If you don't know, I have a puppy named Charlie and he is my world. He's white with a hint of tan, Maltese Poodle mix (Malti-poo). My Charlie just turned 1 year old! I decided this is the perfect time to let you know everything I wish I knew before getting a dog.
1. Dogs need a lot of attention!
I hear people say all the time, "Dogs are just like babies, they require so much of your time." I didn't know the severity of it until I got a dog of my own. When I first got Charlie he was 3 months and ready to pee all over my clean carpet. I didn't know what to expect! He wanted to sleep with me, go to the restroom with me, he was basically my shadow. Everywhere I went, he went. He even wanted me to play with his toys with him. I was like WOOOOWWWWW for days! Dogs are legit children. I had to find balance in my everyday life and make sure I was spending time with my puppy. Dogs don't feel loved if their owners are neglecting them, so make sure you are showing your puppy lots of love!
2. There is such thing as dog insurance and dog wellness plans!
I first got Charlie when he was 3 months old. Normally by the time your dog is 3 months or a little bit before that, you should start their shot series. I had no idea about Petsmart's wellness plan. I took Charlie to a local Vet and they charged me about $50 for his first shot. 3 weeks later they charged me $105 for his next shot and fecal testing. At that point I was thinking this is getting too expensive. One of my friends told me that she goes to Petsmat's Vet called Banfield and they have a wellness plans for dogs that includes ALL those shots you need in the beginning. The puppy plan including him getting neutered cost $46.95 a month! Who knew!? I could've save $150 if I would've started Charlie's shots at Banfield. I don't have insurance for my puppy (which is different from the wellness plan btw) but it's just like human insurance. How Does pet insurance work? Call around and see what's the best quote for your puppy if that's something you're interested in.
3. Keep your dog well groomed!
Charlie has a thick, curly coat of hair. Just like human hair it needs maintenance. I learned the hard way, if I neglect my puppies hair I’ll end up paying more in the end. Charlie needs a hair cut at least every 2 months. To keep his hair looking good, I must brush his hair every day. Yes you read right. Every single day. If I don’t brush his hair often then his curls start to mat and then I go through more work trying to demat his fur. It’s a complex process, so make sure you have the patience to maintain and brush your puppies hair everyday (depending on the breed).
4. Find the best food for your dog.
I did a lot of research on dog food when I first got my puppy and it was super overwhelming. Kinda like human food, everything seemed to be “unhealthy”. After trying some different dog foods and watching what he reacts to, the cheap dog food works. He eats Ceaser delights mixed with their wet food and loves it. It doesn’t make him throw up either. While looking for dog food in the beginning, make sure you are monitoring your pup and seeing how their body reacts to the different foods. If you’re feeling fancy, my puppy loves loves loves PetPlate. It’s human like food and whenever I put it out, Charlie eats it up in 5 seconds. You can only order it online. They mail it you you frozen and all you have to do is thaw it out before feeding your pup. Whenever I want to reward Charlie for being really good that day, I give him some of the PetPlate food for dinner. Use my code "Yvette15" or click any link if you want a discount on your first order. You won’t regret it!
5. Training your dog to use the restroom is a process.
“How’d you train your dog?” has to be the number one question I get asked. When I first got Charlie I tried the pee pad training and it did not work for us. When I wasn’t around he would tear up the pad after he peed on it. It use to drive me insane. So I asked my vet if I could start taking him outside. Normally they tell you not to take your puppy outside before they finish their last set of shots but, they told me if I keep him on the concrete then he should be fine. I started taking him out every hour, then every few hours, then he finally got use to the idea that using the restroom is for outside only. He still has small mistakes, but nothing too bad. You also have to have a lot of time and patience when it comes potty training your pup. Luckily, I had a roommate when I first got my puppy and we both helped potty train him. If you’re really busy then you might want to wait and get a dog when you know you’re going to have a little more free time.
I hope all or at least one of these tips helps you when it comes to your future/current puppy. I love being a dog mom and learning how to continue loving my pup! I’ll be posting updated dog posts about Charlie, but if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask.
Thanks for reading!