How to Take Care of a Puppy

How to take care of a puppy involves providing the proper heath care to feeding to training and beyond. This outline will help you prepare for the arrival of your new companion and ensure a happy relationship into the future.

Preparing for Your Puppy's Arrival

  • Find a veterinarian - If you do not already have a veterinarian you like and trust, you must begin to research one. Ask friends and neighbors who have pets what veterinarian they use and get referrals. Pre-interviews are acceptable when looking for a vet that fits into your healthcare philosophy.
  • Find a groomer - Most dogs require regular bathing and grooming. Depending on the breed you choose, your puppy may need to visit the groomer on a regular basis.

Puppy Supply List

  • Kennel or crate - A crate offers your puppy a place to sleep and escape to when his environment gets stressful or overwhelming.
  • Bedding - Outfit the kennel with soft bedding and a hard chew toy to entice the puppy inside.
  • Toys - Soft and hard toys are appropriate for puppies. Make certain the toys you choose are made for dogs as other toys may introduce choking hazards.
  • Food - Purchase a high-quality puppy food recommended by your breeder or veterinarian. Your vet will instruct you on when to change the food during certain times in your puppy's growth.
  • Collar and leash - A strong collar should be purchased and the size you buy will depend upon the size of your puppy. Purchase a strong, non-retractable, durable leash no longer than 6'.

Once You Get Your Puppy

Introducing a puppy into your household and to your family will require careful observation and patience. Puppies can be overwhelming to older adults and children and supervision is required at all times. When supervision cannot be provided, it is recommended that you kennel the puppy for their safety and that of your family members. Outside of the family introductions, there are tasks to attend to that should include the following;

  • Sign up for training - Group training classes are offered through local pet store and animal shelters and will benefit that puppy and you at the same time. You and your dog will learn everything from expectations and behaviors on a walk to the basic commands of sit, stay and more.
  • Spay or neuter your puppy - If you got your puppy from an animal shelter or rescue organization, chances are they were already spayed or neutered before adoption. If not, make an appointment with your vet. Most veterinarians will perform the operation when your puppy is between eight- to twelve-weeks old.
  • Purchase a pet health insurance plan - Puppies require shots, boosters and regular health exams and certain breeds come with inherent health issues. To avoid the high cost of health care, purchase a health insurance plan. Several providers offer a range of plans that can be researched and purchased online.
  • These are just the basics to get started taking care of your puppy. Once you begin rearing him, you will find a large community filled with experts, friends and groups that will help you along the way as you care for and train your puppy.