Bringing A Puppy Home

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Man carrying a puppy (caption: Bringing Home A New Puppy)There are many things to think about when you consider bringing a new puppy into your family. From how to pick out the right puppy to what you will need to prepare for your puppy’s arrival, there is so much to plan for! The planning doesn’t stop after your newest family member comes home either. The life of a new puppy owner is almost as hectic as the life of a new parent. Fortunately for a puppy owner, the baby phase is much shorter and much less expensive than having a human child.

Article Overview

Is Everyone On Board With Adopting A New Dog?

The first thing to consider is whether everyone in your household is on board. From roommates to family members, it’s important to make sure that every single member of the household is happy about the addition. Adding a new puppy to a family that’s not completely welcoming can be difficult for family members and the puppy. Puppies are extremely sensitive to changes in behavior and mood, so living with an individual who resents it can cause undue stress.

Sadly, bringing a new puppy home to a household where not everyone is accepting may even open the puppy up to abuse. Some roommates have been known to feed dogs beer when the owner isn’t home simply because they felt no sincere attachment to the dog and wanted to “see what would happen.”

Checklist: Am I Ready To Adopt A Dog?

The Owners’ (And Families’) Responsibilities

Once everyone is on board, it is essential that the family know what duties are expected of them once the dog comes home. Taking care of a new dog (especially a puppy) is hard work and involves a variety of chores. Someone must be willing to feed the new puppy, walk it, pick up after it when it goes to the bathroom, train it in basic obedience, reinforce housebreaking (learn more about housebreaking a puppy) and someone must even be willing to play with the puppy.

Some of these tasks can become extremely repetitive (particularly taking your dog out to reinforce potty training), so it can help to put chores on a rotating schedule so that no one family member comes to resent the new puppy due to the repetitive tasks.

There are also the fun aspects of pet ownership, including whose room the puppy will sleep in, who gets to wash the dog, who shops for (or picks out) toys, etc. If there are younger children in the household, it’s important to highlight the fun as well as the tedious chores to keep everyone excited. Sharing the responsibilities will help you bond with your new dog and your family members.

Ways To Bond With Your New Pet

How To Puppy Proof Your House

Most puppies will chew anything and everything they can get their teeth on. So it’s important to emphasize picking up toys and clothes that should not become puppy food. It’s important not only for the safety of your possessions but also for the safety of the puppy — intestinal obstructions from ingested toys and clothing cost thousands of dollars to remove and put your pet’s safety at risk.

Just as with children, it’s important to puppy proof your home. Be sure to cover electrical sockets that your puppy can reach, tie up and cover wires that can be chewed and remove small items that present choke hazards.

10 Puppy Proofing Tips

Tips For Kids

Puppy proofing also includes teaching children in the house acceptable and unacceptable behaviors when it comes to their new family member. Toddlers especially have a difficult time understanding the importance of gentle play. Not only can rough play scare an 8-week-old puppy, but it may also physically harm the dog.

Young children should also be warned about the sharpness of puppy teeth and reminded to keep their hands safely out of reach. A helpful trick to teach young children is to have them offer an acceptable chew toy in place of the hand.

Lastly, it’s important to teach a child that they should never wake a sleeping dog. Like people, puppies are unaware of their surroundings when they are sleeping, and being shocked awake by a young toddler could lead to a bite incident.

How To Introduce Children To Dogs

What To Buy For A New Puppy

Now it’s time to go shopping for those must-have items for your new family member. Most people tend to over-shop for their new puppy, and there are only a few items that you absolutely need.

Finding The Right Dog Food For Your New Puppy

Choosing a dog food for your new puppy can be incredibly confusing. With so many dog food brands, it can be difficult to pick one that’s healthy and meets your budget. Most breed-specific rescues, breeders and shelters will feed a particular brand of puppy food. If you intend to change diets, it’s important that you gradually transition them into the new food.

Consider Dog Food Delivery

Check With The Previous Owner Or Adoption Organization

When you talk to the current owner, make sure to ask why they are feeding a certain food. Often, shelters feed puppies a certain brand because they receive a reduced price. Sometimes breeders claim great results with a certain brand, so they use it across the board. It is also possible that your puppy has food allergies or other dietary considerations. Whatever the reason your puppy is feeding on a certain food brand, it’s important for you to know before you switch to a new food.

Finding Good Quality Puppy Food

Need a little help in picking the best puppy food for your new dog? Look at the ingredients list — you can determine a quality dog food from the first three ingredients. A dry dog kibble that lists grains as the first ingredients should be passed over for better quality food that lists meat as the first ingredient.

It is also crucial to feed your puppy a puppy-formulated food as the needs of a young dog are much different from the requirements of an adult dog.

Why Puppies Need Special Food

Just like babies, puppies require a diet that is different from adult dogs. The reason for this is exactly the same as the reason that babies need different food than adults, different nutritional needs and different processing abilities.

Young puppies have a considerable amount of growing to do to reach their adult size and to grow to that size and remain healthy, it is imperative that they obtain the right levels of vitamins and minerals their bodies need.

Find The Best Puppy Food

Finding A Veterinarian For Your Puppy

It may seem silly to find a vet before you have even brought your puppy home, but it’s important to find one that you are comfortable with before you need veterinary care. One great way to find a local vet is to ask for recommendations from friends, breeders, shelter managers or rescue group owners.

Don’t be afraid to visit offices and interview vets to find one you like. It is essential that you’re comfortable with your vet since it’s entirely possible that you’ll be visiting them more than once a year — because some dogs are just born making trouble!

Tips On Finding A Good Vet

Schedule Your Puppy Shots And Vaccinations In Advance

Find out from your shelter, breeder or rescue group when your puppy is due for his next round of puppy shots, and set up an appointment with your new vet to get these shots done on time. It’s crucial for your puppy’s health that he stays current on vaccinations.

Top Two Diseases Vaccinations Will Prevent

The two diseases that are at the top of the list for puppy vaccines are canine distemper and canine parvovirus. Both are potentially fatal diseases for dogs, especially puppies, but they can be easily prevented by proper vaccinations. Remember that it’s always necessary to get follow-up booster shots for your pet’s vaccines.

Review This Vaccination Cheatsheet

Heartworm Prevention

Like vaccines, heartworm prevention is another must-have for all puppies. Heartworm disease is one of the most life-threatening diseases for dogs, and all it takes to contract it is a bite from an infected mosquito. Ask the previous owner, breeder or animal shelter about what heartworm medication your puppy has been taking and when he needs the next dose.

There are a wide variety of different types of heartworm prevention available — a monthly tablet, a topical solution and an injection that’s administered every 6 months. Ask your vet at your first puppy visit what she recommends to use as a regular heartworm preventative for your dog. The cost is around $10 or less per month.

Learn More About Heartworm & Symptoms

Spay Or Neuter Your Puppy

You also need to think about whether you’ll spay or neuter your new puppy. Unless you have a purebred puppy you plan to breed, experts advise you to get your dog fixed. In many cases, spaying and neutering dogs make them better companions because it can help ease aggression. And there are numerous health reasons why it’s beneficial to alter your pet at an early age (not to mention your responsibility as a pet owner to help control the overall pet population).

Benefits Of Spaying & Neutering

The First Day With Your New Puppy

The big day is finally here! The most important thing to remember is to keep you and your puppy as anxiety-free as possible for an easy transition to his new home.

When bringing a puppy home for the first time, it’s ideal that your house is quiet, so he’s not overwhelmed. If possible, it’s a good idea to only give him access to a restricted area for the first few days. Introduce him to this area and his crate, food and water bowl. Make sure you have bedding and his chew toy in the crate and leave the door open.

Interact with your puppy in his den area, so he knows it’s a safe, happy place for him. You should also introduce him to your designated spot in the yard where he should go potty.

If you have other pets, supervise introductions and keep them short and sweet. The same goes for new people. It’s important to socialize your puppy, but keep people introductions short and as calm as possible until he gets used to his new surroundings.

How To Socialize Your Puppy

Video: Tips For Bringing Your Puppy Home

This video has many more tips and tricks for you to consider before, during and after bringing a new canine addition into your home.

What are you most excited about with your new puppy?

About The Author:

Michelle holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and has worked in marketing at Bank of America, Mattel and Hanes. Her expert advice and opinions have appeared in many outstanding media outlets, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Forbes, People, Reader's Digest and Apartment Therapy, among others.

She is the proud co-founder of Canine Journal and a dog lover through and through. Since the day she was born, she has lived in a home full of dogs. Her adult home is no exception where she and her husband live with Lily and Barley, their two adorable rescue pups.

In addition to her love for snuggling with dogs, she also has enjoyed working professionally in the canine field since 1999 when she started her first dog-related job at a dog bakery.

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Jenna Hunter
December 17, 2019 9:03 pm

My aunt is thinking about getting a puppy that will be able to keep up with her kids and keep them entertained so they can tire each other out. It could be really nice for her to adopt a cairn terrier puppy that will be able to grow up with her kids. I liked what you said about how puppies are sensitive to behavior and mood so she should make sure that the kids want a dog.

Henry Killingsworth
December 3, 2019 4:18 pm

It never occurred to me that puppies require a diet that is not the same as what adult dogs eat. My sister and her husband are planning on adopting a puppy soon to rewards their kids for their good behavior. I’ll be sure to share this information with them so that they can help their new pet adjust.

Derek McDoogle
October 30, 2019 4:42 pm

My wife and I would like to own a puppy since we have never owned one but we love dogs. I appreciate how you said that the most important thing to remember is to keep you and your puppy as anxiety-free as possible for an easy transition to his new home. I will share this article with my wife so she can get ready to get a new family member.

Vivian Black
October 7, 2019 9:33 pm

Your tip about puppy proofing and making sure a puppy is introduced to a child the right way is very useful. My kids have been begging me to get them an American bully puppy. I will be sure to use this guide when I do cave and buy from a professional.

Duncan Lance
August 17, 2018 9:28 pm

I do like that your article goes over a list of what you will need to have before bringing your puppy home. It is particularly great that you include a comforting item on the list. After all, this kind of thing can really help with relieving your puppy of any anxiety they might feel when moving to their new home.

April 16, 2017 11:46 pm

I’m getting a new puppy. Contract says:
First set of shots, Dewormed, Vet checked at 6wks.
Ive got some Questions:
First set of shots–How often will we be going into the vet to get all the shots needed?
Vet check 6wk-do I still take the new Puppy to my vet within 48hrs?
What age can they start preventatives for heartworm,flea and tick?
What age is it safe to start taking the puppy out to expose it to stuff without​ worry about them picking something up?

Kimberly Alt
April 17, 2017 10:10 am
Reply to  Amber

Great questions! Here’s our answers:
1) Here’s the “typical” schedule for vaccinations.
2) You’ll need to distinguish a veterinarian to continue your dog’s care with, so we recommend still setting up this appointment.
3) Most medicine for heartworm, flea and tick is safe for puppies 6-8 weeks old. However, it’s important to check with your vet ahead of time.
4) We recommend waiting until your puppy is at least 12 weeks old because he has had a large majority of his vaccinations, so he is less likely to spread or catch anything.

Burt Silver
February 24, 2017 2:44 pm

My wife and I are planning on buying a puppy soon. We are really excited to have a new member of the family, and want to make sure we take great care of her. Thanks for mentioning that puppies need much higher calorie food. I thought they could just eat adult dog food. I will have to look into getting the right food for our new addition.

Kimberly Alt
February 27, 2017 12:55 pm
Reply to  Burt Silver

How exciting!! My husband and I adopted a 3 year old dog last week and are already so in love with her. She has brought so much joy to our lives already! Enjoy this new stage in life!

a guest
November 16, 2012 6:38 pm

Growing up we always raised dogs, so I'm pretty familiar with the steps it takes when first bringing a puppy home. However, I currently live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and I'm planning on getting a puppy in the next month. I remember how often an owner should take the puppy outside while house training and I'm really starting to have second thoughts because of how difficult it will be since I'm on the 3rd floor. Does anyone have any tips or tricks for house training a puppy on a high floor of an apartment building?

July 29, 2012 9:10 am

I love puppies and really, who doesn’t?  The boundless energy and curiousity all packaged into a version of cute that will almost literally melt your face.  Puppies are amazing and I would never discourage somebody who was aptly prepared from getting one.  However, if you do not realize how much work, love, and attention they need to grow up to be good, well adjusted dogs, then you need to make sure you are aware of what you are getting yourself into.

This article outlined a lot of the health care needs and veterinary costs that go into having a puppy, but there are a lot of other expenditures too.   An expenditure to ready your home for the impending terror and destruction that a puppy can inflict is necessary for your own sanity, but also an expenditure of time and energy must be made to train the dog for social interaction and to make sure it respects the boundaries of your home.  Nobody likes a dog that messes in the house and jumps on the couch with dirty paws, but puppies will do this until somebody trains them.

July 26, 2012 6:21 am

Whenever someone gets a new puppy they are usually going to experience a combinations of different emotions. Of course, happiness, but also maybe feelings of nervousness and even a little bit of being overwhelmed. This is especially true for someone who is a first time dog or puppy owner. This article has several great tips to help guide you through the initial steps to take for ensuring your puppy gets off to a healthy start.

The first thing you want to do is find a good veterinarian. This doctor will become your best friend. Have the little one checked out and follow all of the recommendations that the doc gives you.

Next, you will likely need to have the little one scheduled for some vaccinations. These will vary a little bit according to the breed and where you live and their actual age. However, make sure to have some that help control various types of worms and rabies, for starters.

Then, consider having the little one spayed or neutered. A male dog can even have this procedure done with a simple injection.

July 26, 2012 4:24 am

I thought I was well-prepared when I purchased my first puppy. I had done my research and knew how to take care of a puppy and train them. However, there were so many things I did not expect. People I knew would just laugh and say, “Welcome to owning a puppy.” I have to admit that it was quite irritating. So, I thought I would share some of the experiences I felt others should know about.

First of all, puppies have to use the bathroom – A LOT! Thankfully, I work from home and was able to take my puppy out every hour, as I had read to do. The only problem was that she sometimes needed to go even more than that, which led to a few accidents in the beginning. I also found out that puppies cannot make it through the night, even when you take them out right before bed. This led to many 2AM bathroom trips.  Lastly, I had no ideas that puppies could be so full of energy. It was like my dog was on crack, but according to everyone I knew, this was perfectly normal.

With all that said, puppies are a wonderful addition to any home that has the time to take care of them and has researched what it takes to raise a puppy.

July 21, 2012 9:10 am

This is a great article that covers the basics of what it takes to bring a new puppy into your family and your home.  Truthfully, if you are not ready for the responsibility and time requirements to have a new baby in your house, you really should not take on the necessary functions to take care of a new puppy.
Dogs are simple creatures, very easy to teach, but puppies are a completely different set of circumstances.  They, like children, have a different set of learning challenges that adult dogs and adult humans do.  First of all, they have almost boundless energy that will prevent them from breaking into a dead run or all-out play at any given moment.  For this reason, you must have patience with a short attention span and a real love for the actions of a young dog.
Furthermore, you have to take great care not to drive a wedge between you and your new dog by over-doing it with discipline and punishment.  They respond well to rewards and consequences, but they are also sensitive animals, just like us.

July 16, 2012 5:27 am

Being responsible for another living thing can be a little nerve wracking, but also exciting at the same time. However, it is important to remember to take some basic steps when getting a new puppy.

The first thing you want to do is take them to a good veterinarian. Have a thorough check up. Then, really listen to what the vet tells you about their health and some of the issues which you may need to deal with. Follow their recommendations closely.

You will likely be advised about certain vaccinations that are needed. By all means go ahead and take care of these. Just as with human babies, there are a number of things which can attack the fragile immune system of a new puppy. Vaccinations are just good common sense methods of protection.

The author here also recommends that you seriously consider spaying or neutering your puppy at this early age. Doing so now does carry a number of health benefits. Also, your dog will probably suffer much less in the end if this procedure is done sooner rather than later.

July 8, 2012 6:52 am

This article will be very helpful to any new puppy owner. Of course, being responsible for a living thing that is completely and totally dependent upon you can feel a bit overwhelming at first. Fortunately, the author has included some great tips which should get even the most novice of puppy owners off to a good start.

The first thing is to take your puppy to a good veterinarian. Just have them checked out for overall health. Listen to their suggestions and recommendations; it is probably a good idea to do everything they counsel. This will likely mean having your puppy receive some vaccinations. At the very minimum, you want to vaccinate against canine distemper and parvovirus, both of which can cause severe problems, especially to younger puppies.

You may also want to consider having your little one spayed or neutered. This is the best way to help control the pet population and it also has some excellent health benefits. It will help to prevent certain types of diseases and conditions, some of which could be potentially fatal (like infected uterus in female dogs).

July 8, 2012 12:04 am

I think when you are shopping for a new puppy you should also think about the reason you are getting the puppy in the first place. This will help you decide on what kind of breed to get and what to do with it once you do get it. It might also help you decide where you are going to go to get the puppy. For instance, if you want to breed it later, you do not want to go to the humane society because they insist that you get the pup fixed when age permits.

On the other hand, if you just want a pup for your child to play with, you might do fine with a mutt rather than a rare breed that is going to have a high maintenance schedule. You will also want one that is not bred to be a guard dog. Some traits can be tamed out of a bloodline, but others take generations to change.

You should also consider how much time you are willing to put into this puppy. If he is just going home to be tied up, please don't bother. If he is going to be something you are going to show, then you need to make narrow choices. Just do some research about breeds and sources before you actually make a purchase.

July 3, 2012 9:31 pm

I know that people look at puppies and get lost in the idea that this furry little creature is so cute and lovable. They sometimes forget that little Mr. Fuzzy is going to grow up one day and he not only is not going to be fuzzy anymore, he may not be as cute as you thought he was going to be. Please be informed about the animal you are getting before you bring him home and he is forgotten about.

Something else to consider is the breeding of the animal. I know there are those that will not have anything but a pure bred dog in their home. That is fine as long as you are prepared to deal with the issues that often come with pure bred animals. You cannot breed along the same line over and over and think that there are not going to be any signs of that in an animal's DNA.

For instance, I had a pup one time that was pure bred. She was a cute little thing and I won't say her breed because I don't want to give the wrong impression. But she had major health issues because of her breeding. While she was cute as a pup, her skin was horrible when she got older, something I later learned is a mark of the breed.

July 2, 2012 8:24 am

When getting a new puppy many owners are worried and unsure about what they should do. This is especially true for first time owners. After all, there is now a new living creature that is totally dependent upon them for their very survival. Yes, this can be a big responsibility. Fortunately, this article goes over some of the most important things that a new puppy owner should do in order to ensure the good health of their new best friend.

The first step to take may be to have your animal vaccinated. Even before this step, you should have already seen a qualified veterinarian. It is possible that they may recommend a number of additional steps or other vaccinations to take. Always follow this advice. Also, make sure to get your puppy vaccinated for canine distemper and parvovirus, both of which can be deadly.

The author also strongly recommends having your pup protected against heartworms. There are a number of different treatments for this which can range from pills to injections to topical solutions. It would be a good idea to check with your vet.

June 26, 2012 1:15 pm

Once you have gotten a new puppy you are likely to be both excited and maybe even a bit scared and nervous. After all, you are now responsible for the health and welfare of another living thing. One of the biggest questions that many new owners have is what to do next.

The first thing that most experts recommend is to have your new puppy examined by a qualified vet. They will make sure that nothing serious is wrong with the little one and probably answer most of the questions you might have about the care of the animal.

You will also want to have your puppy vaccinated. This includes shots for canine distemper and parvovirus which are both entirely preventable diseases. It is also recommended to immediately start your puppy on heartworm medicine. Heartworms are just bad news and can cause a lot of problems (and pain) in your puppy, plus infect a number of additional animals. The cost for this prevention is probably less than 10 bucks a month, so there really is no excuse not to do so.

Guest Author
June 26, 2012 10:30 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

You can read more about how to keep worms out of your puppy's body here and also about the danger of heartworms in dogs:  Heartworms in Dogs

June 13, 2012 1:00 am

It has been years since I had a puppy. And when I did have a puppy, I was very young and had no idea about all the things you need to do for your little dog. I fed him, cleaned up after him, walked him, snuggled him, and played games with him. My parents took care of everything else because I was too young to do so. In fact, it scared me when they took him to the vet because I only knew that I went to the doctor if I was sick. I was afraid that my puppy had gotten sick and I had not noticed it. I would get all upset and cry to my mother. But he was not sick. He was going for his shots or checkup.

Now that I am a mother and I have a child who wants a puppy, I am the one who needs to take care of these things, but I don't know everything that I am supposed to do. I know there is special puppy food I can get at the store for him and I know that the vet has to give him some shots, but I really do not know what all I am supposed to give him. I appreciate that you put this information here because now I at least have an idea of what to do for my pup.

June 11, 2012 7:39 am

The author here is obvious a vet who really cares about and enjoys helping both pets and their owners. The article gives some very good advice that all new puppy owners should most certainly follow. The first step when getting a new puppy is to take the little one to see a vet. Just make sure that everything is fine and they are in generally good health. This also includes giving them some vaccinations and making sure their booster shots is all up to date.

The process could be considered like buying a car. I am sorry for the analogy and hope others do not think it is too crass. However, you would certainly not even consider buying a car without taking it to a mechanic for at least a good once over. This is the same thing, just make sure that your pet is healthy and has no obvious problems. If they do, it is certainly much better to know ahead of time what kinds of issues you are (or will be) facing.

June 8, 2012 6:44 am

Maybe it's just because I'm a mom, but I noticed the way my puppy's smell changed when grew. If you're a mom, you know what I'm talking about. You notice when your toddler doesn't smell like an infant. You notice when your little boy smells like Axe now instead of soap. The same thing happens with a puppy. As they grow, their smell changes to. They stop smelling like a puppy and start smelling like a dog.

I'm sad to say that I just noticed this today on my own dog. He was such a cute puppy, and he's a handsome dog. But, it was a rough road that made me think that people should probably think real hard before they get a puppy. They can drive you crazy. Yes. They are really cute and smell so sweet, but they are like manic toddlers sometimes. You can't really get mad because they are just toddlers, but they can drive you crazy. And you have to train them. If you don't, part of that behavior will never stop. If it wasn't for my son, I wouldn't have a puppy, And I never want one again. They keep you busier than you imagine.

June 4, 2012 8:48 pm

I love to see little kids playing with puppies. I really do. It looks so sweet and cute. You just want to make sure that those 2 get to go home together. The problem is that people often don't think past that cuteness.

Let's say you have a toddler. Are you prepared to clean up after the toddler AND the puppy? I mean, there is only so much bodily waste that a person can deal with before they become disgusted. And if your child is older than that, are they ready to pick up after their puppy? Is it going to be more of a chore for you to get your child to clean up after the puppy than it would be for you to do it yourself?

If you're going to get a puppy, you have to think of it just like a child. Yes, they are adorable. But they are also messy and will destroy things in your home without any malice in them at all. Are you prepared to pay for that and clean up after it? Do you have the time to do all the training that you're going to have to do in order to keep your sanity? If not, please don't take that puppy home with you.

And if there is even a slight chance that you have to put your dog on a chain outside, please don't take that puppy home with you. I hate to see that and I hate to think about how that dog must feel. Either take a pet home and treat hm or her as a member of your family, or don't take that pet home.

May 23, 2012 4:39 pm

I have a young son, so I know how tempting it can be to take a pup without actually being prepared to raise one. You see that pup all snuggled up to your boy. You look in your boy's eyes and see heartbreak at the thought of not having the pup, and before you know it you're adding to your family without having a clue as to what you can expect.

I suspect this is how it starts. Then you get frustrated because you forgot that kids are irresponsible by nature and puppies are really just small toddlers with sharp teeth and no diapers. Then there is the expense of the doctor's visits, the fencing, food, and all the toys, collars, and leashes.

Do yourself a favor. After you see that pup, go home and evaluate your house. Is it puppy friendly? Do you have new carpet that you're not afraid to put at risk? Is your child a child that quickly forgets new interests? 

One of the saddest things I see is that people bring home a pup, get mad when he chews everything, and is soon enough forgotten by the child. Then he gets chained in the backyard and his life of misery begins. If you have to ever chain a pup, just don't get one.

May 2, 2012 9:35 am

It is also quite possible that bringing a puppy into a situation where not everyone is welcoming could lead to abuse. The author reports that there have been cases of roommates giving a new puppy beer just because they wanted to see what effects it would have.

One of the most important things is making sure that everyone is one the same page about the new puppy. Each member of the family should be very clear on what things will be like after the puppy comes home. This is especially true with children. Let them know what to expect and any changes in their routine that this might lead to.

Many of the tasks which the new puppy will require can become extremely repetitive. It may be helpful if you can convince everyone to take part in these tasks. Maybe you can create a schedule and have different family members help with various responsibilities on a rotating basis. One of the things we did in my family when the children were younger is to actually have a family schedule as to who would do which activities with our dog, April. This generally worked fairly well, but you need to make sure that it is followed and the all of the dog’s needs are indeed being met.

You should puppy proof your house. Since puppies like to bite and chew, it is very important to cover up or limit access to anything which could cause danger it is were bitten or chewed. This includes power outlets, wires, furniture and anything else which you can think of. Thinking back to my own experiences, I can assure you that no matter what level of puppy proofing you do, there will be some things which you forget or simply just miss. Oh well, just do the best you can.

Another word of advice is that any type of behavior you want to discourage should be consistently focused upon. This includes biting and chewing. Fortunately, this phase does not last too long. However, you want to consistently tell the puppy NO in a very firm voice and tone whenever they bite a hand, finger or some type of thing that may actually hurt them. Instead, you want to have some soft type of chew toys which they can bite. Immediately replace whatever they were biting with the acceptable toy. In this way they will learn which things they can bite and chew and those they cannot.

Training a new puppy is one of the most important tasks to focus on. This is something which many people stress a lot about needlessly. Training a puppy is really just about remaining focused and doing the same thing consistently. Whatever you want to train them to do should be focused on. Toilet training is always a popular topic. The best way to accomplish this is by taking them outside at the same time every day. Being consistent is the fastest way to training your new puppy.


April 30, 2012 4:46 am

However, sometimes getting them to eat this can be a bit of a struggle. Most likely, they will be used to the type of food that the shelter or pet store has been giving them. Of course, this food likely will not be what you want them to eat. In fact, it may not even be available beyond the initial supply you received from the place you bought or adopted the little one from.

There are several schools of thought on this. One theory is that you give the dog the type of food you want them to eat. If they refuse, then it can become a question of will. However, when they are hungry enough they will eat. Personally, I am not sure I agree with this philosophy even though I can see the logic to it.

Another way that many experts recommend is by simply weaning them off of their original food a little at a time. Take whatever chow you want them to eat and mix it in with their original brand 20 to 25 percent at a time. This will just take a few days and the puppy will likely not even realize what has happened.

Pick a good quality dog or puppy food. Just examine the ingredients. If the first three are dry food kibble or grains, pass this over. Ideally, you want something which has meats as the first ingredients. Things like duck, chicken and even chicken meal are good choices.

These are just some of the basic tips that you should keep in mind when bringing your new puppy home. Probably the most important things are just making sure that everyone is truly on the same page and is willing to help out with the new arrival. Beyond that, really most things will pretty much fall into place one way or another.