Top 10 Things To Do For Your New Puppy

Bringing a new puppy home can be overwhelming, whether this is your first time, or tenth.  Here are the top 10 things to do for your new puppy:

  1. Choose the Right Food to feed. The choices out there are overwhelming these days, so the best thing you can do is to forget about all the fads.  There’s a good chance that your pup is not going to be a gluten-intolerant vegetarian that needs only limited ingredients to survive.  Stick with puppy food from reputable name brands (such as Science Diet, Iams) that know what they are doing; ask your vet instead of relying on advertising or TV to tell you what’s best.
  1. Kennel Training or “sleep with me” training. There is no perfect scenario here, since I’ve done both with good results.  The positive thing about kennel training is after the first three days, the puppy actually enjoys going in it, seeing the kennel as their safe place or den. Then, they can be left in the kennel when you are gone – no tearing up shoes and sofa!
  1. Take your new puppy to the Veterinarian. An exam is crucial to uncovering any congenital problems, and just as important, you can ask all the questions you want and feel confident that the answers are accurate.
  1. Get them Vaccinated and Dewormed. Just because the breeder or the internet told you that certain vaccines will kill your dog doesn’t make it true.  Believe it or not, there are reasons to vaccinate, including protection against some very bad diseases and helping to build your puppy’s immune system.


  1. Finding the right Toys and Chews. I recommend starting with numerous different types of toys and chews to find the ones they really like and don’t tear up too quickly.  For chews, rawhides are okay as long as they don’t have knots on the end to choke on. ALWAYS monitor your pup with toys, and especially all types of chews.


  1. Figure out how much Puppy and Potty Training your little one needs. This is where I approve online research for information and suggestions for different tricks that may work for different pups.  Most of the training is for you instead of the dog.


  1. Start getting your puppy plenty of Exercise and Socialization. Even before their full set of shots, you can walk your dog and set up play dates with dogs and humans (and even cats) that you know and trust are disease-free.  The first 6 months are crucial to their social structure and health; the walks and play help create a bond between you that will never be broken.


  1. Puppy Proof your house and yard. This usually means picking up stuff after they put it in their mouth, but making sure that they can’t get into the trash (kitchen and bathroom), or anything else (shoes and remotes) is essential.


  1. Play Doctor at home. You don’t realize how much easier your life will be later on if you start playing with ears, feet, and teeth.  The more you touch and love on your puppy now, the easier it will be when it’s time to medicate them as they grow older and smarter.


  1. Spay or Neuter your dog. I don’t want to go all Bob Barker on you, but if you will not be breeding you dog, there is no reason NOT to have them fixed.  This is another area where I want you to listen to your vet and not the breeder or internet.  We see many health problems resulting from not spaying/neutering pets, and want to make sure that your puppy is healthy and happy for a long time to come.

Authored by Dr. Roman Dye