first-time dog mom after 2 years

4 Things I’ve Learned So Far As A First-Time Dog Mom

After two years as a first-time dog mom, I've learned a lot. Here are 4 realizations I've come…

As a first-time dog mom for two years now, I’ve learned a lot…and most of it has more to do with me, than my dog.

Henry has taught me so much about myself, he doesn’t even know it. Becoming a dog mom brought out the best of me, but there have been little bumps along the way…and I know there are more to come.

As adorable as Henry was, I’m happy to officially put puppyhood behind us, and fully embrace his adulthood. In this blog post, I’m sharing 4 things I learned when my dog turned two.

Let me know in the comments below if you can relate!

first-time dog mom after 2 years

4 Things I Learned After My 2nd Year As A First-Time Dog Mom

Am I the perfect dog mom? No. Definitely not. I have learned and continue to learn so much along the way. 

After two years of being a first-time dog mom, here are some of the realisations I’ve had:


The Puppy Energy Mellows Out With Maturity...And Training


The expenses are real and they can add up


The shedding (read: cleaning) never ends


I’m not the perfect dog mom, and that’s ok

The Puppy Energy Mellows Out With Maturity…And Training

Henry wasn’t the easiest puppy. We struggled with the usual puppy challenges, but potty training and reactivity on walks were the toughest.

PS Puppyhood struggles are SO real. Here’s 5 ways to cope with the challenges of puppyhood.

As he’s getting older, though, he’s mellowing out. He’ll lounge around the house all day while dog dad and I work, and he doesn’t bark as much.

However, we did work hard to get to this point. We instilled calm behaviour at home, identified his triggers and set him up for successful walks. Actually, I still bring treats on every walk.

If you’re interested in finding out how we did it, this blog post goes into detail about Henry’s reactive barking.

first-time dog mom after 2 years

The Expenses Are Real And They Can Add Up

If you’re thinking about getting a puppy, I highly recommend considering these 4 things before you do.

We knew that we’d incur additional expenses when getting a dog, but we never expected to be at the vet so often for incidents we never saw coming (like the time Henry swallowed a bully stick). Let’s just say we’re super thankful for Trupanion, our pet insurance.

Also, you don’t need all the toys and accessories, especially not in the first few months. This didn’t take me two years to learn. After the first couple of toys Henry destroyed within seconds, I realized that hiding treats in a rolled up blanket works just as well.

If you want a list of things you actually need, enter your email below. I’ll send my puppy prep checklist straight to your inbox!

i love my swiffer

The Shedding (Read: Cleaning) Never Ends

I’ll admit, I knew what I was getting myself into when I chose a Cavalier. I’ve accepted the fact that there is Cavalier *glitter* literally everywhere, especially on my black leggings.

But it’s hard to be mad about shedding when I look at Henry’s face, so instead I stock up on cleaning products.

My fave: Swiffer dry sweeping cloths, that I use literally daily. On hardwood floors, passing the Swiffer everyday is therapeutic, mostly because I can see everything I’m picking up. 

This fun reel I made on Instagram really sums it up lol.

I also have an iRobot Roomba robot vacuum that’s great for picking up daily dust. As for furniture surfaces, like the couch, Henry usually lays on blankets, but I deep clean the couch about once a month with my Bissell Spot Clean Pro. It’s great for carpets too, which luckily, we don’t have much of!

I’ve also heard great things about the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum; seriously considering it.

Once the cleaning’s all done, I’ll put a few drops of lavender essential oil in my Vitruvi diffuser, and get back to cuddling with my little shed-monster.

My Vitruvi Stone Diffuser is a recent addition, and I LOVE IT. It fits right into the décor, and the lavender essential oil is so calming, and safe for Henry.

I’m Not The Perfect Dog Mom & That’s Ok

I thought that my dog needed five walks a day because he had too much energy (he’s just reactive). I’ve forgotten to feed him maybe once or twice (he survived) I’m not always the best when it comes to daily grooming (GASP I don’t brush his teeth everyday).

I’ve made (and will probably continue to make) a few mistakes as a first-time dog mom. I’m learning! Puppyhood wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. I feel guilty whenever I need to leave him alone for more than 15 minutes at a time. I get frustrated when training is just not working. The list goes on.

I have noticed with time, however that Henry picks up on everything. Being confident, clear, and consistent with Henry has been great for both of us: we’re both less anxious and our bond is better than ever.

With that said, I’ve stopped being so hard on myself and accepted that I’m doing the best that I can to take the best care of Henry, because there’s absolutely no doubt at all that I love my dog. 

After two years, there is not a single thing I would change. Becoming a dog mom has taught me so many life lessons, and I would have never guessed that this one little Cavalier would have such a huge impact on my life.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. Please keep in mind that some of the links included in this blog post are affiliate links and if you go through them to buy something, I will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. The decision to purchase something is completely and totally up to you. If you do decide to purchase something from one of these links, I thank you for supporting Henry The Smol's blog!


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