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Hanford Veterinary Hospital

Beyond Cute: A Practical Guide to Puppy Care

Happy, smiling brown puppy outdoors

January 5, 2022 by Hanford Veterinary Hospital

The best things in life are well-balanced. We can’t have the good in the absence of bad, and sweetness is enhanced by a little bit of salt. When it comes to puppies, the same principle applies. To truly experience their adorableness, you have to deal with some of their behaviors that are a bit maddening. Many aren’t potty trained, they chew on everything in sight, and they can make it hard to get a full night’s sleep. This guide to puppy care may help you achieve balance at home.

Love at First Sight

Your new puppy has some serious charm. People are naturally drawn to care for small animals, and our nurturing instincts go on overdrive during the first few weeks at home. This is a good thing since puppy care has numerous levels of need.

More Than Love

To get real about puppy care, pet owners must acquire all the necessary gear and supplies including:

  • Comfy bed

  • Food/water bowls

  • Chew toys

  • Collar

  • Leash

  • Crate

  • Puppy pads and waste bags

  • Age-appropriate food and treats

  • Small toothbrush and puppy-formulated toothpaste that trains them to accept dental care throughout their life

It is critical to assess your space. Imagine all the possible hazards a young, exploring puppy can face just with your household’s day-to-day objects. Power cords, hair ties, pillows, socks/shoes, cleaners, medications, and more must all be secured behind closed cabinets. We suggest getting down on the floor and viewing your surroundings from a puppy-eye view.

Establishing a Schedule

It is essential to establish a routine for your puppy. Depending on their age, they will need to eat every 2-4 hours. After they eat they should always be given a chance to go to the bathroom outside. 

House training your new puppy requires patience and consistency. In the beginning, you should time bathroom breaks for every two hours. Go outside with your puppy and use the same language to teach them when and where to go. Take treats with you and reward them when they do.

Preventive Practices

We recommend scheduling your new puppy’s first wellness exam as soon as you bring them home. If they haven’t been microchipped, spayed/neutered, de-wormed, and given their first round of vaccinations, we can get them started on the preventive path of wellness. Furthermore, addressing their nutritional needs, getting their parasite prevention medication started, and discussing the importance of training and socialization may reinforce your goals at home.

Your new puppy should be fully vaccinated before entering public places or playing at the dog park.

Impressionable Stage

Puppies are at their most impressionable between 8-12 weeks of age. During this time, it is critical that they receive as much exposure to the world around them as possible. All of their senses should experience the variety of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures as possible. Help them out by introducing them to all sorts of people and other stimuli, and make it a positive/rewarding process for them. 

This process helps establish trust and confidence, and reduces the possibility of fear, anxiety, and stress later on in their life.

All the Feels for Puppy Care

If you have additional questions or concerns about puppy care, give us a call at (559) 584-4481Our veterinarians and staff are always here for you at Hanford Veterinary Hospital.