You have spent ages finding the perfect puppy for you and your family.  Now you have found him you get to take him home. Without a basic puppy care manual to tell you how to succeed with raising him. You need to know some basic puppy care 101 to get you through the first few weeks.

Caring for a new puppy can seem like a daunting task with a lot of responsibilities. And it is. Make no mistake about that. Your puppy, whether he is 10 weeks old, or 10 months old will need a lot of care and attention. But if you want your puppy to become a part of the family, you need to start from the beginning. Learn some puppy care 101 tips and tricks and get off to a great start.

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Puppy Care 101 Starts On The First Night

The first night is always hard because the puppy will start to miss his Mum and other siblings. Remember he is in a scary new place with different people.  He may cry or whine through out the night.  That is not necessarily a sign of things to come though.

Puppy Care 101 Starts On The First Night cute puppy sleeping on a teatowel

The pup will need a soft, dry, and safe place to sleep. Perhaps throw in a cloth or toy that has his litter mates or Mum’s scent on it if he has come from the breeder. If you run to him when he cries, you will be reinforcing the habit. Placing a sheet over the box or crate will get the pup used to going to sleep at that time.  Don’t over excite him just before bed time.

Keep Your Puppy Safe

Puppies are mischievous by nature, and like their feline companions, get into everything. Be sure hazardous items like marbles, wires, rocks, and any type of harmful plants are far out of the puppy’s way.  Poppy’s naughtiness comes out with plastic – any of that lying around will get chewed; plastic shoes, clothes pegs if it’s made of plastic it’s days are numbered in our house. Thankfully that is all she chews and we try to make sure she is not bored enough to resort to chewing.

Puppy Care 101 Keep your puppy safe and not chewing things

Puppy Care 101 Includes Discipline

Scolding your pup should be just like telling a child NO. However, when you tell him NO, you should show him the correct behaviour. For example, if he is chewing up the newspaper, take it away and replace it with one of his toys. Praise him for chewing his toy. Reprimands should be sharp and short.  A major component of basic puppy care is patience.  It can be frustrating when your puppy doesn’t ‘get it’ but shouting doesn’t help them learn, they will just become fearful.

I would never advocate smacking at all and there is always the danger that it may create more problems down the road. The pup can become fearful, shy, or aggressive. Rather than punish bad behaviour, reward for proper behaviours. Treats make a great reinforcer. Although Poppy is not particularly treat orientated (she prefers toys) she knows what the rustle of a pocket means and sits down looking like butter wouldn’t melt!  Even a simple scratch between the ears and a hug is enough with most puppies.  A pat and a ‘good girl/boy’ is all it takes.

Feed Your Puppy With Care

Feed him a dry food especially made for puppies. Watch out for very high protein and extra vitamins as they may be harmful to your growing puppy. Feed him two or three times a day. Usually after fifteen minutes, the pup will have eaten all they want, so you can remove the dish. As they grow, after ten to twelve weeks of age, feed them one meal in the morning and once at night.

Basic puppy care is not really difficult, just common sense.  All of these should help your new pup get through those first horrible weeks away from his family. The bond forming between you will last a lifetime.  Bad dogs aren’t born, but made and it is very hard to undo.  Get it right first time! And remember, your dog won’t stay a puppy for ever so enjoy these times.

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