What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Puppy

hypoallergenic breeds puppies Tips

Buying your first puppy is an exciting time! Before you pick out your furry companion, there are some important things you need to know. These things are so crucial, in fact, that the team at Petland Texas would go so far as to insist that you shouldn’t buy your first puppy without reading this article! […]

Buying your first puppy is an exciting time! Before you pick out your furry companion, there are some important things you need to know. These things are so crucial, in fact, that the team at Petland Texas would go so far as to insist that you shouldn’t buy your first puppy without reading this article!

Let’s dive in…


First-time puppy parents often fall prey to the irresistible cuteness of their new furry friends, which is totally to be expected and even cherished! What you want to watch out for is catering to your new puppy so much that you aren’t living your regular routine and you aren’t providing your puppy with daily structure, clearly defining the rules, and consistent training. 

The very first thing you need to know before buying your first puppy is that dogs feel uncertain when they don’t know the rules and don’t understand what to expect day-to-day. This might seem counterintuitive to new pet parents who feel awkward about being firm with their puppy during dog training, or who want to throw caution to the wind and start the day with an unusual activity, like watching a movie on the couch with their furry friend. 

We strongly recommend that you resist these urges. Instead, trust the fact that your new puppy will feel the most comfortable when they understand what’s expected of them, as well as what they can expect throughout the day. Try to wake up at the same time each morning, feed your puppy at the same time, take your daily walks at the same time, and otherwise maintain the same structure day after day. 

Also, be consistent when training your puppy. The little guy will appreciate firm training far more than he’ll appreciate you going easy on him half the time. Inconsistency is very confusing for dogs and can even cause anxiety disorders!  


It probably goes without saying that all dogs need love, training, care, quality time, and a safe home environment. These are basic requirements that all pets need. But depending on the dog’s specific breed, they could have distinct care requirements, especially when it comes to physical care, grooming, and health check ups. 

For this reason, it’s so important for you to know that researching the various dog breeds and choosing the best breed for your exercise level, lifestyle, and expectations is critical. It’s absolutely within your control to pick a breed that will mesh well with your routine, and doing so will ensure that you have the time and energy to meet your puppy’s needs. 


If you’re allergic to dogs or have children who are, you may have heard the term “hypoallergenic dog breeds” and jumped for joy. Don’t get us wrong, hypoallergenic breeds are a godsend for some pet parents, but there’s something you need to know before assuming that a hypoallergenic puppy won’t cause any allergic reactions. 

All dogs, whether they are labeled “hypoallergenic” or not, shed allergy-causing proteins. The reason for this is that the dog’s fur is not the source of the protein. Rather, the fur is where the allergy-causing protein gets trapped and carried around. 

The reality is that the saliva, urine, and skin of all dogs is where this protein originates from. 

Because this protein is often carried on the fur, a large, thickly coated, fluffy dog breed will cause worse allergy symptoms for an allergic person than a hairless dog, for example. 

That being said, dogs that are deemed hypoallergenic could trigger mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all. But we would be remiss if we let you believe that there were dog breeds out there that are fully hypoallergenic and guaranteed to cause no allergy symptoms at all. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 


By the time you’re playing with puppies at a pet store, it’s safe to assume the puppies have received a round or two of vaccinations already. However, there’s a common misconception among first-time puppy owners, which is that a vaccinated puppy is protected against contracting and spreading diseases indefinitely. This isn’t the case. 

Receiving regular vaccinations is an important part of your new puppy’s ongoing pet care, and some vaccine boosters will need to continue to be administered throughout your dog’s adulthood. In fact, depending on the local laws in your state and county, you might be legally obligated to vaccinate your dog annually. 

This is where your new puppy’s veterinarian comes in. Within a few weeks of bringing your bundle of furry joy home, you’ll want to take your puppy to the vet and get all your ducks in a row. Your veterinarian will handle the appropriate vaccination schedule, just be sure to promptly meet all of the appointments throughout the year and the years to come. 

Now that you’ve read everything you need to know before buying your first puppy, there are a few more aspects to consider when it comes to picking out the right puppy for you.

The most major aspect to consider is the dog breed you want. We aren’t going to go into much detail here, because this blog post will turn into a novel if we do. But we advise that you do as much research as possible about breeds since the dog’s breed will be the biggest source of the dog’s behavioral traits, characteristics, and temperament. 

We probably don’t have to tell you that Pitbulls tend to be aggressive and Golden Retrievers tend to be gentle. The behavioral traits of those particular breeds are common knowledge at this point. But given that there are upwards of 190 dog breeds, there’s a myriad of temperaments to choose from!  

Aside from the dog’s specific breed being what influences their personality the most, the dog’s sex plays a role in their temperament and behavior.  


You might be curious about the differences between male and female dogs. Is it better to have a male dog or a female dog? What are the differences in their temperaments? 

If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re onto something. There are differences between the dog sexes, but we would first like to set your mind at ease. Once your puppy is spayed or neutered, the extent of their gender-specific characteristics and temperament will be greatly reduced. In fact, their female or male temperament may become so subtle that you don’t even notice. 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we want to make it clear that both male and female dogs are suitable pets. One sex isn’t better than the other. It’s way more important to choose a breed that matches your energy and lifestyle. After that, the second-most important criteria is to pick a puppy that has a personality you like.  

The biggest differences to address are the physiological ones. Aside from having different reproductive systems, male dogs tend to be larger in both height and weight than female dogs. For some breeds, this size difference can be significant. Examples of this are Rottweillers. 

Female dogs tend to reach maturity sooner than male dogs, which means that they might be easier to train. But again, the trainability of a dog boils down to its breed first-and-foremost.

Without spaying or neutering your new dog, the behavioral differences are much more apparent, as we mentioned. The most prominent male and female dog behaviors are driven by their hormones, so once you remove the source of those hormones, hormone-induced behaviors will greatly soften or disappear altogether. 

For example, a spayed female dog will not go into “the heat cycle” anymore, whereas an unspayed dog will experience this reproductive trigger twice a year. An un-neutered male dog will be prone to marking his territory, which means he’ll pee on just about everything he deems significant, and it will be difficult to impossible to train him out of it.

To learn more about spaying or neutering your puppy, check out our article Spaying or Neutering Your Puppy: What to Expect

Now onto the information you care about most regarding male versus female dogs. Though it’s not a black-and-white conclusion, it is true that male dogs are more aggressive than females. Looking at raw statistics across the most popular breeds, male dogs are 6 times more likely to bite compared to female dogs. But does this mean that if you choose a male Golden Retriever instead of a female one, that your puppy will be 6 times more likely to bite? The simple answer is no. 

One really interesting fact to bear in mind when picking out your new puppy is that dogs generally get along better with other dogs who are of the opposite sex. So, if you already have a female dog, you might want to get a male puppy, or vice versa. If you’re planning on getting two puppies at once, it might be a good idea to get a male and a female, instead of two same-sex puppies.   

New Puppy Checklist: 

  • A crate and / or bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Special, full-spectrum, nutrient-rich puppy food 
  • Collar and tag 
  • Leash or Lead (and harness)
  • Car restraint
  • Lots of toys
  • Puppy pads for toilet training
  • Poop bags
  • A brush or comb for grooming
  • Toothpaste (made for dogs!) and toothbrush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Blankets

Want specific puppy supply recommendations? Check out our article 6 Must-Have Puppy Supplies, and if you’ve just brought your first puppy home and need some solid advice, be sure to read The First Week: A Guide for First Time Puppy Parents

Ready to become a puppy parent? Visit Petland Texas and check out our available puppies!