First Time Puppy Owner: Things You Need To Know


This post is for First Time Puppy Owners: Things You Need To Know.

Have you ever passed by a pet store and get that warm/bubbly feeling when seeing that furry, fluffy pooch, or stumbling upon a crazy cute snap of one on social media? Now all of a sudden, you find yourself wanting to have one, or are you already preparing to welcome your new family member? Behind those adorable eyes and cute paws, there are things you should probably know before welcoming your pup into your family.

I have put together (with the help of Sancho my doodle his cousins Mateo and H) a list of things I learned and wish I would have known beforehand. Hopefully, this list can help you get mentally, physically, and financially prepared.

This post is for First Time Puppy Owners: Things You Need To Know.

1. The expenses

Yes, adopting a puppy is costly and, expenses don’t end with just the adoption fee. Before we took our puppy home, we had to purchase his basic essentials, and when you add everything came out to around $300. This didn’t even include his food. You also have to think about vet bills. Something I wish I would’ve known, some vet clinics offer puppy wellness packages where you pay X amount of money annually or monthly and get services, vaccines, shots, and unlimited vet visits. I recommend checking your local vet for their quotes beforehand so you will be financially prepared.


Taking care of a puppy means you must have the time, commitment, and patience to do so. I recommend not leaving your new puppy alone for an extended period.

A. Sleep Schedule and Potty Training

According to

“Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don’t go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they’re guaranteed to have an accident”.

At night time, you might have to wake up every so often to let your puppy go potty. This was I think where my husband and I struggled the most during the first week since we both like to sleep in whenever we can.

During the day, if you work an 8-12 hour shift, you might need to get help from someone maybe, a friend, family member, or hire a pet sitter.

B. House Proofing; keeping an eye on them, pretty much 24/7

This will be for the first several weeks. They will eat anything when I say anything: rocks, grass, insects you name it they’ll put it in their mouth. We had to take our little Sancho 5 in the morning to the emergency animal hospital when he ate a big piece of a chew bone. Trust me that is not the experience you want to go through at such an early period of adoption.

To avoid these incidents, make sure you puppy proof your house before bringing home your puppy. To learn more about puppy proofing click here.

C. Puppy Teething 

I lost count how many times Sancho nipped and bit at my leg, my hair and my hands. I highly suggest getting them a bone to chew on and also supervising them upon them teething.


This was something I regret not doing earlier, puppies are more delicate and prone to accidents. After Sancho’s emergency animal hospital visit, I immediately got insurance coverage for accidents and illness.


If you love to travel just like my husband and me. We travel several times a year, locally and internationally. This might be one of the most challenging parts.

At Sancho’s current age, we can’t do any international travel to our favorite places in  Asia or Latin America. So, we will have to wait until he is old enough and fully vaccinated to travel or can be in a pet boarding place.

A good thing about Sancho is he loves car rides, which surprised us. When we picked him up from the breeder in Oklahoma, we didn’t expect him to be calm and relaxed on a 17-hour long drive. Although we had to make a stop every 2-3 hours to let him go on potty breaks overall, he did really well. He did not throw up at all, which I was afraid of since I was told puppies get car sick. We also learned that he sleeps well when he is close to the AC. So, I guess road trips are what we can do for now.


I honestly thought I would have been able to take my puppy (he was 8 weeks then) to a dog park as soon as we brought him home. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Yes, you can take them anywhere you want but, be mindful they have a weak immune system since they haven’t had their complete vaccines and shots. I was told to avoid taking my puppy in places where other dogs potty since our puppy might pick up something that can make them sick.


Just like humans, puppies also need to socialize. According to

“Without proper socialization, dogs may become anxious and fearful of anything unfamiliar. This could give rise to serious behavioral problems, such as aggression or nervous behavior.”

The socialization window for dogs only lasts from about 3 – 12 weeks of age. It is during this time that puppies learn what is normal in their world and what is not. Anything not experienced during this time frame can elicit a fear and even an aggressive response in adulthood.

While doing your own personal research you should ask your vet for a recommended trainer or training facility where you can take your puppies to socialize.


According to

“Although it depends mostly on the breed, hair length, and type of coat, regular grooming should be done about once a month. For young puppies and dogs who have never been groomed, more frequent grooming or brushing at home should be done to get the dog used to being handled and to avoid grooming issues into adulthood.”

This is something we are also still working on, we gave our puppy a bath once and he didn’t seem to be super excited but he wasn’t throwing a fit either. He was just clueless about what was going on but what he actually enjoyed was when we used a hair dryer on him while combing his fur!

Congratulations on adding a new member of the family. Happy poop picking!

First Time Puppy Owner: Things You Need To Know

This post is for First Time Puppy Owners: Things You Need To Know.

Meet Sunshine
and Sancho

I’m so glad you’re here (and so is Sancho). I’m Sunshine! A Virginia-based travel enthusiast on the hunt for cozy stays, great views, unique experiences, and dog-friendly adventures. Sancho and I have spent the past 3 years exploring Virginia (and beyond) in order to share our favorite places and uncover hidden gems.

Join us on a journey to get out of our comfort zone, take the road less traveled, and explore alongside our furry family members.

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