What We Wish We Would Have Known: First 30 Days with a Puppy

As prepared as we were for Reagan, our doberman puppy, there were MANY things we learned along the way. Some things we’re laughing about now and for others the wound is too fresh. Ugh. Yes, we had our to-do lists prepared and purchased all the essentials, but we still learned quite a few lessons along the way. It took a little trial and error, lots of caffeine and quite a bit of humor, but we got through the first month with Reagan and are still alive to tell about it!

Oh how could this cute little face get in to any mischief ???

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

What we wish we would have known: New Puppy Checklist

Although Apple Spraythat spray that will prevent puppies from chewing on whatever your spray it on, should have been a blessing it was one of Reagan’s favorite treats! She would literally lick it off our furniture (and THEN chew the furniture). FAIL.

There’s SO many puppy products on the market nowadays. Some of them seem just down right silly. I tried the less is more approach at the beginning, but wish I would have bought a couple key items right away. One of those was a dog dish tray to prevent water from spilling all over. Our wood floors started to warp because Reagan thought the water bowl was for playing not drinking 🙂 .

Make sure everyone in your house is consistent with rules and puppy commands. I started going rouge and using the same commands/hand signals that I used with my childhood puppy without confirming with Joe. Sure enough he was using different hand signals.

Reagan wasn’t a fan of getting brushed, although she REALLY needed it! Anytime she saw the brush coming, she would jump up and start trying to play with it. I wish we would have started grooming her when she was sleeping instead of wide awake to get her used to it.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

We never really did the math of how much dog food we would go through daily. It seemed like almost every week we would come close to running out of food before buying more! I highly recommend buying several bags of puppy food at a time!

I had NO idea how much energy playing at the dog park would burn! Once Reagan got all her shots (about 3 months), we started taking her to the dog park almost daily and she became a different dog! Running around at a dog park for an hour burned WAY more energy than taking her on 3 or 4 long walks.

Say goodbye to full night sleeps for the first month! If you’re sharing puppy responsibilities with someone else, make sure you come up with a plan of WHO is going to be on nighttime duty each night. It took Joe & I a week or so to get in to the groove of this. Before that we would BOTH wake up in the middle of the night to take Reagan out to go to the bathroom. What were we thinking?


We bought doggy carpet cleaner that also eliminates the scent to prevent dogs from coming back to that same spot. Well, it neither prevented Reagan from peeing in the same spot and or got rid of the stain. We ended up switching back to regular carpet cleaner.

Skip the nice bed and opt for old towels. It may not be as luxurious or comfy as a puppy bed, but you also won’t be wasting money on something that your dog may use as an expensive chew toy! Admittedly Reagan chewed up TWO beds before we switched to the towels.

Need to read later, first 30 days new puppy checklist. Read through.

Research what the diameter of your puppies neck should be BEFORE buying a collar. I just bought a medium size collar for Reagan, but when we first got her it was WAY too big. That meant we had NO collar for her and had to run to the store within the first hour after bringing her home.

We put off brushing Reagan’s teeth because …. well it seemed like a miserable process. I wish we would have started the very first week we brought her home so that she was used to it. Now every time we brush her teeth its a huge production because she has no idea what’s going on!

After weeks of sleepless nights for both Reagan, Joe & I, we got a great tips from my sister. Fill plastic water bottles with hot water and cover with socks. Then place these in her crate next to her when going to bed. It supposedly mimics the feeling of sleeping next to her brothers and sisters. This was LIFE CHANGING for us. Hello sleeping through the night!

Good luck with your new puppy! Any tips you learned along the way?





After 30 days with our new puppy there's lots we learned and lots we with we hand known! Check out our new puppy checklist of all our learnings!







  1. February 28, 2017 / 7:52 am

    Thank you so much for this! I am adopting a pup of my own this week and although I’ve grown up with dogs, this is SUPER helpful! I’m trying to read as many tips as possible!!

  2. June 12, 2018 / 8:13 pm

    We have a nine-month-old puppy that we adopted a month ago and we are going through the same issues. He pees all over the place. And thank goodness for the dog park it is such a blessing. We never knew they could be such a handful.

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