A Veterinarian’s Advice for New Puppy Parents

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Pay Attention at Home. When you get a new puppy, make sure you keep your other pets' routines as normal as possible and spend extra time with them. This is a big change for them too.

Learn The Best Method for Introductions. It's just not as simple as putting two animals in the same room when you want them to be best friends. Learn how to introduce your puppy to your cat, dog, and other pets in the right way with the tips in How to Introduce Your New Puppy into Your Home.

Consider Training. Basic obedience training can really help create a well-behaved and happy dog that will fit well in to your life. Basic commands such as come and stay can also save a dog's life by training them not to run into traffic. You can train your dog at group training sessions at local vet clinics and pet stores or one-on-one with certified trainers.


Train with the Positive. Use positive reinforcement to train your puppy, NOT punishment. Give treats or affection for positive behavior and ignore negative behavior when possible. Reward-based training also builds a positive long-term bond and shows your puppy what is expected.

Protect Your Puppy. Understand that puppies can get into everything and anything. They frequently ingest spilled pills and chemicals, eat rat poison, chew on dangerous things such as electrical cords, and eat things such as socks as they chew. All of these things can be life-threatening, so make sure you puppy-proof your home.

Use Caution When Meeting Others. Puppies are vulnerable to various virus and diseases until they are fully vaccinated. Most vets recommend that you use caution when allowing your puppy to interact with other dogs before the age of about 16 to 18 weeks.

Socialize Your Puppy. Puppies can benefit from exposure to lots of types of people and pets when they are young to ensure they are comfortable and well-adapted as they age. The ideal method is to expose your puppy to men and women of different sizes and shapes (including some with hats and no hats), kittens, and other dogs. Supervise these introductions and reward good behavior.

Provide Safe Chew Toys. Puppies naturally want to chew, so ensure you choose safe toys that can't be torn apart and digested. Toys such as Kong®, in which you can hide treats, can be great for keeping dogs occupied and fulfill their chewing needs.



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