Adopting a new puppy can be both exciting and rewarding. There are also some very important responsibilities that go with being a pet owner. Puppies are much like babies and toddlers. They require affection, love, attention and lots of pet-play-time. Taking care of your new puppy should be a high priority.
5 Things to Remember When Adopting a New Puppy
Here are five tips to ensure that you raise a happy, healthy puppy in a safe environment:
1. Your Home Needs to be Puppy-Proof
Puppies are playful little creatures. And, much like babies and toddlers, they love putting things in their mouths to explore them. That’s why it’s so important that you take certain precautions to puppy-proof your home to keep your new pal safe:
- Remove breakables and keep them out of your puppy’s designated space.
- Make sure all electrical cords are either covered up or tied down.
- If you have windows your pet can reach, they need to remain closed.
- Keep all toxic cleaning supplies and chemicals locked away.
- Your trash can needs to be too tall for her to get into and too heavy to knock over.
- If you need to keep her confined to a specific area, use a puppy gate.
2. Follow Appropriate Feeding Standards
Never feed your puppy food that’s not specifically formulated for puppies. Some dog owners prefer dry puppy food because it helps keep teeth clean, gums healthy and breath fresh. Follow these standards for daily feedings:
- 6-8 weeks old – Feed 4 times each day
- 12-20 weeks old – Feed 3 times each day
- More than 20 weeks old – Feed 2 times each day
3. Follow Good Grooming Standards
You should take pride in your pet’s grooming. Good grooming standards keep him looking good and feeling healthy inside and out. Here are some puppy grooming tips to follow:
- Brush her coat every single day to keep it clean and shiny.
- Clean and clip her nails regularly using a pet nail care kit.
- Use a puppy toothbrush and pet toothpaste to clean her teeth daily.
- About every 3-4 weeks, give your puppy a nice, warm bath.
4. Housebreak Your New Friend
The best time to start housebreaking your puppy is the day he comes home from the adoption center. Wait, and it’ll just be harder to house-train your little buddy. During those early days of training, puppy pads can be very helpful. They make it simpler to clean up after him. They also help your puppy understand where he’s supposed to “go” whenever he’s in the house.
5. Take Your Puppy to Your Local Vet
Your puppy needs to see a vet for health care purposes. Once you’ve decided on a local veterinarian, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- 6-9 weeks old – Schedule vaccinations
- First vet visit – Get her dewormed
- 12-16 weeks old – Rabies vaccination
- 20 weeks – Spay or neuter (if interested)
- Every 6 months – Take her for a check-up
Note: Your local vet will give you more details about vaccinations schedules and pet care tips specific to your dog’s breed.
Ryean Bishop: Is the online outreach coordinator for Bannock Animal Medical Center. When he’s not writing about animals he enjoys 80’s action movies, mystery novels and working on restoring his canoe.