10 things you need to know before getting a puppy

10 things you need to know before getting a puppy

Did you wake up to a new four legged addition to the family! Congrats! I am absolutely obsessed with my sweet nugget. So I wanted to share with you my must know tips and must have products to prepare for a new puppy!

Barkley 6 month old cockapoo and her mom

Puppies are expensive…They need the basics right: food, water, bowls, leash, bed, crate, toys, treats, training treats, enzyme cleaners, poop bags, man this list is getting long right…that is just the beginning. So start gathering things before your pupper gets home if you can. There are many ways to gather them besides Petsmart or your local pet store. Amazon, Home Goods, and Marshalls have been a big help.

So spend Wisely…All these things add up quickly so here are my top suggestions for saving money

Save with subscriptions… I never knew you can get your puppy’s food discounted via subscriptions with Amazon or Chewy.com.

Shop in stores outside of your local petstore. For some reason, everything is very expensive at some pet stores. I have found great products at Home Goods in their pet aisle. For example, I use a waterless shampoo to clean Barkley’s paws after she has been walking in puddles or dirt and it was $2.50 at Home Goods where it was 5 at Petsmart. No knock on them as they came in very handy on somethings. But I don’t want to overpay when I don’t have to.

That being said Petsmart does offer some decent discounts if you buy the Puppy Starter Kit Coupon Book. It is $20 but it gives you a coupon for big discounts on dog food, carpet or enzyme cleaners and toys or other things you need so it helps to pay for itself.

Get Pet insurance…First thing I did was get Pet insurance to offset some of the veterinary costs I would have. Your job might offer some discounts on pet insurance. If they don’t call Nationwide (this is super not a sponsored post, I am just giving you the real breakdown). I say call them because they have an insurance plan where you can get a 90/10 split after a $200 deductible. (they don’t advertise this so ask about it) You will quickly spend 200 on initial shots for your puppy. After that, you can submit your claims to them via an app called Vitus Vet and they usually reimburse within 30 days. Take pictures of your bill while at the vet and submit the claim before you leave the desk. It takes less than 2 minutes, I promise you. You can lose those documents or like my puppy, she found a few and chewed them. Welcome to puppy life, lol.

BULLY STICKS!! If your puppy is anything like mine, a cousin of the Tasmanian devil, she will need something to calm her. I was miserable until a friend of mine introduced me to Bully Sticks. You need the no smell kind…If you don’t get this kind when the puppy chews them an ungodly smell comes up and ruins your life. Thankfully, they make the kind that doesn’t stink to high heaven and they act like a pacifier. So grab a bag and thank me later. If bully sticks aren’t for you when your puppy loses those baby teeth ask about cow ears. Same effect on my puppy.

Research your dog’s breed. Barkley is a cockapoo and I didn’t know they are prone to ear infections, allergies (food and seasonal) so when Barkley got her first ear yeast infection (yes this is a thing) I was like what the hardy heck is this. I was even more annoyed when I got that vet bill for cleaning her ear and her medicated drops (thank goodness for pet insurance). She also is allergic to chicken as are a lot of dogs so I switched her to Zensation dog food and it helped her very much.

Puppy tummy issues…Puppies poop all the time. All the time. Like 7 min after eating, 2 hours later and 2 times after they wake up. Just be ready. If you track it you can see a pattern and know when they need to go out.


Puppies get diarrhea and can also have a small case of colitis where their poop may be mucusy or have blood in it. I know, it’s gross. I learned this on the fly and I promise you will get so used to poop it will be like second nature to deal with it. Puppy mom life and real mom life have big similarities.

Ear infections. If your puppy has the floppy cuteness ears, they are prone to get infections so keep this in mind when bathing or walking her after the rain or just when she sticks her head in the water bowl. They are no good and expensive to get cleared up so keep a drying ear cleanser so you can put this in puppy’s ears a couple times a week. That brings me to my must have puppy products!

Must Have Puppy Products

Natures Miracle Carpet Cleaner – The foam is good and the spray is good as well. Pick a large bottle. You will need it.

Bitter Apple Spray – Puppy’s chew everything including your fave shoes and your scarf. You can spray this on anything and discourage them from chewing. I sprayed some on a cotton ball and let her bite it. She spits it out right away. So anytime she tastes it she stops chewing.

Khiels dog wash – it just smells so good and doggies don’t so… It’s a splurge that I love.

Epi-Optic ear wash – Floppy ears need this cleaner to keep the crud away.

Earthbath Puppy Wipes – They come in so handy on paws and muddy faces. They smell nice and my puppy loves them she will not let me clean her face otherwise.

Kong! – I fill this rubber toy with peanut butter when I need a break or she has earned a treat. Note only give your puppy peanut butter with no artificial sweeteners.

I could go on but I gotta go play with my puppy, they are also mad needy for attention lol. Enjoy your new nugget. They bring you so much joy. Congrats again!

Barkley the Cockapoo 8 months

xo, Danie




  1. Jasmin N
    December 25, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    Hahah I wish I woke up with a puppy😍 these are wonderful tips! We’re planning to get one when all our four guinea pigs have passed away. Might take a while still haha.

    • Danie
      December 25, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      LOL I understand, a puppy and 4 guinea pigs could be a lot to handle!!!

  2. hleguilloux
    December 26, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    It’s very similar with getting a kitten. They are cute and cuddly but also require a long list of basics that can add up in cost. I think insurance is another option that can be important for some people. Our cat recently had a lot of vet bills after having a chronic condition happen to him and it was quite costly!

    • Danie
      December 26, 2017 / 11:11 pm

      I hope you have success in helping manage that issue with your cat. Thanks for checking out the post

  3. December 26, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    You have given some great advice for new dog owners. Even finding great products at good prices. Your dog is so cute.

    • Danie
      December 26, 2017 / 11:10 pm

      Thanks so much Kathryn I hope they will find it very useful!

  4. Courtney
    December 26, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    Wow, this seems like having another baby!! I didn’t know puppies required this much! Congrats on your new pup!

    • Danie
      December 26, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      It really is like that Courtney. Man, I had no idea lol. But I love my nugget so we make it work.

  5. December 26, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Elmo made me laugh so hard. I am not a puppy person but these sure are great tips.

    • Danie
      December 26, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      Elmo is my fave too Dr Cohen Ho, LOL I tell you, my puppy and Elmo have to be twins cuz that’s how I swear she looks every time we go so she can potty. LOL

  6. December 26, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    can you get pet insurance for any type of dog? i didnt think that was possible. we are about to fork over almost $1000 for my dog to get some teeth extracted!

    • Danie
      December 26, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      Lo I am not sure but I would definitely give them a call. It has helped save me a lot of money.

  7. December 27, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    such a great post, I no longer have dogs but I remember when I had the puppies and I wish I had your post 15 years ago 🙂 and I love the pics

    • Danie
      December 27, 2017 / 5:49 pm

      Thanks Ruxandra I really appreciate you checking the post out <3

  8. December 29, 2017 / 9:44 am

    First of all, your puppy is ADORABLE!! I don’t think people really think hard about how much work animals, especially dogs are before they get them. It’s so important to have everything you need in place! Great post!

    • Danie
      December 30, 2017 / 11:52 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly, I adore her so much. It is definitely true, I had no near the knowledge that I needed before I got her. I love her and really hope this post helps many others so they can have more fun than I did with there puppy.

  9. Ellen @ If It Brings You Joy
    December 29, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I didn’t know there is a no-smell bullystick. I bought my dogs each a bully stick years ago. As much as they loved them, the smell was horrible! I definitely need to find the no-smell kind! And yes, dogs are expensive. You did a great job touching on all the possible expenses. For me, they’re worth every penny. 😀

    • Danie
      December 29, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      You are so right Ellen. It is totally worth it. I found some good no-smell bullysticks on Amazon and Chewy.com

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