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How to Budget & Prepare for a New Puppy

Personal Banking
New Southern First pups, Bentley, Oliver, and Lily.

You’ve probably heard of baby fever, but what about puppy fever? We think our Greenville Loan Administration team might have a severe case with three new furry assistants who joined the ranks this spring! We are excited to share these adorable additions with you and to shed some light on costs and factors to consider when adding a new pet to your family.

First, let’s meet the pups!

Pictured above from left to right: Heather Grant’s Parti Yorkie, Bentley, Ashleigh Featherstone’s Bernedoodle, Oliver Hendricks, and Daisy Mussetto’s English Cream Golden Retriever, Lily – all sporting their Southern First bandanas, though it looks like they might have to grow into them!

In talking to Featherstone, Grant, and Mussetto, they all agreed that getting a puppy isn’t a decision you should rush into, and these dutiful dog moms did their fair amount of research and preparation before bringing their new family members home. Here are some of their tips and takeaways.

Daisy Mussetto and husband with new puppy, Lily.Considering the Costs

A new pet will impact your budget beyond just the adoption fee or cost of the dog itself. Mussetto says, “We researched a lot! How much she would cost to purchase, what type of food to buy, puppy supplies like toys and crates, and a where to take her for training. Training was the most important because they grow up so quick and the manners they learn early on last a lifetime. Training from the get-go is the most important investment.”

“Since we already have another dog, we had a lot of the things that we needed, which was helpful. However, we did need some new items as well. Then, you have to consider vet costs with shots and general upkeep. Plus, breeds like yorkies require grooming. If you’re considering getting a new pet, I would encourage you to reach out to a local vet’s office and groomer to see what all is involved,” advises Grant.

First-time dog mom Featherstone points out, “Beyond the costs, it is making sure you have the time to reserve for them for playing and training, which often includes waking up in the middle of the night for potty breaks. Also, a little tip would be to make sure you have a TON of chew toys and Band-Aids. The teething or ‘baby shark’ phase is real! Be prepared to never not have someone at your feet no matter what you are doing.” When asked if there were any unexpected costs or surprises after bringing Oliver home, she laughed and responded, “Not really, except for the fact that I feel it necessary to buy him toys every time I go to the store!”

Ashleigh Featherstone holding her puppy, Oliver.

Puppy Proofing

Next, puppy proofing your home is an essential step. Featherstone says, “I honestly can say it is like nesting when preparing for a new baby. I cleaned the house, mopped, made sure there were no items he could get into if I took my eyes off him for a second. I called the chosen vet’s office to get his new patient paperwork done and set up his new home for him to sleep in.”

“We had to get baby gates, chew toys, crates, leashes, etc. However, it is fun to buy some of that stuff after you bring them home so you can parade through the pet store with your adorable new pup!” adds Mussetto.

“Since we have been through this before, we kind of knew what to expect and knew what would be involved. The only unexpected thing was buying a playpen. They both want to be with you 24/7 and follow you everywhere, which makes it a little difficult to get chores done so we had to get a playpen. Having one was ok but two is a little more difficult to manage, especially when you keep tripping over them! Bentley was tiny and an escape artist and could fit through the baby gates that we have so when my coworker was selling her baby playpen, I jumped. It has been a life saver for sure,” adds Grant.

A Worthy Investment

Heather Grant holding her puppy, Bentley.

Though the puppy stage can be expensive and tiring, it’s no surprise that all three ladies agree that it is completely worth it. Grant explains, “My favorite part of getting our new puppy has been getting to know him and establishing that connection with him. It is really neat seeing his personality develop. He is super smart. Even though we don’t speak the same language or understand each other, they are your best friend and become your family.”

“They are so cute and snuggly. It’s been great to have a companion for my other pup as well. Seeing them play is the best entertainment,” adds Mussetto.

Featherstone says, “I love the purpose he gives me every morning. Knowing no matter how I am feeling, he will be there to give me puppy loving when I get home. I love how he’s like my shadow and just the joy and smile he brings to my daily life.”

Dogs at Southern First

We love our office pups here at Southern First. In fact, we start each Monthly Staff Meeting with a Featured Pet. It’s very likely you will see a furry friend when you walk through any of our offices.

Mussetto expands, “Working at Southern First is already a dream job and every day coming to work is great, but every time I bring Lucy or Lily, the mood is always elevated. Being able to bring my furry family members to work also brings our departments together. Usually, word travels fast and when someone upstairs hears there is a puppy here, they all come down to see her. Taking a few minutes of our day outside of work is a nice break to get to know my teammates.”

“I love how Southern First loves our fur babies. I mean you can’t help but be happy when there is a puppy or a dog in the office,” concludes Featherstone. 

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