What You Need to Know About Rehoming Puppies

Owning a puppy is a big commitment. And while puppies may seem like a good idea at the time, you may come to learn that you are actually getting more than you bargained for. If you got a new puppy only to find that it isn’t working out, rehoming may be the solution. Rehoming puppies happens for many reasons.  Here are the top 5 reasons for rehoming puppies:

  • Gifting – You received a beautiful new puppy as a Christmas gift or a birthday gift, only to discover that it wasn’t a good fit for you. You may also buy a new puppy as a gift for your children, only to find that they are not responsible enough to care for the puppy.
  • Impulse buy – You noticed the cute little puppy and bought it before having a chance to think through the whole puppy experience.
  • Too big of a commitment – You find that house training and dealing with the needs of a puppy are just too much for you.
  • Allergies – Family members experience pet allergies they didn’t know they had.
  • Other pets – Introducing a new puppy may upset the status quo in your home. Other pets in the home may not get along with the new puppy and this can create a difficult living situation.

There are many reasons you could be looking to rehome a puppy. Whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to know that there are good homes out there with good people who are looking for rehomed puppies. All you have to do is make the right connection.

No doubt you want to ensure that your puppy goes to a good home, so there are several steps you can take when rehoming puppies to ensure a good match. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Make sure the new owners understand the commitment of owning a new puppy, especially if they are a first-time puppy owner.
  • Make sure the puppy will fit into their home life, especially if they have children or other pets in the home.
  • Make sure the new owner has the time and the financial resources to care for a puppy.

Rehoming Puppies

Rehoming a puppy is easier than rehoming a dog. Since the puppy has not spent as much time in your home it will be easier for him to adapt to a new home life with a new family.

A rehomed puppy is more desirable when it is spayed or neutered, and when all of its vaccinations are up to date. By taking care of these things up front, you will increase your chances of being able to find a good home for your puppy.

When looking for a new home for your puppy, start with your inner circle. Speak to friends and family members, neighbor and co-workers. Maybe someone you know would be willing to take the puppy.

Talk to the breeder or the person you bought the puppy from – often times they will be able to help place the puppy in a new home. Talk to your veterinarian. He or she may know of someone who is interested in adopting a new puppy.

If you are still unable to find a new home for your puppy, it’s time to advertise. Make some flyers with a good photo of your puppy. Tell your puppy’s story – what is it about your puppy that makes him special? Describe your puppy’s physical characteristics as well as his personality. Is your puppy good with other household pets? Does your puppy love children? Give as much information as possible to increase your chances of making a connection. Post the flyers in high-traffic areas, like the supermarket, your veterinarian’s office, at work or at school.

Don’t forget about the power of social media. Use your social media accounts to reach out to others. Post your puppy’s photo or a great video, and tell his story. Ask your connections to share the information on their social streams. Look for adoption websites where you can advertise. Ask your local shelter if they have a website where you can post your puppy’s information, or see if they have a newsletter.

Rehoming your puppy to a stranger can be a little daunting. After all, how can you be sure that you are sending your puppy to a good, loving home? When rehoming puppies, it’s good to take some precautions. Ask the right questions to find out if the potential new owner is ready, willing and able to care for your puppy. It’s okay to ask potential owners to fill out an application, and it’s okay for you to ask to see their home before making your decision.

How To Switch Your Dog’s Food: Vet Recommendations

Your vet may have recommended a new food or you may just be thinking about changing your dog’s food to something new. There are “right ways” and “wrong ways” to change the food and we will give you recommendations below on the very best way. To make it extra easy for you, we will share a day-to-day schedule of how to change your dog’s food.

Sudden changes in dog food’s – even from one very good food to another good food – can cause gastrointestinal upset in some dogs. There are dogs that do fine with a total fast change but other dogs will have problems. The most common symptom a dog will exhibit is diarrhea. The next most common symptom is vomiting. And some dogs will have both vomiting and diarrhea.

The best thing to do is to prevent a gastrointestinal upset by following the recommendations below on how to change your dog’s food.

How to Change Your Dog’s Food 

The key to changing a pet’s food is “Slowly”!

The best way to start a new food for your dog is to begin by mixing a small amount of the new food in with the original food and do this over several days. Gradually increase the percentages over 10 days until you are feeding almost all new food then make the final switch.

For example, here is a schedule of how to change your dog’s food over 10 days:

  • Day one – Feed 90% original food, 10% new food.
  • Day two, Feed 80% original, 20% new food
  • Day three – Feed 70% original, 30% new food
  • Day four – Feed 60% original, 40% new food
  • Day five – Feed 50% original, 50% new food
  • Day six – Feed 40% original, 60% new food
  • Day seven – Feed 30% original, 70% new food
  • Day eight – Feed 20% original, 80% new food
  • Day nine – Feed 10% original, 90% new food
  • Day ten – Feed 100% new food

You can accelerate this by doing it over 3 or 4 days but the ten-day transition works well in most dogs.

What You Should Know About Feeding Your Dog 

Since you are going through the effort of changing your dog’s food, why not make sure you are picking the best food?  Below are a couple very good nutrition articles that may help you provide the best nutrition for your dog:

  • How to Read Dog Food LabelsMost pet owners don’t understand pet food labels. This is an important article to help you understand what everything on the label means to help you choose the very best food for your dog.
  • Commonly Asked Questions about Canine NutritionThis is a really good article that covers topics and answers questions about how much should you feed your dog, how often should you feed, should you feed canned or dry, is it safe to give bones, are rawhides good or bad, do dogs get bored eating the same food every day, should you be giving vitamins or supplements, should you feed raw meat and thoughts about raw meat diets, and much more. There are 22 dog nutrition questions and answers in this excellent article.
  • Nutrition in Dogs – This is a great article on nutrition in dogs. This will help you understand how to feed your dog and exactly what he or she needs to stay healthy.
  • 5 Ways to Combat Pet Obesity – Obesity is very common in dogs and can cause a lot of health risks. Some veterinarians believe that keeping your dog at an ideal weight can potentially increase life expectancy by two years! The formula is generally pretty easy and consists of 3 keys. 1. Eat less. 2. Eat lower calorie food. 3. Exercise more. Learn more about how to combat obesity in your dog.
  • What You Should Know About Feeding Bones – Do you feed bones to your dog? Do vets routinely recommend bones? The answer may surprise you. Check out this article.

What You Should Do If Your Dog Gets Diarrhea and/or Vomiting 

If you follow the instructions above, hopefully, your dog will do fine with the food change. However, vomiting and diarrhea can happen. Below are some tips on what you can do at home. These are really good articles to even save and print in the case it is a problem in your home at any time.

Vomiting and/or diarrhea are two of the most common reasons dogs go to the veterinarian. Anything from changing food, table scraps, viral infections, bacterial infections, liver disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, and much more can all cause vomiting and/or diarrhea.

10 Thoughts You Have After Adopting A Puppy

Adopting a puppy is a thrilling experience, but it is also a time that is filled with a variety of questions. Especially if it’s your first puppy. Before you bring home a puppy, there’s a number of things you’ll want to do to ensure you have everything you need when you bring the puppy home. Once you do bring home your puppy and are enjoying playing with her, you might observe some behaviors that make you curious.

This article features some of the common thoughts new puppy owners experience in the first few days of owning a puppy.

This Puppy is SOOOO Cute!

Bringing home a puppy is an absolute joy. The first few hours you have with your new puppy at home will feel like they’re moving in slow motion. The adorable little pup will do basic things like run across the room or fall asleep in your lap, but these things will tug at your heartstrings and seem like the cutest acts you’ve ever scene. Enjoy these puppy moments.

 I Thought Cats Were the Curious Ones?

Your new puppy is going to be curious to check out your her new home. They’ll range throughout your home smelling and exploring all the rooms, objects, and potential napping locations you have to offer.

Is She Supposed to Sleep This Much?

You’ll likely be surprised how much your little puppy is sleeping. While you’ll want to cuddle and play with your new puppy as much as possible, your puppy does require plenty of shut eye. A puppy needs to get about 18-19 hours of sleep a day, so you’re going to notice her taking plenty of naps.

Ouch! His Little Teeth Hurt!

Biting is common for little puppies. When they were still living with their mothers, puppies will often play-bite with their littermates. Because of this positive playing with their littermates, many puppies will play-bite with their pet owners thinking it’s fun for each of you. Here’s a guide for training your puppy to stop biting.

Why Doesn’t She Want to Go in Her Crate at Night?

When it’s time for bed and you go to place your new pup in her crate, you might face some pushback. If so, no worries it’s normal. Here are some tips on crate training your puppy.

How Often Should I Be Taking Her Outside?

Typically you should be taking your puppy outside to use the bathroom shortly after she eats. If she’s alone during the days when you’re at work, taking her out for a long walk once you get home is a great way for her to get some energy out.

How Long Until She Starts Listening To Me?

Puppies are cute to look at, fun to play with, and great to cuddle with. But, they do lack the skills to listen to commands. At least at first. Here’s a guide to start teaching your puppy basic commands.

Can I introduce My Puppy To My Friends? And Their Pets?

You’re going to be excited to show off your new puppy. Snapping adorable pics on your social media accounts will only get you so far. Conditioning your puppy to get use to being around other humans and pets is called socialization.

Some puppies will adapt to the company of others rather quickly and seamlessly. Others will take a while. It largely depends on the type of environment your puppy grew up in. Regardless of how prepared your puppy has been for socializing with humans and other pets, there are good and bad puppy socialization methods that owners should be aware of.

That’s Not the Bathroom!

It’s inevitable that your puppy is going to have some accidents early on. The tremendous sense of smell, and preference towards habits, will make cleaning up after these accidents essential for you as a pet owner. If your puppy can identify the stench of their urine, they’re likely to repeat the accident in a similar spot. Here’s some tips for getting rid of puppy urine smell.

She Seems Perfectly Healthy, But How Can I Be Sure?

You’ll want to set up an appointment with a nearby vet shortly after you bring home your puppy. You’ll want a vet to give your puppy a full examination to make sure she is in good health and to set up a schedule for the necessary vaccinations your puppy will need.

Training Your Puppy

Puppies; they’re cute adorable bundles of fluff that love to follow you at your heels and sleep in your lap. In fact, they’re so sweet that you’ve probably become convinced that they’re perfect after only having your new puppy home for a few hours. Sure he has had a couple of accidents, but he’s so well behaved! He never barks, chews, or does anything bad! Well, we hate to burst your bubble, but this period isn’t going to last. Right now, your baby puppy is almost too young to be bad. Now don’t get us wrong, they can get into a lot of mischief while 8-9 weeks old, but mostly they just eat, sleep, and go potty. But soon, they’re going to get bigger, have more energy, and more teeth and start being rambunctious little whirlwinds.


Now is the time to start training your puppy. You don’t want to wait until their six months old to suddenly realize that your puppy has grown up with no rules and free reign of your home. Starting healthy and safe habits early in life will help you and your puppy to have a long-lasting and positive relationship.   


Even the youngest new puppy can learn to “sit,” “lie down,” “stay” and “come” when asked. But looking at your innocent new puppy, it’s hard to imagine that training would be necessary at all. Of course, it always is. During training, we should view our pets as companions who both understand and respond to us. Training should be considered as a means of teaching pets good manners so that, as our puppies mature into adult dogs, they’ll be welcome both in our homes and outdoors in public. For practical purposes, training should be initiated as early as possible, and all members of your household should participate.


It’s most likely that your puppy will view only one or two members of your household as alphas, but he or she should be trained to listen to anyone in the house, both for safety reasons and for ease of living. You don’t want to teach your puppy that it only needs to listen to you. This may make them act out with others like other family members or loved ones. Raising a puppy is a team sport, and everyone needs to play.


Puppy Training Reward System

Puppies learn best when they receive exciting rewards for their efforts. Even the youngest and tiniest puppy will be enthusiastic about food treats and will be eager to work with you. Experiment to find your puppy’s favorite reward, whether it’s food, a tossed toy or a warm word of praise. Only positive, gentle methods should be used – punishment is likely to harm your puppy’s confidence and has no place in good training. Puppies, like children and even adult humans, learn best when they enjoy the learning process and receive something in return. In the home or in the park, differences are usually very obvious between reward-trained dogs and those trained by force.


Keep in mind that one treat will not work for all puppies. Some may like dry treats while others need juicer temptations. For breeds that have strong noses, like hounds, you may need to put in a lot of work to find the treat that gets you puppy’s nose off the ground and pointed at you. But don’t lose patience. This process may take a few tries, but it will be worth it in the end.


Puppy Training Command System

Training should utilize word cues – “commands” – that will be of practical use to you as your pup’s human companion. The most helpful tools are “sit,” “lay down,” “stay” and “come.” It’s also important to teach your puppy to walk on a leash without tugging. If you have intentions of enrolling your dog in obedience competition, you will need to train a formal “heel, ” but this can wait until your puppy is older. For future obedience competition candidates, enrolling your pup in a puppy training class is highly advisable.


Puppies can also benefit from nonverbal commands, such as hand signals. This way, if you’re ever in a loud environment, you’ll be able to signal to your puppy the behavior that you’re looking for, and he will be able to respond. Pair each verbal command with a gesture and utilize that gesture every time you employ your command. When your puppy is older you can start switching between vocal only, gesture only, or dual commands.

How to Be a Good Puppy Owner

Even if the breeder or shelter has done everything right and you adopt a near perfect puppy, it doesn’t take long – if you are not careful – to undo all the good work and create problems that will trouble you and perhaps your pup for the rest of its life.

The first month or two after adoption is the most critical, although the juvenile period that follows is also important. Let’s suppose you adopt your new puppy at 8-weeks of age and let’s suppose you’re heading home with your new dependent to a household that you have carefully prepared to accommodate the youngster’s needs. You have purchased a dog bowl, puppy food, various chew toys, a doggy blanket, an X pen, a crate, a dog bed, and a collar and lead. “Now what?” you may think to yourself as you pull into the drive and carry your new pup across the threshold.

Unless you have been through this before, unanswered questions will pour through your mind, starting at that time and continuing for weeks as you approach one hurdle after the other. Should you introduce him to the whole family at once and allow them to pet him and get to know him? How long will he need to go between naps? Where should he sleep? How often do you feed him? How do you feed him? What do you feed him? What do you do if he cries for attention at night? What do you do if he becomes mouthy? When do you start training him to eliminate outside? When should you begin training him and when and where should you take him to puppy training classes? These and many more questions will need to be addressed if the puppy’s physical health, behavior, and psychological well-being are to be optimized.

The First Day At You Bring Your Puppy Home

As you step across the threshold, your first thought should be for the wee mite. He has just finished a mysterious journey in a jolting jalopy and now finds himself in an unfamiliar den, full of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. It must be a disturbing time. For that reason, some quiet time, downtime, should be first on the agenda. Perhaps you could bring the pup through to a quiet room and introduce him to his blanket or dog bed, to his water bowl and food bowl, and stay with him for awhile until he becomes curious and starts to investigate. Then other individuals in the household can come along and introduce themselves peacefully and slowly, bearing in mind all the time the pup’s best interest.

Since you can’t spend every waking moment of the first day entertaining your pup, and bearing in mind that he will need to sleep fairly frequently, it is a good idea to set up an X pen in a reasonably well-populated area of the house. Put the pup’s blanket, food, and water at one end and – just in case – some newspapers or a “Wee-Wee” pad at the other end. This can be his sanctuary, a place to rest and get away from it all when things get too hectic or when the owners are otherwise occupied.

What about toileting in the first 24-hours? While some pups can be reasonably well house trained by 9-weeks of age, such success can only be achieved by constant diligence and realistic expectations. A 2-month old pup can only go for about 3 hours between bathroom breaks and will need to be taken out on a regular schedule and encouraged to eliminate outside. Accidents will happen at the beginning and should go unpunished. Proper cleanup with an odor neutralizer should be conducted in the event of an accident, and then the whole issue should be forgotten.

The first night, the puppy should be allowed to sleep in the owner’s bedroom, preferably confined in a crate or X pen. If the pup cries, it should be attended to. You should get out of bed and spend time with it, reassure it that you’re there, speak kindly and then go back to bed. If the crying continues, you can visit the pup again 5 or 10 minutes later and reassure it again. Gradually increase the time between your visits until the pup learns that you are there for it but that it has to stay in its own sleeping area. Eventually, he will go to sleep and, incidentally, the next night the whole procedure will be much quicker as he gets the message that the enclosure is his sleeping area.

The First Week After You Bring Your Puppy Home

On awakening each day, the first thing to do is to pick the young pup from its pen and bring it outside to a well-chosen spot where it can eliminate. A successful “mission” should be a joyous occasion. The pup should know, in no uncertain terms, that you are delighted with what has transpired, and he should be rewarded immediately with praise and, perhaps, a food treat. If the mission is unsuccessful, the pup should be brought back into the house, confined in a relatively small area such as a crate or behind a kiddy gate and taken out again 15 minutes later. Each day, after breakfast, the pup should be taken out again as the process of eating will stimulate its gastro-colic reflex, thus necessitating a “bathroom” run. Regular visits outside should be made during the day at say mid-morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, and last thing at night. Also, the pup should be taken outside when it transitions from one behavior to another, for example, after sleeping, after chewing, after playing, etc.

What to Expect from Your 9-month-old Puppy

If you had a tiny puppy at one point, chances are the pooch grew quickly. He soon became a gangly adolescent, and you might wonder when he will start behaving like a grown-up. At nine months, many dogs look like adults but still exhibit puppy behaviors. However, they should have grown out of the more inconvenient habits, like having accidents in the house and teething. It is important to learn how to care for a puppy at this age so that you may encourage good behaviors that last a lifetime.

Your Teenage Dog

Until they’re about four months old, puppies are unpredictable. However, they also tend to be small, roly-poly, and easy to deal with. After four to six months, they may mellow out to the point where you can forecast certain behaviors and get a sense of their habits. Just when you think this puppy care thing is going smoothly, they turn into crazy beasts again.

Nine-month-old puppies have been described as rambunctious teenagers. Your dog’s hormones are shifting incredibly at this time, leaving him with some erratic and impulsive 9 month puppy behaviors. Like human adolescents, teenage dogs are in a new phase of developing confidence and awareness. To solidify their learning during this stage, they tend to test boundaries and explore in ways that may not be appropriate.

You might wonder what happened to your sweet little snuggler. All of a sudden, Fido doesn’t listen to a word you say, can’t stay off of the kitchen counter, and inches his crate across the room when you’re not home. Everything seems like it has fallen apart. Some dog owners respond to this age by deciding that they need to rehome their puppies, but all hope is not lost. This is just a phase, and you can help your dog grow out of it successfully. On the other side is a mature, calm, obedient adult dog (with proper care and training of course).

Training An Adolescent Puppy

According to Dog Star Daily, adolescence is a crucial time to socialize your dog. The behaviors that are reinforced during this era may stick around for the rest of her life. Many owners who attended a puppy class or brought their dog out and about with them when she was younger have settled into a routine that involves seeing the same family members every day. Even if you go to the dog park or walk your dog, you probably follow the same route and interact with the same people and dogs.

If your dog doesn’t continue to experience unfamiliar environments, she can become progressively desocialized during adolescence. This can result in aggressive or anxious behavior when she is exposed to novelty. What can you do? Continue to bring your dog to new places, keep meeting new canines, and make each meeting especially fun by offering your dog her favorite treats when you do something new.

What else does training an adolescent puppy entail? Now, you have many more distractions to deal with. Your dog wouldn’t leave the yard when he was four months old. He stuck to your heels like glue. At nine months old, he lunges after bikers and chases squirrels even when you try to lure him back with a can of wet food. His manners have taken a nose dive, but you can reinforce good behavior. Instead of barking “No!” every time your pet does something wrong, use positive reinforcement training to teach him what you want him to do. Rewards are more powerful than punishment. Learn more about positive reinforcement training by watching this video.

The Physical Development Of A 9-Month-Old Puppy

By the time they reach nine months of age, small breeds will be fully grown, but they’ll fill out over the next four months. Medium breeds may reach about 80 percent of their adult size by nine months. Larger breeds may still have a ways to go. Trupanion says that large breeds like collies and Labrador retrievers won’t be fully grown until they’re closer to 18 or 24 months. Different breeds vary in their maturity rates.

What else is going on in your nine-month-old pooch’s body? At this age, pups have all of their 42 permanent teeth. When puppies are actively teething, they tend to chew on everything. Most puppies have all of their adult teeth by six months of age. If your dog is still chewing on inappropriate items, perhaps she’s testing her teenage boundaries. Give her plenty of appropriate chew toys. Remember, her teeth are much stronger than they used to be. Make sure that you monitor her while she chomps on a bone, and take it away from her if it starts to seem like a hazard or gets bitten down to a nub.

Is Pet Insurance Right for Your Puppy?

Is Pet Insurance Right for Your Puppy?

Is pet insurance right for your puppy? How do you know?

Consider this scenario which is also a pet owner’s worst nightmare: You finally get the puppy of your dreams and he gets sick and you’re faced with the agonizing choice of facing huge veterinary bills you can’t afford or putting your pet to sleep.Veterinarians see this happen frequently.

Fortunately, more pet owners are learning that reasonably priced pet health insurance is readily available in the United States. This is especially good news since so many treatments that were once confined just to humans are now readily available to pets.

Puppies commonly can get into toxins, eat things that they shouldn’t, or contact infectious diseases. Trauma is also common in puppies that are more likely to be curious and get into “things”. They also need vaccines and spaying and neutering to stay healthy. Treatment and preventative vaccines can be expensive and pet owners need to be prepared for such expenses and emergencies. Pet insurance can help you pay for emergency care and other unexpected health care expenses as well as pay for preventive health care such as vaccines and neutering.

Key Pet Insurance Issues to Consider

  • The age of your pet. Pet insurance premium costs are lower for puppies. Premium costs rise as pets grow older and enter the years when they are more likely to suffer serious illness or injury.
  • Consider pet insurance levels of coverage. Pet health insurers offer basic several types of pet insurance policies and upgrades. Many companies offer a variety of deductibles and different coverages to offer a variety of policies that are right for you and that will fit in to your budget.
  • What’s covered in the pet insurance policy?. Basic policies generally cover treatment for accidents, injuries and illnesses. Beyond that, there are variations. For example, coverage for basic medical care, vaccinations & wellness care. Some policies will include spaying and neutering along with dental and other routine care treatments, which is perfect for new puppies.

Pet insurance premiums vary with age, species, plan selected, and state of residence.

In summary – is pet insurance right for your puppy? If you can’t afford an unexpected big expense if your puppy were to get sick or injured – then please consider pet insurance. It can help you do the best for your puppy in the case of an emergency.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.

As one of the first pet insurance providers in the U.S., PetPartners has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2002. Trusted as the exclusive pet insurance provider for the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, PetPartners highly customizable options allow pet owners to create a plan that fits their individual needs and budget — so you’re not paying for added coverage you don’t necessarily need or want. Visit www.PetPartners.com today to see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.”)

What Your 6-month-old Puppy Needs

Your 6-month-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for an 6-month-old puppy including tips and advise on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 6-month-old puppies should have completed all of their puppy shots. This means he or she should have received 2 to 4 sets of shots spaced every 3 to 4 weeks from age 6 weeks to 16 weeks. If your puppy has not had any shots, he needs 2 sets of shots 3 to 4 weeks apart and one rabies vaccine. Additionally, Lyme disease vaccination may be recommended depending on your pet’s level of risk. Bordetella vaccine may be recommended for some dogs.
  • Dewormers – Most puppies at this age have already been dewormed and do not require additional deworming unless they are infested. Your veterinarian can check a fecal sample to determine if worms are present. Alternatively, a dewormer medication can be given and may be repeated in dogs that have an unknown history or have not been previously dewormed. Many heartworm preventative medications control worms which eliminates the need for routine deworming.
  • Heartworm Prevention –Heartworm prevention is important to puppies and should be started before they are 6 months of age. If your pet is older than 6 months of age, your veterinarian can perform a simple blood test and prescribe preventative medication.
  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Spay/Neuter – Most dogs should be spayed or neutered by now, if they have not been already. Check with your veterinarian to determine their recommendations.
  • Diet – Your puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size twice daily. Consider your pup’s age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. Approximate caloric requirement for a 6 month old puppy varies with breed size and activity level. Estimations include Toy breeds – 250 calories, small breeds 635 calories, medium breeds 975 calories, large breeds 1875 calories and giant breeds 2800 calories.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.

As one of the first pet insurance providers in the U.S., PetPartners has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2002. Trusted as the exclusive pet insurance provider for the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, PetPartners highly customizable options allow pet owners to create a plan that fits their individual needs and budget — so you’re not paying for added coverage you don’t necessarily need or want. Visit www.PetPartners.com today to see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.”)

Welcome to the Family: How to Raise a Healthy Puppy

There’s nothing quite like bringing a new puppy home.

When first-time puppy owners pick up their 8-week-old pup, they usually glow with pride and affection. At this time, they set their hearts on doing everything possible to make the new pup welcome in their home and try to help him adjust to the considerable change in lifestyle that the pup inevitably faces.

Owners are often inundated with information on how to feed the puppy, take care of his medical needs, and so on, but other questions soon arise and the correct answers aren’t always easily available.

Opinions vary on these subjects, but this article provides some guidance to help the owner make reasonable and, most importantly, humane decisions. Raising a puppy is not easy. Half the new puppies born in this country do not live to see their second birthday largely because of supposedly unsolvable behavior problems. The fact is, many people don’t know how to communicate the right messages to their dogs as they go through highly sensitive periods of development and sow the seeds of disaster early.

Here’s what you need to know about the newest member of your family.

To Spoil or Not to Spoil?

There are two diametrically opposed theories on this subject. One is wrong and the other is right. The wrong theory tells people that the less attention they pay to a pup when he cries or acts out, the sooner he will learn independence.

Actually, the reverse is true. The more attention you pay a puppy when he is young the more independent he will become later in life (the same is true for children too). So, if the pup cries in the car on the way home, you should cradle him on your lap (unless you are the one driving), and if he cries at home for the first few nights, give him all the attention he needs. That doesn’t mean you have to pick him up, pet him, or feed him, but you should let him know you’re there and that you care. To make this easier on everyone, it is best to have the pup sleep in the bedroom so that he has company and doesn’t think he’s alone in his new home. Kind behavior of this sort will help forge a healthy bond between new owners and their pet and help build the pups’ confidence. The puppy’s independence will come later, once he has overcome the trauma of separation from his mom and littermates.



The sensitive period of learning occurs between 3 and 12 weeks of age. It is critical for owners to expose a new puppy to as many different kinds of people as possible during this period. If your puppy enjoys these encounters with strangers, he will eventually accept strangers as potential friends. Other animals should be introduced at this early stage too, so that they can be familiarized and recognized as non-threatening. The animals the puppy meets (dogs especially) should be healthy and vaccinated. If you stage-manage these encounters in your home, you can follow the veterinarian’s recommendation to avoid public places until the pup is fully vaccinated while, at the same time, achieving a useful measure of socialization.

What Not to Do

The sensitive period has been defined as a time during development when the puppy is dependent upon (the correct) environmental influences for its development to continue normally.

This is a time when primary social relationships and emotional attachments develop between dogs and people and between dogs and other dogs. Note that only half of this sensitive period has elapsed at the usual time for adoption, which is why it is so important for owners to get a grasp of the essential features of proper puppy socialization and training.

How to raise a good puppy has been discussed almost ad nauseam by numerous authorities though the message has still not penetrated to all new puppy owners. In essence, for training a new puppy, new owners need to concentrate on being patient and considerate while using primarily positive reinforcement with, if necessary, negative punishment (withholding benefits) as a consequence for any deliberate, unacceptable behavior.

But even informed owners sometimes fail to appreciate the absolute no-no’s of puppy raising, which include yelling, threatening, or physical punishment, expecting too much, keeping your puppy in a crate as punishment, and keeping your puppy completely isolated from the outside world.

Common Puppy Behavior Problems

Typical puppy problems include unacceptable behaviors such as destructive chewing, biting or nipping, jumping up, and excessive barking. How should the hapless owner deal with such problems? The answer to this problem is universally applicable to all the behaviors described and, though simple, seems to be a hard one for some owners to grasp. It is that you should reward behaviors that you find acceptable or pleasing and ignore or redirect behaviors that you find unacceptable or annoying.

How to Talk To and Handle My New Puppy

One thing you have to remember in any dealings with puppies, especially very young ones in the two to four-month window of age, is that they are very impressionable.

In the first few months of their lives you can set them up for success or failure based on your interactions with them and your ability to guard them against psychological trauma. If you care for them when they need care, have reasonable expectations for them, and set limits of acceptable behavior and protect them from adversity, all should be well.

Raising puppies properly is an active process that requires you to understand how they might interpret your behavior toward them, including how you address them and how you handle them. If we largely ignore them, rarely speak to them, and hardly ever pet or touch them, they may grow up to be overly needy or withdrawn. On the other hand, if we burble at pups constantly, and pinch and prod them as if they were produce in a grocery store, that too can have negative consequences. Pups so treated become desensitized to human speech and averse to handling, and this can lead to problems down the road.

It is far better to meter speech and handle the pup in a way that it appreciates, so that it comes to enjoy human company, understands our utterances, and appreciates petting and physical contact.

The Spoken Word

Most people make the mistake of assuming that pups understand every word we say. This is certainly not the case and, for them, even when properly educated, English is a second language. Sure they will understand something from the tone in which a sentence or monologue is delivered, but the syntax, verbiage, and sentence structure are beyond their comprehension. A good analogy is to imagine finding yourself in downtown Shanghai without knowing a word of Chinese. That’s what it must be like for a new pup finding itself airlifted from its nest into a new owner’s home and being surrounded by a veritable babble of voices. Of course, a non-Chinese speaking person in downtown Shanghai understands the tone of address. The person would understand whether the person addressing him was angry or agitated, calm or perturbed, attempting to communicate or attempting to shun. But that’s about as far as the understanding would go. The same sort of understanding applies to new puppies in homes with new owners. With this in mind, it is important to keep the tone of your address to a new pup relatively consistent and soothing. Remember, you’re talking to a baby. Two reasonable deviations from “baby banter” that the pup will understand are sing-song praising tones and deeper, gruffer admonishment tones. Of course, most communications should be spoken in neutral tones, and most of the balance should be in the high sing-song praise category. Admonishments should be used sparingly, used when they are due, and should be brief but firm.


Up to now, all we’ve talked about is communication tones, which are extremely important both for puppies and adult dogs. However, words will also come to mean things to puppies as they grow up. It’s a good idea right from the get go to use certain words to cue key behaviors. In general, the words should be spoken in splendid isolation so as not to become confused in sentence structure. You wouldn’t ask a puppy to sit, for example, by positioning the word sit in the middle of a full sentence. This is a sure way to cause confusion. Rather, the word sit should be said on its own in a matter of fact neutral tone and then the pup should be assisted into a sitting position using a lure or manual positioning technique. Likewise the word down and come can be added to the pup’s repertoire as useful commands that, in the future, can be used to help the pup avoid trouble. The pup’s vocabulary can be built upon as it advances in age until the spoken word can be a useful means of communication. Dogs can learn hundreds of words, perhaps five hundred to a thousand, but what they never really understand is language, so don’t expect too much of them in this respect. With youngsters for sure, and into adulthood too, when the spoken word is followed by the requisite behavior, whether you have to assist the pup in this respect or not, a reward of some sort should follow – always.

Hands on Approach to Handling

Touching and handling young pups, if performed correctly, is certainly a pleasure for the pup and for the owner. But actually it’s even more important for the pup, because our handling them, like their mother’s grooming, leads to better bonding and accelerated development. Proper handling then is a must if pups are to develop optimally and strike up the best possible relationships with people. But how should handling be conducted? Looking at the two extremes, no handling is bad news for the pup while rough or excessive handling can be equally detrimental. The goal is to find something in between, to be able to handle and pet the pup in a way that it appreciates, and not to short change it of this valued tactile attention while not smothering it in overly indulgent, perhaps unwanted petting sessions.