Scotty McCreery says getting a dog felt like the next logical step after getting married and settling into their house together

By Madison Roberts
February 22, 2019 07:15 PM
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Courtesy Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery and his wife Gabi have added a little one to their family!

The couple, who tied the knot during a “classic” ceremony in the North Carolina mountains in June 2018, brought home a yellow lab puppy (now 3 months old) in January.

“We’ve been talking about getting a dog for a while,” McCreery, 25, tells PEOPLE. “We wanted to have a few months to get our family situated and get our house going and everything. After that, we figured it was time.”

The singer-songwriter — whose latest single “This Is It” just hit No. 1 — says his wife has always dreamed of having a yellow lab because she grew up with one, and she always hoped to name a pet “Moose,” for no real reason other than that she loves the sound of the name. So when it came time to choose their pooch, the couple had an easy decision.

They went to a nearby breeder in Clayton, North Carolina to see a litter of yellow labs and were immediately drawn to their new dog.

“We loved his face,” McCreery says. “It was so expressive. We just knew he was the one.”

The pair started an Instagram for their new puppy (@MooseMcCreery) where they show off adorable photos of him at bath time, chewing on toys and posing with his parents.

While McCreery said the account initially began as a way to not bombard their followers with a ton of photos of their dog on their personal pages, he’s surprised by the amount of traction it’s getting, as the account has accumulated nearly 34,000 followers in just over a month.

“It’s catching on quick,” he says. “We brought him on stage the other night in Raleigh at our hometown show and [the crowd] went crazy for him.”

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Although they’re holding off on having kids for the time being, McCreery admits learning how to potty train a puppy and otherwise care for Moose has given him a wake-up call about what raising children might be like someday.

“Everyone is telling us now this is great training for kids one day,” he says. “We definitely wanted to start off with a dog. It teaches you responsibility and caring for someone else — making sure he’s doing good and putting his needs before ours sometimes.”

The American Idol winner admits there have been some tough times, like the first few nights when Moose woke up all the time in the middle of the night or the fact that the pup can’t seem to catch on to the fact that inside isn’t where he’s supposed to use the bathroom, but McCreery still says “it’s been awesome” being a dog dad.

“We are both just so thrilled with him,” he says. “He’s so cute and loving and that’s my favorite part. He just wants to cuddle and come say, ‘Hey’ — any time we leave the room he just wants to follow us. It’s all love.”