How to care for a new puppy: A Guide

How to care for a new puppy

Your new puppy should at least have grown to 8 weeks old before you separate them from their mother. Since they must be weaned at 8 weeks, it will be unhealthy to start taking care of them on your own before that period. You need to be prepared to clean up the puppy’s accidental pee and poop and you need some lifestyle adjustments too. A new puppy can only respond to a few behavioral pieces of training; hence you should be patient with them. Other essential basic care for a new puppy is;

Get a Good Veterinarian

The first place you should take your puppy to is the veterinarian clinic. You should not spend more than 48 hours with your pet without taking them to the veterinarian for a health checkup. It is a preventive healthcare routine to ensure the animal doesn’t have a serious health crisis. Taking your puppy to a vet is vet more important if you adopt them from a shelter.

You must set up a vaccination plan on your visit to the veterinarian, and you must discuss with the veterinarian the proper ways of preventing internal and external parasites from the dog. You must ask the physician for the common illnesses a puppy face most especially in their first few months. You should also be aware of sprays, neuters, supplements, and medications that can help your dog live healthily.

Puppy vaccinations should be scheduled every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age and you should continue with a booster immunization through the dog’s adulthood. Your veterinarian should decide whether the puppy requires a core or non-core vaccination. The general vaccination schedule may include the DHPP, Kennel cough for the first 6-10 weeks old puppy, the DHPP, Leptospirosis and Canine influenza vaccination for weeks 11-14, and the DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine influenza and rabies vaccination for week 15 and 16.

You must stay current with your puppy’s vaccination because they have been medically proven to help prevent a wide range of illnesses and diseases that can occur without such immunization. Depending on the breed of the dog, some may require extra vaccinations against parvovirus after the age of 15 weeks.

Learn to Handle Puppy Teething

Puppy teething is normal though it may cause discomfort to the dog. The first set of teeth may appear just 3 weeks after birth and by 6 or 8weeks the puppy should have a set of complete 28 teeth. At the period, your puppy will target and gnaw and chew all kinds of materials on-site hence you should provide a chewable toy for her.

Shop for Quality Foods and Puppy Toys

In addition to taking your puppy to the veterinarian, it is also important that you shop for essential items such as the appropriate foods and treats. Specially-formulated foods for puppies must be purchased instead of general adult food. Most puppies may start consuming adult dog food when they attain 9-12 months of age, you must check the food labels. It is also important that you feed your puppy multiple times a day. Puppies within the age group of 6-12 weeks should be fed up to 4 meals a day, while those within age 3-6 months may require up to 3 meals a day. Dogs within the age group 6-12 months must be fed at least twice a day.

Establish a routine for Bathroom Use

Perhaps the first training you should start with your puppy is the bathroom use. Puppies don’t like wearing diapers like adult dogs, house-training, therefore, is of utmost priority. You should be patient with this training and make lots of positive reinforcements such as treats and toys to encourage your puppy.

You should have purchased a potty that should be placed outdoors to make this training easier. You should begin by issuing commands like “come”, “run” and “sit” to train the puppy on bathroom usage. The bathroom training should be targeted at specific periods such as the bedtime period, when the dog wakes up, a few minutes after the puppy eats and drinks, and during or after physical activity.

Pay Attention to Early Signs of Illnesses

Puppies are more susceptible to illnesses in the first few months of growth and development. If you observe certain symptoms, then you should take the animal to the veterinary clinic immediately. Common early symptoms of illnesses are; sudden weight gain or weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, swollen abdomen that may be accompanied by pain, constant tiredness or lethargy, difficulty breathing, wheezing and coughing, diarrhea, pale gums, swollen and reddish eyes with discharge, nasal discharge, unusual colored poop and pee, and difficulty in passing out waste.

Set Out a Regular Grooming Routine

Though puppies may not require much grooming in their first few weeks, but it pays to start grooming as soon as possible. If you have a long-haired dog breed, for instance, the coat will likely have to be trimmed more frequently because the dog will shed more hair, unlike the short-hair breed. You may want to use a clipper to scrape off a little of the top layer of the dog’s hair. Similarly, you may have to clip the nails if they become outgrown.  Puppies may not require as much bath as adult dogs, but if you take them outdoors, perhaps a thorough bath in the pet-friendly shampoo will be ideal once in every 2 weeks.


As mentioned earlier, you will require some high level of patience with your puppy when it comes to behavioral training. Oftentimes, puppies may ignore their toys and gnaw or chew on any household items, you must reinforce good behavior by issuing orders to the animal, to prevent such destructive behavior. After the first few weeks in your home, you should start socializing the animal with other people and animals. Most puppies do better in learning new behavior within ages 8 and 12 weeks, and that could be the period you should teach the dog some social etiquettes especially when training or walking her outdoors.

About David Huner

David Huner is a dog lover. Dog training has become a passion for him. With many years of experience he is here to share his tips and ideas. His goal is to provide exact dog training solutions. His favorite quote is "Train your dogs, enjoy your life and be happy"

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