new puppyThere is nothing more exciting than bringing home a new puppy, and experiencing all the love and joy they will add to your family. Owning a puppy isn’t all fun and games, however. By putting a little time, energy, and planning into puppy care, you can ensure that you’ll have a best friend for life.

Animal Family Veterinary Care Center shares our best tips and ideas for caring for your new puppy. We’re excited to be a part of your pet care family, and looking forward to setting you and your puppy on the road to lifelong health and happiness together.

A Trip to the Vet

You guessed it! Our number one recommendation for new puppy care is to bring them in to see us within the first 24-48 hours. During your puppy exam, we’ll talk to you about any questions you have, as well as:

  • Perform a complete physical exam to assess the overall health of your puppy
  • Determine the need for parasite control and prevention
  • Discuss a vaccination schedule and start or complete any needed boosters
  • Talk about behavior and training
  • Discuss nutrition and exercise needs

Since puppies need several checkups and vaccinations just like human babies do, we’ll set up a schedule for future visits to ensure they are growing well and are protected from disease. We have wellness packages to meet the needs of your puppy, while taking the needs of your wallet into consideration.

We’ll also be fostering a good relationship with your pet, too, by making sure they have a good experience with the veterinary visit.

Shop for Quality Food

Good nutrition is crucial for good health. Pets need a balanced and nutritionally complete diet to thrive. In fact, studies show that pets who are fed a high quality diet in proper amounts actually live longer!

Talk to us about your pet’s nutrition and how often you should feed your puppy. Puppies need to be fed an age-specific diet, as they have higher protein needs due to their rapid growth. Different breeds, especially giant breeds, may also need a specialized diet. To start, look for the statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure the food you choose will fulfill your puppy’s nutrition requirements.

Establish a Bathroom Routine

Ah, those sleepless nights of new puppydom. Housetraining is definitely a priority for new puppy owners! You can succeed if you remember the basics of puppy training: patience, positive reinforcement, and planning.

Accidents will happen, but by following these tips, hopefully your carpet cleaning days will be few and far between.

First, until your puppy has had all their vaccines and is protected from disease, find a place outside that is inaccessible to other pets and wild animals.

Second, know when to take your puppy out, ideally before they have to go to the bathroom to encourages success.

Here are common times to take your puppy out:

  • First thing in the morning
  • After mealtime
  • After a nap
  • After playtime
  • After drinking a lot of water
  • Before bedtime

Remember that positive reinforcement and praising is key. And never, ever punish your pet for having an accident in the house. Expect that one or two (or more!) will happen, and keep your cleaning supplies and good humor handy.

Socialize Your New Puppy for a Future Happy Dog

Socialization is a critical part of making sure your puppy becomes a well adjusted and happy dog. Puppies are sometimes afraid of new things, but giving them positive new experiences can help them become confident and friendly. By about 2-4 months of age, most puppies are ready to accept new places, people and animals. Just make sure you’re being safe and talk to us about what kind of experiences are best at this age.

Before 6 months of age, we would love to see your little one in puppy class! Our puppy classes give you the tools you need to help your puppy become a well-trained and obedient dog. In this class, you and your puppy will learn useful basic commands, such as sit, down, stay, and come.

Contact us to find out more about how to care for your new puppy and all the fun that entails! We look forward to meeting your new family member.