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How To Give Your Puppy A Great Start

Updated on April 21, 2011

New Puppy At Home

You've chosen your new puppy, and are bringing him home.  You are excited, and have high hopes for a companion that tops every other dog you've ever seen.  Everything seems perfect!

Assuming your puppy has had all necessary vaccines, and worming medicine before you've brought it home, you now need to get prepared for a daily routine that will get your new member of the family off to a great start.  If you put in the time and work now, you will be certain to have that companion you've been hoping for.  This is the beginning of a bond that will last many years, so you want to be sure to prepare for some frustrations along with the fun.  Keeping in mind that all is not going to be rosy will help to get past the initial bumps in the road.

Piddle, Piddle, and More Piddle

Puppies have to go to the bathroom . . . alot!

This may be one of the most time consuming and frustrating parts of bringing home Fido. The time it takes to house train your puppy varies considerably. It depends on the dog's personality, and it greatly depends on your approach. Your approach will depend on whether you have a yard available, and want the dog to use it every time it needs to eliminate, or if you live in an apartment where a patch of grass is not to be found anywhere near.

If you have a small dog, and decide to use a litter box, there are some specially designed for dogs. You will want to use a product such as rolled pellet newspaper to fill it vs. kitty litter. These work quite well, and can save on the cost of piddle pads. Just make sure it is kept cleaned out and the pellets changed as needed.

For every accident, you need to make sure the spot is cleaned thoroughly and treated with a product that will neutralized the odor that will lead him back to that spot to eliminate.

Your puppies bathroom options are; the yard, piddle pads, litter box

The process is easy - it's just time-consuming in the beginning, and it's success depends on your consistency.

Basically, puppies need to go soon after they eat, after they wake, and after they play. Their little bladders will need several weeks to develop control, so if they do piddle on your carpet, you will do no good from scolding them. Not only do they have no idea this is wrong initially, they have very little control over it. You don't have to be happy about it, and you can state a few quiet words of disapproval, then, even after they have already gone, you still want to take them outside, or to the pad, or litter box. The more they make the connection with potty and the designated bathroom, the sooner this phase will be over.

Take them out frequently. You will do this over and over and over. There is no way around it. It is such a joy the first time you see your little guy either bouncing around by the door, or has found his own way to the piddle pad!

Feeding Your Puppy

One of your puppy's favorite past times!

Feed your pal good quality food, and make it a point right from the beginning to not feed people food, or many snacks. Dogs become overweight very quickly, especially when training, and not only is it very difficult to get the weight off, but, it causes a whole host of health issues.  Be sure to follow feeding instructions.

Consider sticking to hard dog food as it helps to keep tartar off the teeth.
Try to keep snacks to training sessions. Don't use when you are leaving them to run errands, or when you return, as this will certainly be expected, and is a hard habit to break.

There are some foods that are toxic, or that can make your pup quite sick. You want to avoid chocolate, grapes, raisins, sugar-free gum, and certainly antifreeze!

Puppy Playtime

Puppies are full of energy, and love nothing more than to play. These are perfect times to not only bond, but to help train, and socialize them. Socializing is hugely important to keep them from being a handful at the vet's office, and to ensure they won't be untrustworthy around children, and other animals.

After they have received all protecting vaccines, take them out often to public places, introducing them to new situations so they won't be anxious, or nippy in their adult years.

Handle them all over - rub those ears, and peek at their teeth. Roll them over, and help them be comfortable with all kinds of touch. All of this can be done playfully, and lovingly so they will be at ease in any situation.

Just like young children, your puppy will go through a teething stage, and you will save many a shoe, or piece of furniture by providing chew toys and bones to ease them through this time. Be sure the toys are made well, and won't come apart and be swallowed, or choked on. Also, remember that many chew bones are pure fat, so you will want to be aware of how much they are ingesting.

Inquisitive pups will get into many things and areas that you won't think about. Keep a careful eye out for electrical cords, and other things they can get a hold of. Spending time on the floor playing with Fido is time well spent, and will wear him out for a good long nap away from possible trouble.

Where Will Your Puppy Sleep

When you are home, your puppy will crash just about anywhere, sometimes falling asleep in their tracks. They would be quite pleased with a spot of their own, however, and this can be as simple as a spare blanket on the floor, or one of the many dog beds available.

This is the time to decide whether or not your dog will be allowed on your furniture, so make the decision and stick with it. Once guidelines are set, your dog won't even think about it being an issue - it's just the way it is.

Where will your puppy stay when you are away? And, where will he sleep at night?
Crate training is a great way to keep your puppy, and your house safe while you're away, or while you're asleep. You will want to get one that is big enough for it to turn around in as an adult. Until the pup grows, you can put in a divider. Dogs don't like to defecate in their sleeping area, but they will if the area is too large. This also means that you can't sleep in til noon, as the little guy won't be able to hold it for too long.

As soon as he wakes, you will need to take him straight to the yard, or the pad in order to inforce the desired area to piddle. You can put them in their crate for naps during the day when you are home to get them used to this routine, and the practice of going out right after sleeping. Crates can be a great way of providing a safe place for your puppy, as long as it is used correctly; don't ever use the crate as a place of "time out", or punishment, as you want this to be a secure, happy place.

Puppy Love

A great beginning to a long time friendship! Gently lay down the rules, spend lots of quality time, and make the first months the best start possible for you, and your puppy.

Some things aren't easily fixed down the road, and you'll be very glad you set boundaries now, and addressed the important issues early on.

Enjoy your puppy!


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    • lindajot profile image

      lindajot 7 years ago from Willamette Valley - Oregon

      Thanks Ghost - and sure you should do one for kittens. I appreciate you stoppin' by.

    • profile image

      Ghost32 7 years ago

      Hmmm. Great article for puppies. Maybe I should think about doing one for kittens? (Being a cat dude.)