Puppy Care Checklist

Puppy care can be difficult since new puppies need a lot from their humans, but with a little preparation, you can meet all your puppies needs and raise a healthy, well-adjusted puppy.

Find a Veterinarian

The first thing on your check list should be finding a veterinarian you can trust and locating the closest emergency pet hospital. Though many people need to use it, puppies can get into trouble if left alone, and it's good to know what to do.

New puppies need checkups and vaccinations just as young children do, so a veterinarian is a must. Ask friends with dogs if they have a veterinarian they trust. Most dog people know who the best vets are and will be able to point you in the right direction.

Proper Equipment for Puppy Care

When you bring a new puppy into your home, there are a few things he will need:

  • a warm bed
  • a crate
  • food and water dishes
  • a collar with an ID tag
  • a leash
  • toys
  • something to chew on, such as a bone

Select an area in your home where your dog can go when you aren't home, such as a small room where you can place his bed a potty pad or doggy litter box. Make this place very welcoming and spend some time with him in this room.

Selecting a Proper Puppy Food

Your puppy will have fewer health problems, better coat and teeth, and more healthy energy if fed a proper diet. Select a food with protein in the first three ingredients. Avoid foods with corn, wheat, preservatives, dyes and meat byproducts, none of which can be digested by your dog.

Because puppies require more fat and calcium than adult dogs, select a puppy formula. This are designed to meet a growing puppy's needs better than adult food, so don't feed your puppy the same food as your existing adult dog. If you have a big breed puppy, choose a brand formulated for larger breeds.

Introduce Grooming

While your puppy is young is the best time to introduce a grooming routine into his life. Be sure to give him a bath and begin to trim his nails in his first week in your home.

Make these experiences very positive by giving him treats throughout the process. Move slowly with things like nail trimming, especially if your puppy seems nervous. The first session, you may only get your dog wet or trim one or two nails. But if you make these experiences fun, you will soon be able to do them with ease.

If you don't know how to trim nails, be sure to ask a friend or groomer before you try. If you make a mistake, you could scar your puppy for a long time.

Begin Puppy Training

Though your new puppy may not be ready for a multitude of commands, you should begin to teach the house rules by beginning to potty train, teaching which toys are appropriate for chewing and preventing your dog from nipping and jumping.

Don't allow your puppy to do anything that you won't allow when he's 100 pounds. Begin ignoring jumping immediately and only pet your puppy when all four feet are on the floor.

Each time your puppy nips you, scream "ouch" and storm from the room so he will learn that teeth are never allowed on human skin.

By teaching these commands from the beginning, you will ensure that your puppy will grow into a well-mannered adolescent.