The Inside ‘Scoop’: The Blog of a Northern Ireland Portrait Photographer

Getting a Pup for the First Time

Today I write about my experience with my new pup, Blu. So here are all the things I needed before bringing him home and all the lessons I’ve learnt so far…

Blu is a F2 Cockapoo, he is nearly 9 weeks old and is our first family pet (other than the fish and bunny I had when I was 10- for reference I am now 21). He is lively, fun, an attention hog and LOVES a good belly rub- also a massive flex he can sit and do paw… Smart Dog am I right?


This is Blu. What a cutie!

Professional pet photograph, taken by Northern Ireland's top pet photographer in Belfast of a cockerpoo puppy sitting on a purple backdrop

If you are a dog owner, a puppy lover, a new dog mum or dad, or just on the hunt for that new addition to the fam, this blog may be for you.

I am Alex the Marketing and Sales Manager at the Studio. I was a dog… let’s say liker… (love wasn’t really the word) (other than Glyn of course). I always thought ‘Oh cute puppy’ but never really wanted one myself. That was until Blu. At 21 getting a puppy was A LOT and IS a lot. So here are all the things I have learnt about pre-puppy prep.

1- Finding the pup.

I found Blu at work funny enough… the nicest family came in to get some Puppy Portraits and just like that I knew he was going to be mine. This was the easiest part…

2- Insurance

Oh, My Word… this part was HARD… The world of Insurance is insane. There are a million options, a million companies and a million tricky fine-print terms and conditions.

So as a young inexperienced dog owner, my advice is to take your time, think about what is important to cover, any pre-existing illnesses, accidents, sickness, medication, travel etc. and narrow it down from that. I also found it super helpful to use comparative websites to see all your options! It is super important to read the fine print too… see when your policy becomes active, when you’re covered and what excess you can afford. Find someone who has a pup, get advice and go with your gut (I know this isn’t the best advice but at this point, it’s all I’ve got lol).

Oh and side note… Hannah Crichton is great for reading the fine print.

Professional pet photograph, taken by Northern Ireland's top pet photographer in Belfast of a cockerpoo puppy sitting in a desk draw on a grey backdrop

3- Puppy Licence

Maybe I am stupid but no one ever told me this was a thing so yeah… It’s like £12.50 a year and you get it online but yes it exists.

4- Vet

As soon as you get your pup get him registered. Vaccines. Flee Treatment. Worms. There are lots of different plans out there so start your research early! I think for vets the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to check your insurance and vet work together. I nearly got caught with an Insurance that was very strict with who I could be with so that would not have been fun…

Professional pet photograph, taken by Northern Ireland's top pet photographer in Belfast of a cockerpoo puppy sitting in a yellow mixing bowl with a spoon on a purple backdrop

5- Shopping

Okay, this part was fun. I googled what I needed to bring home for my pup and went from there. There is a lot of advice out there and a lot of opinions but what I went for was:

Poop Bags (and if you wanna really go out there get a poop bag holder)
Puppy treats (check they’re age-appropriate cuz again oops)
Sleeping Crate
Chew Toy
Cuddle Toy/ some fun cute toys (I went OTT but it’s my baby lol)
Check with who you’re buying the puppy from and get the food they are used to
toothbrush/ paste
Grooming brush
Bed to grow into
Training Pads
Food and Water Bowls
Car restraint (this is law btw… also news to me)
ID Tag, Collar (or Harness) and Lead.
If you are anything like me you will probs get more but this was the list I was given and worked from and so far so good.

6- Bringing Him Home.

This is the best part. Having a pup will result in pee and poop around the house, tears (from you and him), very little sleep and for me a little anxiety cuz he’s so small and new. But there is also a world of happiness, puppy cuddles and some really special moments, like his first ‘sit’ and the excitement he has when I come home.

Don’t be fooled Blu does try and eat EVERYTHING. He is a massive sucker for attention and sitting on the sofa chewing your favourite shirt. It’s hard and it’s a little stressful but the little dude is now a massive part of our family and is worth every part of it.

So that’s it so far. I am no expert and I am learning as I go. But this is the most fun, out-of-the-blue (pun intended), and sweetest adventure yet.

Professional pet photograph, taken by Northern Ireland's top pet photographer in Belfast of a group cockerpoo puppies sitting on a desk on a grey backdrop

So there’s a short intro to Blu and the prep before bringing him home… We will be back and we will be sharing the ins and outs of the craziness of puppy training and life as a newly appointed doggy fam.

P.S. If you have a new pup make sure you check out our Pet Portraits and see all we have to offer for you and your fam. Alex 🙂 


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