Guidelines for New Puppy Parents

Congratulations on your new puppy! Puppies are so much fun - and so cuddly!

Of course, they're also a big responsibility, and it probably won't take you more than a few hours to recognize that. No matter what kind of puppy you just got, a little prep will make this transition easier for everyone involved.


Ensure Clear Communication Within Your Household

Whether you live with housemates or family, it’s important that everyone understands his/her role in the new puppy’s life. Who's responsible for the walks and the feeding? Does everyone understand that puppy is not to be fed table scraps or left “on his own” with the run of the house? If there are other rules that everyone needs to know, make sure those are clear up front. Consistency is the key to training your puppy, and clear communication among all involved will help make that happen.


Puppy Proof Your House

Ideally, you’ll do this before you bring home your new charge and then you’ll fine-tune. First, you’ll want to designate a certain area for your new pup. Maybe you’ll confine him/her to the kitchen in the beginning -- especially, if s/he’s not housebroken yet. Will you use a crate or baby gates to block off your area (or both)? Within that space, is everything picked up off the floor? Cords, plants, shoes... anything that could be chewed will need to be out of the way. In fact, anything that can be chewed, will be chewed, so make sure you put away anything you're not comfortable with your puppy turning into a chew toy!

puppy care guidelines


Go Shopping 

You’re going to need a few things: bowls, collar, leash or harness, food, and toys are the basics. Since puppies tend to be mouthy, you might get a sample of toys. Kongs are good for the strong jawed dogs but might be overkill for a really small one. Ask for recommendations for your size and breed of dog. Additionally, as your dog grows, he or she may “grow into” different types of toys, so just because a toy isn't an immediate favorite doesn't mean it's completely out forever.


Visit your Veterinarian  

If you adopted your puppy from a shelter or a breeder, s/he may be up-to-date on his vaccines but will likely need boosters in a few weeks. Even if your pup's shots are current and boosters aren't needed, you should take your new family member to the vet for a wellness exam to establish his/her health status. At your first veterinary visit, we’ll coo over your puppy’s cuteness, work out a vaccine schedule with you, and offer insight on puppy diets, potty training, and obedience training.


Be Patient 

Your puppy wasn’t born knowing the expectations of the human world. You have to teach him/her. Dog trainers know it’s all about “management.” Don’t want the dog to eat your shoes? Don’t leave them on the floor where s/he has easy access to them. No matter whether you want to teach your pup to sit when greeting people or to stay off the furniture, it’s all about repetition and consistency.

Dogs love routines. If you get up at 5:30 every morning and take your dog on a jog, your dog will get accustomed to that and look forward to it every day. On the other hand, if you sleep until 9 a.m. and let your furry buddy into the backyard as you stumble your way to the coffeemaker, your pup will be used to that.

This means the first rule of puppies is to get one that matches you and your family in size and temperament. If your family is constantly on the go with non-dog friendly activities, then getting an active breed dog is probably not a good idea. You’ll suffer with chewed up furniture, and your pup will be miserable at being confined. On the other hand, a more relaxed Newfoundland or a little ShiTzu may be a better fit.


Your first few weeks with a new puppy are exciting and, by planning ahead, you can make the transition more enjoyable for everyone. Now... are you ready to book your pup’s first veterinary appointment? Click here to fill out our online form or give us a call!


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