Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

How to Raise a Puppy: Guide for the First Year

Are you about to bring home a new puppy? You may feel excited and a little nervous thinking about everything that will happen in the first year of your furry companion's life. Today, our Corpus Christi vets provide some tips on how to raise your new puppy and what to expect after you first welcome them home. 

The Art of Raising a Puppy 

Patience is one thing you'll need a lot of when raising a new puppy. As your puppy's new teeth emerge, they'll often be compelled to chew excessively. which means they'll probably try to chew on anything they can reach, including your favorite pair of sneakers, that living room rug you just bought, and even your fingers. 

Having a dog means you're taking responsibility for their health, happiness, and safety, It means you'll need to save cash to pay vet fees when your pet gets hurt or sick, or eats something they shouldn't. Always have a plan in place for their care when you can't be there, such as hiring a pet sitter. It also means not yelling at your puppy when they have the inevitable bathroom accident on your kitchen floor or chew on a prized possession. 

Below, you'll find a guide, including tips, on how to ease your puppy's transition into your home. 

Puppy-Proof Your Home 

Before you bring your new puppy home, you'll need to prepare your house to make it safe for them in much the same way you would baby-proof your home before welcoming your child into your home for the first time. 

Secure all electrical cords and move potentially hazardous chemicals and plants out of your puppy's reach. Close any doors, windows, vents, or other openings that could allow them to escape or leave them stranded. 

Once your puppy is settled, you'll need to start house training them. If you intend to crate train your puppy,  have the crate ready and filled with warm blankets or a dog bed. Make sure it's big enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down in. 

If you do plan to crate train your puppy, keep the crate in a small area such as a powder room or quiet corner of your kitchen, where it will be confined and your puppy won't be surrounded by other dogs and small children. Stock up on puppy training pads to catch any accidents, as well as food, a dog bed, and water bowls. 

Provide Your Puppy With the Right Diet 

Providing high-quality food designed especially for your puppy's age group will help start them off on the right track. Your puppy's size, age, and breed will determine the appropriate amount of food they should be fed. Ask your vet how much and how often you should feed your dog. 

You may choose to free-feed your tiny breed dog to ensure it gets enough nourishment. Toy and tiny breed dogs mature faster physically than larger breeds and can transition to adult dog food and adult-sized portions between the ages of nine and twelve months. 

Feed your larger breed dog several meals each day in portions, as recommended by your vet, to avoid issues like protein or calcium buildup and stomach bloat. 

Here's a general guideline of how much to feed a larger breed dog:

  • Six to twelve weeks old: Four meals per day 
  • Three to six months old: Three meals per day 
  • Six months and older: Two meals per day 

Train Your New Puppy

One of the first aspects of training your new puppy will be potty training. To ensure success you will want to create a potty schedule for your new puppy, taking them out every couple of hours for a walk. Until they are fully vaccinated you will want to take them to a portion of the yard where they won't be exposed to other animals.

If your dog has an accident or displays an undesirable behavior you should never yell or have physical contact with them. When they exhibit bad behavior, attempt to redirect them to something positive. Obedience lessons are a good way to teach them proper behavior, and they will also aid in socialization.

Proper socialization is critical to the success of raising a puppy. They need to be introduced to as many new people, places, experiences, and circumstances as possible to grow into a well-adjusted dog. You should wait until they have had all of their vaccines before taking them out in public or allowing them to interact with other animals but, you may begin socializing your puppy right away by playing with them and introducing them to new people, sights, noises, smells, and textures.

Always supervise children or other pets while they are around your puppy's food or favorite toy to reduce even minor resource-guarding habits.

The most crucial lesson is to teach a puppy not to bite. Establishing your position as pack leader will help your puppy remember that they must earn your respect and obey you. Keep in mind that your dog desires your approval but also requires your direction. If your puppy nips or bites, discipline with a calm but firm 'no'.

Keep Your Puppy Active

If your new puppy becomes bored they may begin to display an array of naughty behaviors. Providing them with toys and outdoor exercise helps to keep their mind stimulated. 

When is it time to visit the vet?

You should make an appointment with a veterinarian for a health checkup to evaluate the health of your puppy once they are around 6 to 8 weeks old.

Speak with your vet to determine the best preventive care and vaccination program for your new puppy. They can suggest when to bring them in to be fixed, which can help lessen the chance of health and behavioral issues.

You can ask your veterinarian any questions you have regarding care for your dog, such as what kind of food is best to feed them. They can also advise you on puppy care issues such as tooth brushing and nail cutting and even show you how to do it.

You should also schedule your puppy's next checkup before leaving the clinic. This next visit is typically once they are about 6 months old.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Corpus Christi vets today to book an exam and vaccinations for your new puppy.

New Patients Welcome

Everhart Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Corpus Christi companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (361) 854-1439