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Raising a Puppy: Tips, Tricks, and Help

Updated on May 21, 2008

APBT Puppy

Now You Have A New Puppy

New Puppy

Are you thinking about getting a new puppy or have your recently brought a new puppy home?

A little scared, maybe? Well, don't worry. New puppies are a joy to have in your life. Just make sure that you are prepared for all of the twists and turns in dog owning:

Before you bring home a new puppy, make sure that everyone in the house knows the rules about the puppy. Make sure that all children and adults are all on the same page as for training the pup. The best thing is to have consistency.

  • Everyone needs to know the designated potty place and potty word.
  • Set up a schedule so to keep track of feeding times, nap times, play times, and potty breaks, and make sure that everyone is aware of the schedule and will adhere to it.
  • Make sure that everyone in the house knows what puppy can and cannot have (no table scraps, no child toys, etc.) Puppy has special puppy things.

Puppy Proof Your Bedroom

This shows what not to do. On the floor there is a garbage can, garbage bag, and floor cleaner.
This shows what not to do. On the floor there is a garbage can, garbage bag, and floor cleaner.

Puppy Proof Your House

Make sure that you puppy proof your house- inside and out- as though you were preparing for an infant or toddler.

Puppies will chew live wires as though they were chew toys, so you want to make sure that you put away all wires and cover all electrical sockets.

You will want to put all cleaning supplies in a cabinet or somewhere else where the puppy cannot get to them.

Keep potted plants out of the way, as some plants are hazardous for dogs to eat.

Make sure that the trash can has a lid and keep smaller trash cans out of the puppy's reach.

Any item that you do not want you puppy to chew, needs to be put up and kept off the floor, otherwise it's your fault that you new sneakers are shredded, not the pup's.

Go ahead and set up the puppy's play area, crate, and puppy gates, so you and your housemates can get used to the designated areas.

Items You Should Not Give Your Dog

  • Rawhides
  • Greenies
  • Baked bones (as they can shatter in the dog's body)
  • Chicken bones

And minimize giving puppies Nylabone Healthy Edibles. Too much too often can create digestive problems and diarrhea. They are ok, but not in excess.

Foods to Avoid Giving Your Puppy

Certain foods can be toxic to your dog, so make sure that you know which foods you should not be feeding your dog.

  • Baby foods
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Citrus oil
  • Garlic
  • Grapes or Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Moldy food
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Persimmons
  • Pits from peaches and plums
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw fish
  • Salt
  • Sugary foods
  • Yeast dough

Picking out a Name

Picking out a name for a new puppy can be an exciting feat. You new pup's name can be a hard thing to to decide; I know that when my mother brought home a dalmatian pup when I was 10, it took our family a few days and at least five names to pick the one that stuck- Zabu.

So when it's time to pick out your new puppy's name, check out Pet Names.

Puppy Supplements

For the most part, your puppy will receive most of its vitamins and minerals from the puppy food, but you may want to consider adding a supplement to your pup's diet.

I prefer K-9 Puppy Gold, which is to help build strong, healthy puppies by providing essential vitamins and minerals.

You can find more info about this product, by reading: K-9 Puppy Gold.

Puppy Food

A dog's diet need to be well balanced, as it is the essential key to a dog's health and wellbeing.

There are litterally tons of dog foods and different dog food brands out on the market today, and with the previous dog food recall, you may be weary about which foods to put your new puppy on.

You will need to learn how to read the ingredients on the back of the bag. Finding a dog food with the first ingredient of a protein, is a must. You should look for a dog food that does not have any fillers, such as corn, in the first five ingredients. This can, truly be a challenge, but once you've found a brand, stick with it.

Some brands are a "turkey and rice" or "lamb and rice" type food, and usually the first ingredient will be rice. Depending on the brand, this may not be as big of a problem.

You can read more at: What is the best dog food for my puppy?

Bathing Puppies

The first thing you may want to do when you bring you new pup home is to give it a bath...


A puppies do not need regular bathing when compared to adult dogs. Plus you want to make sure that you fully understand how to make the puppy's bathing experience a fun, not scary one.

You may want to consider puppy wipes to help keep you new pup smelling and looking clean, versus a bath.

Make sure that you know how to properly bathe a new puppy by reading Bathing Puppies.

Puppy Teething Stage

All puppies go through this awful stage... It's called teething...

I'm not going to lie, it's just not any fun. Without training, teething toys, and a lot of patience, your furniture will not make it through this stage.

Reading Teething Puppies, will give you more advice, tips, and tricks, to get you through this phase.

New Puppy Supplies

You will want to make sure that you have the following items on hand for you new puppy:

  • 6 foot leash
  • Flat buckle collar
  • Dog tags
  • Chew toys
  • Nylabones
  • Crate and/or puppy pen

You may also consider:

  • Dog bed
  • Treats
  • Comfort toys

Have A Dog First Aid Kit

When it comes to puppies and dogs, in general, they can get into just about anything they set their minds to... And, because today's world is just not set up to be dog friendly, one must take their own precautions when regards to their pets.

I recommend having a first aid kit on hand. You can either purchase a pre-made kit, or you can make your own.

To find out what supplies that you may need in your own doggy first aid kit, you can read about them at Pet First Aid.

Training Puppies: Chewing

Introducing Your New Puppy to Your Old Dog

If you already have a dog, then you may be curious as to the proper way to introduce a new puppy to an already established dog.

Here are a few tips:

  • Introduce the new puppy to the dog on neutral territory. The already established dog may be territorial to the new puppy if you introduce them in your home or yard. You may consider the park as a neutral territory. Try to avoid a dog park for the first introduction, as there will be too may distractions and complications that may get in the way.
  • Don't punish the established dog if he acts just a little nasty to the pup. You never want the pup hurt, so don't allow a nasty fight, but you don't want to punish the dog too severely for a small gimace.
  • Allow the dogs to establish a pecking order. Again, don't allow the new pup to get hurt, but try to let the two dogs establish their dominance. If you establish it for them, you can create mayhem. You may subconsciously estable the alpha/beta roles by punishing the natural order of things or rewarding the pup's bad behaviors to the older dog.
  • Make sure to spend you same allotted time with the established dog as you did before the puppy came home. You don't want him jealous of his new sister.

And, remember if you pushed your way into your friend's ice cream, it would be your fault that you got slapped not your friend's fault for slapping you. You invaded her space.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub whitney! I wish many people can read this before even deciding to have a dog.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm getting a new dog(a rough collie). I'm calling it Lassie for something not dumb to call out kn public.I got the name off the tv show Lassie and the one on telly is a rough collie too! I'm only 8 and it's going to be my OWN dog. I C A N ' T W A I T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from Georgia

      puppies, not really? adult dogs, you can give real bones, just not chicken or turkey. you'll just havto watch the baked bones as they can shatter pretty easily. edible nylabones. pig ears on occasion.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Well, I'll be printing and bookmarking this ! It's very helpful~

      Are there any kinda of bones that dogs CAN eat ?

    • RavynSteel profile image


      12 years ago from North Wales

      Another grear hub Whitney! It brings back memories of when my dog had 10 puppies and we had to hand-rear them...that was a great time...

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from Georgia

      Check out your local animal shelter. It's by far the best place to find great dogs.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      i am about to get a puppy for my birthday.......where is the RIGHT PLACE TO GET ONE?

    • LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

      Kathryn Skaggs 

      13 years ago from Southern California

      What a great Hub Whitney!

      I need to tell you what my mother-in-law always says about getting a puppy. Now, she had nine children... so take that into consideration.

      About getting a puppy: "I would rather have another 'baby' that deal with a puppy, any-day!" LOL

      This is true.

      I have an 8 year-old big, beautiful Samoyed! She is gorgeous, but sheds like no other! She is the most kind animal I have ever known. All six of my grandchildren can crawl all over her, and she thinks she is in Heaven!



    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      13 years ago from NSW, Australia

      I don't know that you cannot give chicken bones to your sister always give her dogs chicken neck bones, so far nothing bad happen yet...(lol)

      another great hub. thanks


    • profile image

      Paulo Jordao 

      13 years ago

      Great Hub, Whitney!

      I came here to leave some sugestions... But you covered most of it!

      Great Job!

      Paulo ( )

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you archbob. It will take time, patience, and a nice basic obedience base to work from.

    • Archbob profile image


      13 years ago

      Interesting article, but how can you get a dog to learn to flip a biscuit from its nose and catch it in its mouth?

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Georgia

      Helena- Greenies pose similar risks as rawhides. Where rawhides do not digest, greenies can lodge themselves in a dog's throat. Supposidly, the recipe for greenies has changed, but I would still not recommend them for dogs, especially not for puppies. Greenies pose the threat of getting lodged in a dog's throat; in the esophagus the 1st ingredient, wheat gluten, becomes like glue when the dog starts to shoke on them. It swells inside the dog's throat, and can be fatal if you are not there to see any signs.

       I, personally, like the edible nylabones (Healthy Edibles). The reason I find them different than products like Greenies is because they are all natural. They also break apart easier when the dog chews them. When my dogs eat the Nylabone Healthy Edibles, I've always noticed bits and pieces flake off the main source. I will say that they should not be fed to puppies on a regular basis, but on occasion should not cause any concerns.

    • helenathegreat profile image


      13 years ago from Manhattan

      Great hub, Whitney! Obviously I know why you would discourage giving rawhides or (yikes!) cooked bones to dogs, but why not Greenies? Everyone seems to have a different take on pretty much anything made for dogs (bully sticks, Greenies, and rawhides included), but I was wondering why you didn't like Greenies specifically. In my opinion, the arguments against them have not made much sense. How do you feel about edible Nylabones?

    • Caryl Oliver profile image

      Caryl Oliver 

      13 years ago from Australia

      When you pick a name, if you haven't already, think about how it will sound when you have to yell it out in a public place.....

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      13 years ago from Georgia

      Gamergirl- I just hope I can help.

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Wow, Whitney! This hub is packed with information. I will definitely be printing this out to keep on my whiteboard in the kitchen.


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