Like this sweet puppy pictured? I do too but some days it isn’t easy taking care of him. His name is Ernest and he’s a 6 month old goldendoodle. He was my first pet ever, truthfully, I wasn’t a ‘dog person’ growing up. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a dog person now, for sure. This post is for people thinking of making the leap and getting their first puppy. Below are 8 things I wish I knew before becoming a dog mom.
Poop, everywhere. All the time.
It felt like I was giving Ernest a bath everyday the first month I got him. My dog has a sensitive stomach, with his breed that seems to be common. I gave him literally the smallest bit of whipped cream one night, I woke up the next morning ready to throw my whole apartment away, I could smell the poop once I opened my bedroom door. Luckily it was primarily contained to his crate. Even if you don’t get a puppy not all dogs are truly potty-trained. That means they may forget what to do if pulled into a new environment. You can’t guarantee an adopted dog is fully trained either.
My puppy for the most part is potty trained. He knows to go potty on a textured surface similar to grass at least, I never thought the rugs in my apartment would be a casualty. He took a dump on my bathroom rug. He took a wet dump on my living room rug. But whose fault is that? Mine. I should have watched him and known he was too young to be unsupervised for more than 10 mins. Get proper cleaning supplies or you’ll find your dog will continue to come back to mess on that rug you love. I used this hardwood steamer helps sanitize my floors.
Be prepared to part ways with some of your belongings
You have to puppy proof your apartment. From shoes to bags and even items you never thought about being in reach. Dogs can get into anything and hurt themselves. You need to accept that and adapt your living environment with them in mind.
Your puppy wants to look and feel good too
When budgeting for your dog you’ll be spending money not just on dog food but items for their daily grooming too. You have to brush their teeth, comb their coats, clean their ears, etc. Just how you have a morning and night routine, so will your dog. It can take a groomer 4 hours to do a simple wash and trim on a puppy. You could do it yourself but there’s some stuff you just won’t know. Dogs rarely hold still when cutting their hair or nails, it’s best to go to a professional.
Don’t be an a**hole, TRAIN YOUR DOG
Training your dog is a social responsibility if you expect to ever take them out in public. There’s nothing worse or potentially more dangerous than a dog that doesn’t understand boundaries or an owner who just doesn’t care. Not everyone is going to love your dog, some people hate dogs. Understand that and at a minimum teach your dog basic commands.
Dog insurance is a real thing
Some companies are allowing employees to put their pets on their insurance. Unfortunately, my insurance hasn’t jumped on that train yet. I decided to get Ernest preventive and accidental insurance. He’s a puppy, he needs a lot of vaccinations and check-ups. I wasn’t so smart in the beginning and didn’t research the insurances. I suggest purchasing it before you get the puppy home. It takes about 2 weeks for the accidental insurance to kick-in. It will save you a ton of money.
Here is the insurance I have for Ernest.
People will like your puppy more than you
I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for almost two years now. Strangers never talked to me when I was out and about. Once I got a puppy all that changed. People were asking me my name, and wanting to know more about me. True, they were just doing it for Ernest most likely but he gives me opportunity to break out of my shell.
Be prepared to have stop frequently during your walks, puppies are popular and strangers will want to know more about them such as their name, breed, and age. Use the the situation to teach your puppy how to socialize with people other than you.
Dog food fads
The world gets a little bit smarter everyday, some of these fads I can’t say are a bad thing. You’ll find yourself googling ‘raw food diet’ or ‘organic dog food’. Yes, what your dog eats matters. The top kibble brands are getting blasted for their use of fillers with little nutritional value. What you buy at your local grocery store may not be what’s best for your dog.
It’s all worth it
I don’t want this list to scare anyone away from getting a puppy, but these are hard truths you should know before making a huge commitment. Your new pet is a companion you’ll have for many years to come. Some days I can’t believe how much my day revolves around a furry animal, but he’s sweet as can be and we have so much fun together. I wouldn’t change anything and it was all worth it in the end.