Did Santa bring you a puppy for Christmas? While a puppy can bring joy into your home, it also brings a lot of training, consistency and responsibility. Ideally, before the puppy arrived, you and/or the gift giver researched the best dog breed (or mix) for your household based on household members, lifestyle and temperament. Now that the puppy is in your home, proper care and training are critical for at least the first few months. Here are some new puppy tips to make the transition as smooth as possible for both four- and two-legged family members.
What Do You Need?
- A crate properly sized for your dog
- Baby gates
- Pet food – ask your veterinarian for recommendations specific to a puppy’s nutritional needs
- Food and water bowls – stainless steel is a great choice
- ID tags
- Collar and leash, sized appropriately
- Enzymatic stain remover (do not use ammonia based products)
- Brushes, combs, shampoo, toothbrush, nail clippers and other grooming supplies appropriate for the breed’s fur
- Safe chew toys
14 New Puppy Tips
1) Visit your veterinarian for a well check, vaccinations, flea and tick control, feeding guidelines, etc. Get your puppy microchipped. Questions? Your veterinarian’s office is a great resource. Trust your experienced veterinarian for new puppy tips, such as the Richardson veterinarians at Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital, more than you trust advice found on the Internet.
2) Supervise your puppy. If you cannot watch him/her every second, place your puppy in his/her crate, or have a safe puppy space set up in a small area in your home. Don’t leave them near anything you don’t want them to get into or chew on.
3) Sleep in the same room as your puppy, at least for the short term. Your puppy is scared and needs reassurance.
4) Set a Daily Routine so your puppy knows what to expect each day. This will help with house training and socialization.
5) Sign up for a puppy training class to learn basic obedience, leash handling and socialization. You and your puppy might make some new friends, too!
6) Be consistent. Make sure everyone in your family is consistent with rules and training cues. You don’t want your children teaching the new puppy that it’s okay to jump on people if you don’t want an adult dog jumping on people.
7) Introduce grooming and handling early on so that your puppy is used to it and it’s not difficult to take care of them as they grow.
8) Introduce your puppy to new people, new places, and new things…slowly. Watch for signs of your puppy getting overwhelmed. You want to socialize, not traumatize, your new dog. However, it’s a good idea to save a large overwhelming dog park until they are a bit older.
9) Reward good behavior. Give positive reinforcement to your puppy. Don’t just tell him/her when he/she does something wrong. Focus on the behavior you want your new puppy to display.
10) Watch your puppy’s potty habits. Take him/her outside to your preferred, designated area if it looks like he/she has to go. Look at your puppy’s poops to make sure they look normal. Make sure that your puppy is pooping and peeing enough. Don’t punish accidents—young puppies are too little to have complete control. We’ll post a separate blog about house training.
11) Allow for some separation. Let your new puppy get used to being alone in their crate at times. Be sure to make hellos and goodbyes very calm. Leave the TV or radio on for background noise.
12) Puppies will try to chew and nip on you. It’s a natural behavior. Provide chew toys to redirect their teething.
13) Be gentle when playing with your new puppy. Use special care when picking up the puppy. Hold him/her with both hands—one under the rump, and one under the chest. Teach your children to be gentle and not tease or be too loud around their new furry friend, too.
14) Wait a few days to introduce your new puppy to other pets. When the time comes, have the puppy meet any other dogs in the house on neutral ground, and praise calm behavior. Keep their beds, toys and bowls separate. Do not leave them unsupervised. If you have a cat, place the puppy in his/her crate and bring the cat into the room. Allow the cat to explore and sniff around. When comfortable and you can take the puppy out of the crate, keep the puppy on a leash and praise your new puppy when not interacting with nor chasing the cat. Distract the puppy if he/she tries to bother the cat.
This is only a small sample of new puppy tips to highlight the responsibilities of taking care of a new puppy. Feel free to re-visit our website as we plan to write more articles about house training/crate training, obedience commands, and other important new puppy care concerns. Most importantly, like every member of the family, puppies need a lot of love and attention.
Top-Rated Veterinarians in Richardson
Do you have a new puppy? Contact the Richardson veterinarians at Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital to set up a puppy exam for your new furry family member. The hospital has a 5-star rating on Yelp, 4.7-star on Google and earned an AHAA Accreditation for meeting the highest standards in veterinary care. The experienced doctors and friendly staff at BPAH will treat your new puppy with expert up-to-date medical care. Call the office at 972-690-6900 to make an appointment today
Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital serves the northeast Dallas suburban area including Richardson, Garland, Plano, Murphy, Wylie and Mesquite.
This information is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding an animal’s medical condition, always seek the advice of your veterinarian.