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Top 5 Mistakes Pet Parents make when getting a puppy

*Picture THIS*

You walk into a store or even an animal shelter.

There’s this cute, tiny puppy, scratching at the window for your attention.  Whining and wagging it’s tail. Looking at you with THE.MOST.ADORABLE.puppy dog eyes you’ve ever seen.  

Honestly, you weren’t planning on getting a puppy, or maybe you were.  But there really wasn’t much thought that went into getting this puppy, other than you NEEDED that cute little fluff ball.

But as time goes by, life has really gotten in the way. BIG TIME.

You don’t really have time for this four-legged companion.  Time slips by, and you forget to take them out to use the bathroom, for a walk to exercise.  They’ve begun to become destructive and ruined your brand new shoes.

Vet bills and grooming bills become more expensive because things have gotten out of control.

They ate something rubbery that caused intestinal issues, or there’s no time to take them to the groomers so they charged extra demat fees.

This puppy has become EXPENSIVE, TIME CONSUMING, and no one wants to come over because your dog TERRORIZES them the moment they set foot in your home.

THIS is REAL life.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Parenting a puppy can be fun and rewarding. And bring lots of happiness and lots of laughs.

Why I Felt the Need to Write this Post

As an extreme dog lover,  the sole purpose of creating this website was to help educate pet parents on how to better treat and handle their pets.

More and more people are becoming dog owners, forgetting that their dog’s well-being is important too.

All too often I see pet parents make so many mistakes early on because they are clueless on how to raise a puppy. Plus, they never really research or know how to research puppyhood and how to properly raise a pup.  

Most people who usually have issues with understanding HOW puppyhood works, get puppies for various reasons. Whether it was an impulse buy, a quick look around a shelter or a friend of the family forgot to spay or neuter a dog. Then they had puppies and needed them gone quickly (usually they ask friends and families to take a puppy 1st).

No matter the reason, not training, not having time for, or working with a puppy early on can create a plethora of issues, especially into adulthood.

The Hard Truth

Once that puppy is no longer cute and fluffy, but older and ornery, and hard to get mad at, things change.  It’s easier to get annoyed with bad behavior patterns that were allowed at an early age.This adult dog then gets sent to a rescue group or shelter and doesn’t understand why, or it is repeatedly abused for “bad behavior” as an adult, or left outdoors to fend for itself in complete isolation. And many times, this dog becomes to much to deal with while having a busy schedule.

Most of the time those dogs then become extremely difficult to rehabilitate and are rehomed endlessly or sometimes usually end in euthanasia.  :’(

I absolutely love puppies, they’re innocent little bundles of joy! They’re the cutest little things and make our lives have so much more value.


It’s essential to know which 5 mistakes to AVOID to help a puppy become a responsible, well-mannered adult, ensuring a healthy and happy life.

1. Neglect because of obligations

The one thing that saddens me the most is when I have a pet parent ask me to take on their dog because they just don’t have time for them anymore.

 And it always kills me because my apartment has extremely strict rules when it comes to how many dogs I can have, and I always want to save every single one.  It pains me to know, many hours of the day (or all), puppies are left in the kennel or a laundry room, with no affection, or supervision.

Multiple times a year, more than I care to see, I groom a puppy whose lower half is completely stained yellow from being urine soaked.  In other words, it’s left in a kennel-day in and day out, and has learned to lay in its own filth because that is all it knows to do.

Photo by Hassan Saleh on Unsplash

I hate seeing that.  

I really do. Because if the dog is stained yellow, that means they are accustomed to this way of life.  And their skin is usually so red and irritated underneath to the point they scratch relentlessly furthering their discomfort.

Could you imagine laying in your own urine and feces? The pain and irritation alone would leave a human crying in agony-let alone a pup with puppy skin.

Another major reason pet parents neglect their new pups, is because they just dont realize the time that goes into training and the developmental stages of puppyhood.

For example, some people expect their puppy to “fit in” with the kids. Or to simply just be good just because, without any training whatsoever.

And some people want a puppy because they want their dog to grow up with their newborn baby. But having both can be quite the challenge. Especially if it’s your first time with being both a human and a pet parent.

All of these instances are what I’ve witnessed in my 10 years as a groomer. And I continue to see these types of situations time and time again.

2. Can’t afford your dog

Another mistake that pet parents make all too often is this one.

It’s fairly easy to think that a dog is going to be cheap, simply because it is an animal.  But the truth is……..


Long gone are the days where you pick up a puppy, buy it some alpo, and leave it outside chained to a tree.

Photo by Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

That’s animal abuse.

If you have a puppy these days, it’s important to understand that puppies are family and lifelong friends and therefore, also a financial investment.

Researching the costs of a puppy is sooooo important.

It doesn’t matter if you buy a dog from a breeder or adopt one from a rescue or shelter. They’re equally expensive because they’re both dogs!

Therefore, it is wise to factor in vet costs (yearly check-ups, vaccinations) dog grooming prices, current dog food prices per bag, apartment/rental pet fees, daycare/boarding fees, flea and tick preventative, training,  and the list goes on and on………….. $$$$$$

3. Not socializing or training Your Puppy Early

Of course, it’s not wise to take your puppy out and about before they’ve received their first set of shots. But once they’ve received their first set of boosters and necessary vaccinations, it’s really important to get your dog accustomed to being around people and other dogs.

Once they’re older and haven’t been exposed to the real world, they can have issues with sensory overload, a weariness of people, fear of other dogs, and just a basic misunderstanding of the world.

This can create social anxiety for your dog, making it that much harder to rehabilitate them and get them to where they are functionally comfortable.  

That would then require patience, a dog-trainer, and quite possibly an animal behavioralist that specializes in rehabilitation. This in itself can get rather expensive.  Whereas going to puppy training classes early on proves to be much cheaper and effective.

4. Allowing your Puppy’s coat to get matted and not brushing at home

Of course, because I am a groomer, this by far is one of my biggest pet peeves and it pains me to see it as often as I do. And definitely, a very common mistake pet parents make.  I feel that it is a form of animal abuse to not brush your dog or take them to the groomers, resulting in their coat becoming extremely matted.

Matted Goldendoodle
Matted Goldendoodle

The worst thing for me to do is to attempt to brush a dog that has never seen a brush in it’s life, while being extremely matted.  This is super terrifying and traumatizing for a tiny pup.

In their mind, the brush is a wooden device full of teeth attempting to attack them, pulling at their already tangled and matted hair that is pulling at their skin, hurting them to no avail.  Their parents have dropped them off to a place they have never been to before, and they have no clue what is going on.

It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

However, a puppy that gets daily brushing, alongside treats, and who is very accustomed to regular fun baths and a warm blow dryer, is super confident and fun to groom! They sit on the table extremely comfortable and give kisses the entire time, licking the brush believing that it is their friend.

Think Before Getting A Dog That Has A High Maintenance Coat

Getting a dog that requires regular maintenance grooming can be much more challenging than probably explained by either the breeder or the shelter. But it doesn’t mean that having a groom dog has to be hard, it just means that there are habits that need to be created by the human, so the four-legged pup can have a fulfilling life.  

If you’re wondering how often you should get your dog groomed, check out this free digital download!!!

5. Acquiring a dog you can’t handle, maintain, or are afraid of  

All puppies start out small, but they grow up, and some grow to be incredibly bigger than others. It’s soooooooooooooooooo important to research the personality of the breed you purchase, the potential weight, or even the breed traits.

Even if you get a dog from the shelter, it’s important to learn how big your pup may become.  Or just accept that it’s possible that the dog that you just adopted may turn out to become very large.

Doggie DNA test are extremely helpful! And can change how you perceive your dog, based on the personality traits ingrained in them genetically.

In conclusion…..

It’s easy to make mistakes as a pet parent, it will definitely happen. However, these simple ideas can make pet parenting much easier and lessen the number of issues you’ll have with your pup as they grow into adulthood.

Thanks so much for reading!

With Gratitude,



  1. Renee Page says

    Great information for both puppy AND dog mom. I got my mini golden doodle puppy from Hilltop pupps in Indiana and they do DNA testing to their breeder dogs to obtain the best vigor for all their puppies. They also are very convinced as are you about what needs to be provided to their puppies at each developmental stage for them to be the happiest and well cared for puppies making their lives and ours a great lifelong experience. Can’t say enough good things about you, my breeder and my wonderfully happy puppy. Thank you for this website.

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