New Puppy Guide - How to Take Care of a New Puppy
Published on 09/08/2021
You bring your new puppy home, and are in love with them — the cutest thing ever. But now what? Puppies are adorable and lots of fun, but also quite a bit of work, especially at first. In this new puppy guide I will share some tips here on how to take care of a new puppy, so that you can be better prepared and fully enjoy this time.
Supplies - Make Sure You Have What Your Puppy Needs
It is important that your new puppy has something to eat, something to play with, somewhere to sleep, and somewhere to do their business, as they will not be great at holding it at first, nor knowing where to go. ID tags are an excellent idea, and of course a leash.
You will want to buy quality puppy food with quality ingredients, and make sure it is food made specifically for puppies, as they have specific nutrition requirements.
Buy toys, such as balls to play fetch, ropes to play tug of war, squeaky toys that make sounds and soft toys to comfort them. Play is an important aspect of taking care of a new puppy, as they will want to burn energy (if not they can become mischievous).
A nice comfortable bed for your pup is a necessity, and find somewhere to locate the bed that is out of the way, but close enough to where you can easily get them should need be.
Pee pads are important at first (more on potty training your pup below), so you’ll want to buy those, and always place them in the same place. Urine cleaner is another good idea.
Puppy-Proof Your Pad - New Puppy Guide
You will want to have a designated area where you allow your pup to roam. Small playpens are a good start for very small puppies, and baby gates help to close off larger areas. Get all electrical cords and breakable items out of the way.
Pups love furniture corners, especially wooden furniture corners. Get yourself some Grannicks Bitter Apple Spray to spray corners and cords you do not want your dog chewing on. It works! And get a chew toy or bone that will help them relieve the pain they feel when teething, a big part of why they chew.
After going over this new puppy guide, if you’d like more on how to get your dog to stop biting - furniture and yourself - see here.
Feeding Your Puppy - How Often?
It’s important that you check your dog food packaging to see how much to feed your pup, and how often. Check with your vet regarding the food that you are feeding them at your earliest convenience. If your dog doesn’t do well with the food, and is experiencing stomach issues, or they do not want to eat, then you should try out a different food and consult with your vet. Try to always feed them at the same times daily, and this is one of the earliest commands you can teach them.
Potty Training Your Puppy - Start Early!
Take your puppy outside often and try to take them to the same spot. Bring a treat with you. It seems to be in dogs nature to want to go on the grass. Once your puppy has finished their business, give them a treat so they get used to it, and tell them “good potty”, or whatever word you’d like to associate with them relieving themselves.
Crate training your puppy is one way of keeping your pup from going inside your house. In general, dogs do not like to be around their “deposits”, so will hold it to keep from being around it in the crate. Just make sure to take them out regularly, and in time, they’ll get the hang of it.
This step of the new puppy guide is not just about how to take care of your new puppy, but how to take care of your peace of mind and household! However, have patience. Puppies generally can’t control their bladder very well up until 12 weeks or so.
Practicing Commands with Your Pup - Learn to Communicate With Your New Furry Friend!
Dogs are very intelligent and intuitive by nature. Quite possibly more so than you’d expect before owning one. Early on you want to begin getting your dog used to different commands. At first the most basic and essential (food, bed, no, good boy/girl, bad boy/girl, etc.), then you can move on to more advanced commands.
Treats are your friend when teaching commands. If after reading this new puppy guide, you’d like a more advanced guide to teaching your puppy basic commands, see here.
Go To Your Vet - Find Out How to Care For Your New Puppy and Get All of Their Vaccinations in Order!
Over the course of the first 6 months, you will have to see your vet frequently in order for your puppy to get all of their vaccinations.
They may also give you specific information regarding your breed. Different breeds of dogs have their own grooming and caretaking tips that should be followed, and your vet should be able to help provide some guidelines. Make sure to spend some time finding a good vet; internet reviews are important.
Consider Getting Doggy Insurance - It Can Save You Big Down The Line!
Dogs can be expensive, depending on the breed. Make sure to research your particular breed’s maintenance needs. Are they a breed that is known to be high maintenance with many issues, or serious issues down the line? Or are they a relatively easy-to-maintain breed?
If the answer is the first, you may want to consider getting dog insurance, and early on. Just like human insurance, if a lifelong problem shows up in your pup before getting insurance, it will not be covered by the insurance (considered a pre-existing condition). The monthly premiums are much lower than human insurance, generally somewhere in the $30 - $40 dollar/month range, for good coverage.
Socialize your Puppy - With People and Other Pets
Socializing your puppy One major tip in this new puppy guide is preparing your new pup for the future by socializing them with other people and animals. The earlier you socialize your puppy, the better they will get along with others as adult dogs. Bring new people around your puppy when possible, so they can get accustomed to being around others, and as soon as your pup has the required and recommended vaccinations, consider taking them to the dog park!
Taking Care of Your Pup with This New Puppy Guide - Well Worth It
At first, you may have some nights where you are tired, and your pup has just chewed the corner of a table or couldn’t hold himself… and you might just wonder if getting a puppy was the right idea. Hang in there. It gets easier, they get cleaner, and it becomes less work.. And you’ll have a best friend to last you many years. And don’t rush the puppy years… enjoy every second of it. They are extremely cute. This work and effort, and trouble they give you… will only make you bond with them further.
If looking for your own puppy to take home and take care of, we have puppies for sale, see here!