Things to know before getting a puppy

Since welcoming Fudge, our beagle puppy into our home, I have learned so much about dogs. If I were to do it all over again, there are a few things I’d consider first. I’m sure you already know that owning a dog is a big responsibility. But here are some things you may not know. Here are some things to know before getting a puppy:

Say hi to Fudge on Instagram

You will need to take time off work or have someone else looking after him/her for the first few weeks

The first few weeks with your pup in their new home is the most challenging. They’re getting to know their surroundings i.e. where they can/can’t go, where they toilet, when and what they eat. It’s a lot to take in and they need constant care/attention. I can’t remember how many times Fudge peed on our rug (now a goner). We were lucky enough that we could work from home or had friends drop in on Fudge. You don’t need to be with them 24/7 but you’ll need to work up to leaving them alone for hours at a time. It’s especially hard in the beginning because they need to get 3 shots before they can go out to play.

They need to get adjusted to being home alone or else your entire life will revolve around them. We started with 1-3 hours and then stretched them longer. When Cristian and I couldn’t work from home, we had friends drop in to check up on Fudge for 1-2 hours. This was before we met Hayley our dog walker, more on that later.

Your schedule will change

I’ve always been a morning person but now 6 am is a typical start to my workday. Rain or shine, Fudge needs his exercise in the morning and in the evening. Cristian and I have to work our schedules around him to make sure he always get his walks. As a result, I’ve shed a few kilos. You can definitely expect a lifestyle change when you get a pup. But it’s all worth it. If you’re the type of person who goes out all the time, you may want to consider getting a cat. Dogs are very social animals and will want to play or cuddle with you when you’re home.

You will need to work out how you’ll keep your pup entertained when you’re at work

Puppies sleep most of the day but when they’re awake you need to make sure they’re entertained so they don’t get up to mischief i.e. digging holes or chewing on furniture. Initially, we thought a few toys would do the trick but a few weeks in, we figured out that we’d need more than that…in comes Hayley! Hayley is the best dog walker here in the Inner West Sydney. We met her and her pup Gordon at a dog park one day and it was love at first sight for Gordon and Fudge. He literally jumps for joy when he sees her. Hayley picks Fudge up 1-2 a week and takes him out to play in a fenced dog park with his puppy friends. Those 1-2 hours of playtime tire him out and are great for his socialisation. It’s a non-negotiable for us to have. Fudge looooooves his time with Hayley.

Many people have asked me how dog walking works, here’s a short version of it:

  • You give your key to your dog walker (yes, which is why it’s so important to find someone you trust)
  • You set times for your pup’s outings
  • On those set days and times, she/he will pick up your dog, take them out and then take them home
  • Most walks are about 1 hour and it doesn’t include travel time. It means your dog gets 1 hour of playtime
  • Group walks are the best. They’re cheaper and it gives your pup a chance to socialise with other dogs

Tips for finding a dog walker:

  • Do a meet and greet, you want to make sure your pup gets on with your dog walker
  • Ask if they’re insured and have the right equipment
  • Read their reviews/testimonials

Hayley is the best. Cristian and I are the biggest fans of what she does.

You will need to sacrifice some furniture

We try to be strict with our training but ever since getting Fudge we’ve:

  • Had a hole in our couch
  • Had the legs of our walking chair chewed off
  • Lost 2 dresses
  • And a rug

You will need to work out who does what

If you are getting a puppy with your partner, it’s best to work out who does what so there’s no confusion/misunderstanding. I do the morning walk, Cristian does the evening walk. We take turns feeding Fudge. But that’s not all. You need to work out who does the restocking of food, toys and who arranges the sitter/walker.  Setting a schedule will minimise arguments over who needs to take Fudge out next.


Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.