sounds of fanfare music will fill the air. Secondly, public viewing screens will be erected across the city, giving everyone a chance to watch the historic moment. Street parties will take place across the city, with communities coming together to celebrate – read more about this below. Also, museums and galleries will hold exhibitions and events to commemorate the occasion. Of course, the city’s restaurants and bars will be offering special menus and drinks, so be sure to indulge in some of the culinary delights on offer.
How Londoners will celebrate the coronation in 2023
1. We will line the streets to see the coronation procession!
On the morning of 6 May, the King and Queen Consort will depart Buckingham Palace and travel to Westminster Abbey. The coronation church since 1066, the Abbey is over 1,000 years old. Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather along the route and throughout St James Park to witness this historic moment. A procession will occur before and after the coronation service, as they return to the Palace.
To learn more about the coronation long weekend, the procession, and other future royal events, visit royal.uk.
Obviously you can still enjoy these locations if you’re in London in the future. Indeed you can visit both Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey for a fee. Reservations are required to join a tour when available. More information can be found online by searching for the place you wish to visit.
St James Park is among the eight magnificent royal parks in London and is situated adjacent to Buckingham Palace. It is free to explore. To learn more, visit here.
2. Party with the people and ‘The Big Lunch’
Across the long weekend, everyone in the UK is invited to bring their neighbours and community together. We can host street parties or set up our own Big Lunch. At the time of publishing, over 7,000 parties have been registered across the country!
Furthermore, we know that when these events take place, there is a happy air about the place. People really do get together to celebrate, creating a sense of togetherness that is unparalleled. It’s amazing! In fact, this is a moment in history that people here will remember for our whole lives.
In case you miss the street parties, there are other ways to enjoy the festivities. For instance, the pub culture in England is something altogether unique! You can book a spot at your favourite pub or restaurant and enjoy the celebrations with your friends and family. This is how we celebrated Harry and Meghan’s wedding, at one of our fave London pubs, The Narrowboat.
Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to iconic landmarks. Not only are many steeped in Royal history, like the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace, but there are also year-long activities being held at many famous places around London to mark the coronation.
On the coronation long weekend, many Londoners will visit somewhere like Hampton Court to enjoy garden parties and celebrations on the property’s beautiful grounds. Additionally, Windsor Castle will play host to a huge concert on Sunday 8 March. Furthermore, a lottery was run via the BBC and 10,000 lucky people have scored free tickets to this momentous show.
For anyone coming to London in the future, a little tip is to check out the Historic Royal Palaces site to see if a membership might save you some money on entry fees. Moreover, the HRP pass grants access (and sometimes special privileges) to a number of sites, including Hampton Court, the Tower of London, and Kensington Palace. To find out more, visit their website.
4. Be of service – volunteering, The Big Help Out
King Charles is patron of over 400 charitable organisations. It’s no surprise that as part of the celebrations, we are encouraged to give back too. On Bank Holiday Monday a nation-wide initiative The Big Help Out will take place. Over 1,500 organisation are registered. We can pop our postcode into The Big Help Out app to find out how to help out in our area.
It’s a positive way to make a difference, mark this momentous occasion and make new friends.
If you’re not here for the coronation long weekend, there are always plenty of ways you can get involved in the community. Start by getting in touch with a cause that means something to you. Or, there are often plenty of opportunities to support some of the historic properties around London and the UK. Take your pick.
5. Celebrate with fashion
All eyes will be on the Royals across the entire weekend, and keen note will be taken of what they’re wearing. You may have heard that there are rules around what is appropriate or not. Here’s some background that pertains to the Royal Garden Party attire.
Furthermore, many people will flock to the special 2023 Kensington Palace exhibition, From Crown to Couture for inspiration. Dubbed “the fashion exhibition of the centuries”, it features over 200 pieces from across history and the world – from Charles II to Lizzo and Lady Gaga!
In addition to the coronation weekend showcase, the exhibition runs from April to October 2023, providing ample time for visitors to marvel at the collection. Moreover, Kensington Palace is always worth a visit, with a revolving door of exhibitions every year, so if you miss this one, don’t worry. The area is also brimming with fun activities, food and shopping, all of which you can read more about here.
Shop all things Cool Britannia!
Drop into our Amazon store and get yourself some cool merch for this special year!
With just two days to move in before we needed to start working, we had no choice but to furnish a flat FAST in England! We landed in the UK to live for a third time recently. But, with one difference – we had a pet in tow. Unfortunately, in our experience we didn’t find that securing a place to live with a dog was as straightforward as we’d hoped.
But, eventually we scored the right place at the right time. It came unfurnished, and it’s the first time we’ve ever chosen to furnish from scratch!
Furnishing a flat fast in England
Since we had the opportunity to design our own space, we put together a checklist of key pieces we needed:
A double desk or two minimalist desks for working from home
Office chairs that prevent RSI and back problems
Some sort of compact dining table and chairs
Sofa, TV, coffee table and TV unit (could be inexpensive and compact)
Bed and [comfortable!] mattress
Microwave, kettle, toaster (as these were not already included in the kitchen)
We do not have transport so needed to rely on some conveniences of England in terms of furnishing a flat fast.
Walkable options e.g. cheap stores like Poundland or Primark
Next day delivery services – will share our favourites below
Vintage / second hand / outlet stores we can reach on foot, as well as Facebook Marketplace if we could access on foot.
Our UK flat walkthrough: the reveal!
Find out how we furnished our flat fast in 48 hours without transport:
Our top 7 resources for furnishing a flat quickly and on a budget
A few of the places we mentioned in the video included:
Argos – next day delivery available at a timeslot you choose
Amazon – next day delivery available but sometimes difficult to track
B&M – nice quality homewares at a great price
Primark – seems to have a renewed focus on ‘home’ since we last lived in the UK; nice items that are cheap
Poundland – an awesome resource for gathering all the usual cleaning and household products that we usually take for granted because things like detergent are usually ‘just there’!
Vintage or charity stores e.g. British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Marie Curie shops
How to rent in England: tips for first-timers
We’ve rented five properties in eight years (across three different stints) in England. Some of these were private rentals found on Gumtree. Others were via real estate agencies. I wouldn’t say the task of finding a flat ever gets easier. However, if you’re a foreigner (expat) and you haven’t got a lot of [recent] history in the destination, you may face an administrative nightmare.
My recommendation is that you prepare. Have as much of the following information to hand as possible. This will mean you can jump on applications quickly and successfully:
A UK phone number/SIM
Have a temporary address handy, as you’re usually asked where you’re staying ‘now’
Proof of who you are (e.g. passport, drivers licence, bank statements)
Reference information (either pre-prepared written references and/or details of recent rental property agents who can attest to you being a good tenant)
Evidence of employment, particularly recent payslips and/or a contract or something official validating your income will mean far less hassle trying to secure a rental agreement
Alternatively, details of a guarantor may also be accepted
A UK bank account* – particularly so you can have funds ready to transfer as your deposit and first few weeks’ rent. Waiting for funds to transfer internationally is possible, but will take extra days which may mean you are held up on your plans to sign a contract or move in.
If you are new to the country, this can be a sticky point. Many banks will ask for an address to set up a bank account, but you almost need a bank account to secure a residential address! HSBC is known to support expats in England, although it’s my understanding that they charge a hefty fee for the privilege. Barclays let us set up an account initially when we first arrived, but I believe Santander is ok too.
The best way to seek help is to jump on an expat page on Facebook (e.g. ‘Aussies in London’) and ask for recent experience and advice. It’s a resource we wish we had have had when we first arrived in 2010!
A final note on renting a flat: furnished or unfurnished
If you’re turning up to the UK to live and work but you don’t have a job yet, or a pet, I’d advise not rushing into the rental process. Book an Airbnb to stay in for a few weeks, or a non-committal flat share. Find your feet, get a job, discover an area or two you love; get your bank account sorted and then seek an official residence.
We LOVE the UK but you need to find “your place” otherwise your experience might be less than happy which would be a huge shame. You’re far better off if you can live within an easy commute of where you work, and designing your life to optimise your experience abroad.
If you can give yourself some space and time to do that, definitely take advantage of it. We’ve learnt the hard way, and this is what I’d do differently if we had our time over again. Also don’t buy into the scaremongering around not being able to find a place to live. You will be ok. Plan ahead, ask questions and keep your cool. You’ve got this :)
Do you have additional advice to add, or a question? Let us know in the comments below.
We very recently relocated back to the UK from Australia and we experienced travelling with a dog internationally for the first time. Earlier in February, we documented what we knew to that point before our little London dog had been allocated his flight to England.
To find out about the visas we secured to live and work in the UK, you can read more here.
If you’re planning to travel with your beloved dog overseas and like us, you’re unable to bring him/her on the plane with you, please read on for our experience and advice!
There’s so much planning and preparation you need to do. This (American based) advice is helpful. Similarly there’s further useful information on this post from Going.
Travelling with your dog internationally
We won’t lie, the experience was VERY hard on all of us. We wanted to create a follow-up piece to share what we learned and what we wish we had known when it came to transporting our dog, London, from Australia to the UK.
See the full story, press play:
Covered in the video: our top 5 learnings and warnings!
Learning: information about flight schedules may be illusive
Warning: Your pet’s itinerary may change at the last minute
Warning: Ensure you can get in contact with everyone involved
Learning: Be unapologetic about asking for more information and photos
Warning: Check your pet’s health when you are reunited.
Global travel with your dog: final thoughts
After two weeks, we can report that London is starting to settle. He’s definitely exhibiting some anxious behaviours that he didn’t previously have, but with lots of love, cuddles and implementation of a positive routine, we can see he’s coming back to his old self.
There’s no getting around the fact that travelling with a dog in cargo on a long haul trip is not ideal. We found it harrowing, actually. But if you want your pet to join you if you are moving abroad, there is no other option in many cases.
We hope you find our experience and learnings helpful. Most important for us to impart is to dig deep, ask LOTS of questions about potential itinerary and take your decision from there.
We’d love to hear from you – let us know your thoughts or questions in the comments below.
Overseas pet travel isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be, particularly when you’re flying a route like Australia to England. But, we’re about to head off on another adventure to the UK, and we will take our little Westie, London, with us.
To find out about the visas we secured to live and work in the UK, you can read more here.
How simple is planning overseas pet travel?
I think the best way to describe the planning is that it is a process.
It’s all possible, but there’s a number of considerations to take into account. This means ideally you would give yourself six months or more to plan. Between the time we discovered we had the opportunity to move back to the UK and the time we needed to fly, we actually didn’t have six months. Together with our trusted vet and a pet carrier, we have made it work though.
If you are planning to relocate to another country, maybe our process and information can help you.
5 steps to move a dog overseas
1. Talk to a trusted vet
The first port of call for us when planning to relocate London dog overseas with us was to speak to our vet. Our lovely vet Kirsty from Toowong Family vet in Brisbane, has known London since he was a wee puppy. She’s an excellent vet, so we booked a consult with her, primarily to speak about:
– the travel process and London’s general health for such a journey
– gauging and managing his anxiety in a new situation such as long distance flying.
Kirsty checked London over and we chatted about his age and health. We determined that he is ok to fly.
The big one for us though is the lengthy flight(s) itself. In the past, sometimes dogs were sedated so they would sleep. It’s been deemed that that this is not safe, so sedation is not an option. Kirsty talked us through a program for managing London’s anxiety, which began a few weeks ago and will continue into when he is settling into his new home in the Northern Hemisphere.
Talk to your vet about options that may suit your beloved fur baby.
2. Choose an accredited pet carrier
We researched several major international pet carriers operating in Australia and sought quotes from each. After having a conversation with each and comparing quotes, we ended up making a decision based on the itinerary available to London.
While it is possible to fly London from Brisbane to London, the routes recommended by some carriers meant that he would not leave his crate for around 24 hours. We chose Petraveller based on reviews and because they suggested a route that – while longer in terms of the amount of time we are separated – it seemed fairer on him to have more breaks.
Choosing a pet carrier is a BIG decision. It’s very expensive no matter how you look at it, and we know London’s life and wellbeing is being placed in their hands. There’s a lot of trust and faith involved. We will keep you posted on the outcome. At time of posting, London is set to begin his journey in a week’s time.
3. Consult with your chosen pet carrier to find out about the process involved in taking your dog overseas
The next most important conversation we had after the one with our vet, was the one with our chosen pet carrier. Over the duration of one or two chats, a few things were explained to us:
time frames and action items for us
the importance of securing a rabies vaccination immediately for London dog – in Australia, the rabies vaccine is often in short supply and only some vets administer it, so get your pet sorted straight away if you intend to fly in the coming year
application for a Transfer of Residency to the UK so we could avoid import fees for London
preparing London for travel before, during and after the journey
the airline application process which meant we had to choose a date range for London to travel – the application is lodged around the 15th of each month and your pet’s travel itinerary is only confirmed in the last week of each month
considerations around where London would stay should we need to fly out first, or where he would go if he arrived in the UK first.
Watch the video for full details and our experience with these action points.
London was eventually allocated a flight itinerary that will see him fly out of Melbourne on a Monday evening. He will arrive in Dubai and stay at a pet hotel to recover a little, then will fly into Gatwick airport in England, arriving the same day as us (a Thursday morning). Unfortunately, due to the flight going out on Monday, he will be flown to Melbourne on the Friday and will stay in a pet hotel before having his final vet checks and then leaving the country.
Yes, it is very stressful.
4. Book a rabies vaccination
It’s important to note that if you’re flying your pet internationally from Australia, they will need a rabies vaccine. There is absolutely no way they can fly without it.
In Australia, the vaccine is known to often be in short supply. At the time we started looking for it, none was available. We waited anxiously for a few weeks, and after putting our name on the list at multiple vets in the whole of south-east Queensland, we eventually got a call from Kalinga Park Vet who sorted us out.
You’ll be given a certificate by the vet who administers this. Keep it safe as you’ll need to share it several times during the process with your pet carrier.
5. Crate train your dog for overseas travel
A crate will be sent to you by your pet carrier. The size will depend on dimensions you provide and guidance is given about how to measure for this.
Give your pooch as much time crate training for travel as possible.
London never had a worry in his crate – he loved it and we crate trained him as a puppy. BUT he’s never had the door closed and didn’t like it. Some excellent advice on a process was shared with us from our vet. Similar advice is present on the internet.
Make the crate fun: put treats, toys and food in and around it. Gradually introduce your pet to his/her crate.
Ensure the crate is comfortable for sleeping. London has a favourite bed that we put inside – he takes himself into the crate to sleep at night. We did reward this at the beginning with treats.
Start to get him/her used to travel. We put his crate in the car and went for drives of varying length. At first London didn’t like the change, but he got used to it and now sits calmly in his crate.
As time goes by, see if you can find a ‘noisier’ vehicle like a van or 4WD to put the crate in, so your pup gets used to louder sounds.
And if possible, put your pet into their crate and get someone else to go for a drive with them. When you show up on the other side, he/she will associate the experience with you eventually showing up to meet them.
The nerves are real
I’m not going to lie – we’re nervous about this.
The leg between Australia and Dubai is 14 hours. Then London stays in a new country in the middle of the world overnight. Following is 9 hours to Gatwick in his crate. He then remains in his create as he is processed through customs which could be a few hours. Petraveller’s partner over in the UK will let him out for a walk and toilet break before he then is transported to where we are staying.
Our vet told us that he won’t love it, but that he will be ok.
We will report back: I’m sure there’ll be tears on all fronts. But it will be worth it in the end ❤️
As an Aussie – and member of the Commonwealth – you may be eligible for a UK Ancestry visa. Cooper is, and he’s just received his UK Ancestry visa for a third time. This allows us to move back to the UK to pursue a work opportunity in 2023. As his partner, I can apply to go too.
In this post, we’ll share exactly how we applied and successfully secured working visas to return to the UK. We leave in Feb, and will take our dog with us!
About ten years ago, Cooper discovered that he was eligible for a UK Ancestry visa. This is because his Grand-ma was Scottish. She travelled to live in Australia during the period that now gives him the “birth right” to live and work in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The visa is flexible, allowing five years at a time with the option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There’s no age limit for applying, and no limit to how many times you can apply for it.
Unfortunately, the numbers of people in Commonwealth countries that this visa applies to will begin to dwindle now. This is more of a benefit for a generation of people whose grandparents travelled during the earlier part of the 1900s. British great-grandparents or parents do not allow access to this exact visa.
Background to our application: why we are applying for visas again
Travel Live Learn was born out of Cooper’s and my experience living and working in the UK.
We have actually lived in London twice before. The first time was between 2010-2012 when Cooper was first living and working there on an Ancestral Visa. I was under 30 then, and allowed to work under the Youth Mobility Visa scheme.
We returned in 2014, this time paying an immigration lawyer to help us secure Cooper’s second UK Ancestry visa and aligning me as his long-term (un-married) partner.
Cooper and I had completely settled in the UK by 2019. We fully intended to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in 2020, having almost completed the five years settled status requirement. We were preparing to study for the Life in the UK test when COVID struck.
With just three months to go before we would be granted the right to come and go more freely, a difficult change was forced upon us. Not only did COVID remove our option to live, work and travel as we had previously done, but at the same time, my Dad came to the end of a battle with Prostate Cancer. It was a dreadful period of my life, where “goodbye” took on many meanings. I’m glad to be moving past it.
Applying for UK work visas post-COVID restrictions
Now that restrictions have eased in most parts of the world, we can move about relatively freely again. An opportunity presented itself that’s meant we have decided to go back to England to live and work for a little while. We’re even taking our COVID puppy, London, with us! (if you’re looking for advice and experience around travelling internationally with a pet, we will share it all on YouTube.com/travellivelearn).
Taking London dog means a serious chunk of our moving budget is gone straight away. So, we decided to take the plunge and apply for the previous visa combination we had (Ancestral + partner visa) ourselves.
“Ourselves” = “me” when it comes to gathering all the admin and paperwork for this fairly stressful task!
Discover our full experience here:
Steps you’ll take
Apply for the Ancestry visa by following the links through the application forms on the UK Government website.
You will pay for the application and your NHS surcharge. Download and keep a copy of ALL of your answers, confirmation numbers and payment details.
Apply for the partner or dependent visa following the links on the website. Ensure your answers align with that of your partner’s Ancestry visa application. Pay for your visa and NHS surcharge.
Book in for your biometrics, where you’ll have your fingerprints and photograph recorded, as well as your supporting paperwork and application scanned through to UK Immigration. Your passport(s) will be taken from here and sent off to UK Immigration.
You will receive notification that your passports are available. Check inside for your temporary entry clearance (which means your visa was granted – yay!).
Upon entering the UK, you have ten days to collect your official biometric card – like a plastic ID card. You will have nominated a location for collection during your visa application. We chose a spot in London that we knew how to get to. It’s usually a post office.
Top tips and advice following our DIY visa application in 2023
For the Ancestry visa, you need to enter the UK within three months of being approved for your visa. If you do know when you need to be there, e.g. for work, give yourself plenty of time – apply at the beginning of the three months.
I received an email saying I had underpaid the NHS surcharge. This seriously freaked me out, because I had been undercharged during the application process. I will never know if this was my fault or a problem with the user journey on the application pages. There was no need to panic though. I paid and it all went through fine.
Stay calm. There’s no real way to track the progress of your visas so you just have to wait and expect the best. If you supply plenty of evidence to show who you are, that you intend to work and that you can support yourself, you will be fine.
For peace of mind, if you can get to a visa processing centre that offers an expediated service, we would take that option. In Australia, VFS Global – the company that processes your paperwork and biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) – offers a priority service at their Sydney, Melbourne and Perth centres.
Applying for UK work visas from Australia: resources and links
Partner visa – follow the links to apply. I selected:Join or accompany a family member, who either is already in or will be travelling to the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (and you cannot apply on any other form);Followed by: Working in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
This blog by Kat’s Gone Global is helpful too, talking about what you need to know when applying for a UK Ancestry visa.
Ten months ago, my Mum, Cooper and I found ourselves in a sleepy suburb outside of Brisbane, surrounded by a squeaking pack of tiny Westie puppies. It was a far cry from where we expected to be in December 2020. I for one fully intended to be at a nice crisp German Christmas market, sipping on mulled wine and impulse buying sparkly decorations that I had nowhere to display.
But, surrounded by these white creatures that more so resembled tiny polar bears than Westie puppies with their eyes barely open wasn’t entirely bad either.
For the love of dog
One look at all of our past content here and on YouTube, and you’ll spot a mile off that Cooper and I are “dog people”. Not part time or casual dog people. Oh no. We are those all-in-totally-obsessed-heart-eyed weirdos who quite literally would follow a wagging tail along the road, through a shopping mall, down a commuter platform and onto a train if it meant we could have just one pat.
If that sounds insane to you, maybe you better go find another post to read
As long as Cooper and I have known each other, we have loved dogs. In fact, I recall the first time I thought Cooper (my co-worker at the time) was “sweet” was when he stooped down to kiss one of our mutual friends’ dogs on the head when he met it.
“That’s so sweet,” I thought…and looked at him kinda differently after that.
Jumping forward a few years, we had two blue cattle dogs in our lives. One, Stephanie, my beloved childhood pet who moved with me to a small rural town in NSW where Cooper ended up befriending her and giving her a roaring good time in her twilight years.
And the second, Harry (pictured above), another bluey who was quite simply the best dog you could ever, ever know. He loved us and we loved him with all of our hearts. Everyone loved Harry – he was a popular family member with all relations and friends. He had his own identity and personality. When you imagine the “man’s (or woman) best friend” analogy of a dog and their human living their best life, together, Harry is the dog in that picture.
That rainbow bridge, I tell you, it’s a wonderful place with all our four-legged mates chasing their tails and their tennis balls, just waiting for us on the other side.
But of course, there’s that time in between. And ours was spent living abroad and travelling. We were always dog spotting and stalking puppies in the park – well, everywhere really (pubs, trains, cafes, courtyards, the workplace…). The time was never right for us to get a dog when we lived in London. We did however, sign up to be Trusted Housesitters specifically to get our dog fix and give love to fur babies in the absence of their own humans who wanted to get away on a holiday somewhere.
Which brings me back to being surrounded by Westie puppies…
Since we had to leave London for now, and with so much loss experienced over the past year, we decided that it was time to bring in new puppy joy. (Well, when I say ‘we’, I mean I kept shoving the newborn picture of our future Westie pup in Cooper’s face until he said ‘yes’ :).
We couldn’t get a bluey again based on our apartment living requirements, so we set about searching for a breed that we feel is quite similar in personality: the West Highland Terrier. Maybe it was sentimental – Westies had been the first breed we pet sat for in London; or maybe it was always meant to be, but we decided to give raising a Westie a go.
That day surrounded by Westie puppies, we made our choice: not the loudest pup, and not the quietest – the one in the middle who did seem content enough with us gently picking him up and having a chat with him about his future.
What did we learn about Westie puppies?
Well let me tell you, Westies, they’re not the same as cattle dogs In fact, we’d clocked early on – at about 9 weeks old – that our little Westie puppy, London (named after our beloved adopted home in England) had no intention of listening to anything other than what pleased him. Our vet even said to us, “yeah, he’ll never be obedient like the cattle dog”.
‘Westitude’, we later discovered on a Facebook Group full of Westie owners – is an actual thing. Defiant, belligerent, obstinate.
But oh my God, he’s just the cutest little defiant, belligerent, obstinate thing we could ever know!
Also, we are kind of in love with him, which is evident by the fact he has nine places comfortably laid out to sleep at home (in a one bedroom flat!). We also bought a doggie cam so we could check on him and make sure he was ok and not fretting when he was a little pup. Additionally, London has the luxury of attending doggy daycare during the week to keep him happy and social.
Best things we did to help our West Highland Terrier puppy as he grew up
If you’re considering the journey, go for it. These are the funniest little dogs you’ll ever meet! Actually hilarious! But here are my top tips based on our own experience:
Crate training was a new concept for us, but it’s the BEST thing we did. Even though London isn’t bound to his crate anymore, he still makes his way inside for his own peace, solace, warmth and rest.
The first eight weeks might be tough: they’re babies and need the same care human babies do. They also wake VERY early and need to know you’re there to help them with potty or nurturing.
Give your puppy the time he/she deserves. I think it’s easy to forget they’re still so young and really do need proper care. They love interaction and play, so spend time with them.
Ensure plenty of toys and stimulation are available for your puppy, especially if you’re going to be out.
But with that said, please please do not get a puppy (of any breed) without thinking through how he/she will spend their days. If you’re going to be out a lot in the future, will you provide daycare or walkers – what’s the plan?
Best treats we discovered are chilled carrots (he LOVES these) which are especially great when your puppy is teething; and peanut butter on a Lickimat (available on Amazon and at pet stores).
Our doggie webcam was so inexpensive on Amazon and well worth it so we could monitor in his early days how he was coping when we were at work.I spotted there was a two hour window in the afternoon when he started to panic and suffer from separation anxiety, so arranged for friends to drop in and play with him during that time while he was very young.
Get proper breed-related advice on how to feed and care for your pup: Westies tend towards sensitive stomachs and allergies, so do your research to ensure you are prepared and can prevent these things if possible.
Educate yourself: there’s a WEALTH of wonderful training information on YouTube. If you’re getting a puppy, spend time teaching yourself how to care for him or her. They deserve it, and your future self will thank you! Two of our fave trainers’ channels for this are Zak George and Michele Lennon.
Learn to go with your intuition. If a cry is more than a cry or you sense there’s a difference between anxiety and tantrum (and there is), take action on it accordingly.
Westie puppies are very social, so after vaccinations, ensure you’re getting your pup out and about to play with other dogs. Puppy preschool is a good option, as is doggie daycare in the long run. Dog parks are in every city, and you can find breed-specific or location-specific pooch meet-up groups on Facebook.
The world will revolve around your Westie puppy, because he/she demands it to be so :)
A future world with our Westie
As London grows, he is gradually shedding some of the puppy Westitude. He wants to hang out with us more and do dog things … like we remember dogs do. He’s brought so much fun and laughter though, and reminds us yet again of the value of dogs: they are pure joy.
He is certainly part of our pack now. Or perhaps, it’s us who are in his.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds: adventures with London in London, perhaps?
Welcome! We are Sarah + Cooper, Aussie expats living in the UK with our Westie dog, London. We like to inspire on how to travel for longer and to live and work from anywhere. Our most popular content here is about seeing the world with your pet, remote working & digital nomadism, and house + pet sitting. Create a global life of your dreams at any age! Subscribe to find out more :)
Grab our NEW 2023 guides:
Master House Sitting with Our Must-Have 101 Essentials eGuide! Buy It Here
And, 7 Essential Strategies for Maximizing Your Use of ChatGPT eBookBuy it here