About Us


Welcome to the First Time Dog Owner’s Guide!

Founded in 2004 (formerly The Fun Times Guide to Dogs), we help new dog owners save time and money by focusing on the things that will make your life with a dog easier.

While anyone with a dog will find lots of helpful advice, those who’ve never had a dog before will benefit the most.

For almost 2 decades, we’ve been providing honest and helpful answers to newbie dog questions (plus lots of fun dog stuff) right here on this dog site for free.

Sometimes I feel like ours is one of the few remaining dog blogs that isn’t trying to sell you something and doesn’t have a hidden agenda.

We honestly want to help you — as a new dog owner — navigate your way through the first days, weeks, and months with your new dog. Because we happen to have a lot of personal experience raising dogs, and we have a ton of unique tips to share with new dog owners. Period.

Who We Are…

We are lifelong dog owners with over 30 years of experience raising and training several dogs on our own — from puppies through the senior dog years.

My husband Jim and I write most of the articles (650 on this site alone… and counting!). And a few of our close friends with dogs, dog trainers, and veterinarians share their helpful dog tips and clever dog hacks on occasion, as well.

This truly is what we’re passionate about. So it’s what we write about day in and day out — all of the basic fundamentals that a first time dog owner needs to know!

Trust me, we have been in your shoes and we know exactly what it feels like when your dog:

  • Won’t sleep through the night
  • Doesn’t like their crate
  • Can’t get the hang of potty training
  • Is home alone while you’re at work
  • Doesn’t want to “learn” and basically ignores what you’re saying
  • Isn’t motivated by treats.
  • Jumps up on everybody
  • Nips and bites at your hands, feet, and ankles all the time
  • Can’t be trusted when you’re not watching them 24/7
  • Won’t stop barking
  • Seems to be rebellious and unable to be trained
  • Won’t sit still so you can clip their extra-long, extra-sharp nails
  • Is bored and chewing on everything in sight
  • Doesn’t like to be left alone
  • Sheds so much (your car, clothes, and furniture prove it)
  • Is feeling under the weather and needs a quick home remedy
  • Stinks and needs a bath (…and some breath mints, too!)

How We Can Help You…

In our articles, you’ll learn the most important dog basics for newbies — like which dog items are absolutely necessary and which ones are not… what works to get a dog’s attention best and what doesn’t… and how to stop annoying dog behaviors once and for all!

Whether you’ve got little puppies or big dogs, our aim is to help new and future dog owners by sharing our own personal experiences, while helping you separate dog myths from facts on things like:

  • What’s normal behavior for dogs… and what’s not
  • How to feed, vaccinate, and care for your dog… on a budget
  • Puppy manners 101… the most important commands your dog should be taught first
  • The best dog food… it’s not about the brand, it’s about the ingredients
  • Potty training hacks… the fastest way to housetrain a new dog
  • The best dog supplies… see what we use ourselves and why
  • The best dog toys and chews… see which ones our dogs like best and why
  • Homemade dog treat recipes… using common ingredients from your pantry
  • DIY dog grooming… how to to care for your dog’s nails, ears, teeth, paws, and fur (why spend money when you can do it yourself?)
  • DIY dog training… how to stop annoying dog behaviors without hiring a dog trainer
  • Fun dog tricks, games and activities… fun things to do with your dog indoors and outdoors
  • Home remedies for dog health issues… that are vet-approved
  • Senior dog tips… things you can do to help your dog live a long, healthy life
  • And everything in between

So, if you’re wondering what to expect as a new dog owner, start here. You’ll find literally everything that a first time dog owner needs to know!

Our ultimate goal is to help you find ways to save time and money… while having a lifetime of fun with your dog!

The First Time Dog Owner’s Guide is interactive as well as informative, so please share your own thoughts and questions in the comments below each article.

This is a place where dog owners share all the best dog tips, hacks, and ideas — plus fun games, tricks, and activities that you and your dog can enjoy together.



Start here…

★ Dog Care 101 – our best tips for first time dog owners, dog necessities, and basic dog questions answered

★ Dog Training Tips – see how to modify bad dog behavior yourself, plus lots of fun dog tricks

★ Dog Food & Treats – feeding tips, how to pick the best dog food, and easy homemade dog treats

★ Dog Health & Safety Tips – home remedies for dog health issues, dog dangers, and safety tips

★ Dog Grooming – DIY tutorials, plus tips for dealing with dog shedding, pet stains, and dog odors

★ Fun Dog Stuff – our favorite dog toys, games, fun places to go, and fun things to do with your dog


Thanks to you!…

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