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Caring for Your New Puppy | CanadaVet

A new puppy can bring joy and happiness to a household. However, it is important to remember that your home is new to the puppy, and so are you. Coming to a new home can be frightening. In addition to this new environment, the puppy is probably missing its mother and siblings, since this may be the first time it has been away from them. But there are some steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition for the newest member of your family.

A brown puppy is running towards the camera at speed.

Be Prepared

The first step you should take when adding a new puppy to your home is to purchase all of the basic supplies you will need, such as collars, leads, bowls, brushes, combs, and nail clippers before your new puppy arrives. The collar and lead should be lightweight, durable and an appropriate size. Remember, your puppy will most likely chew on them at first, so they need to be able to withstand this abuse. The bowls you select should be heavy and have a wide base in order to prevent them from being knocked over and making a mess.

A fluffy brown and white puppy lying on grass looks at the camera

The brushes and combs you select should be appropriate for your puppy’s size and fur. You might need to buy new brushes and combs as your puppy grows and their fur changes. You might also need a special brush or comb to use during winter when your puppy's coat thickens. Be sure to start a regular brushing routine right away in order to prevent problems with brushing in the future.

Your nail clippers also might need to change if you choose to purchase smaller ones to use on your puppy, particularly if it will grow into a large dog. It is, however, okay to use larger nail clippers on a puppy so you will not need to buy a new pair down the road.

You can view our selection of brushes, combs, and nail clippers on CanadaVet.com.

A Labrador puppy is lying on a comfy pillow

Giving Your Puppy a Bed

On top of making sure you have the necessary supplies, you also want to make your puppy feel welcome by providing it with a bed and a place of its own. You need to have this place set up before the puppy comes home in order to help it adjust. Remember, the puppy is probably used to sleeping with its brothers, sisters, and mom, so it isn’t used to sleeping alone. Make sure the bed is warm and cozy and easy to access. You should also never allow your puppy to get used to sleeping with you because this habit is difficult to break. You will regret letting it sleep with you when it grows into a large bed-hogging dog! Instead, choose a nice kennel, dog bed, or basket for your puppy.

 

Feeding Your Puppy

Of course, proper nutrition is important to a growing puppy. Ideally, you should feed your puppy the same food it was receiving from its previous owner because puppies can have a hard time adjusting to new foods. If you want to change to a different food, be sure to do so gradually. Make sure the food is quality and ensure your puppy has plenty to eat. If the food is not of a high quality, your puppy can have difficulty with its bones and overall growth.

When it comes to a feeding schedule, you should feed a puppy that is less than 8 weeks old four times per day. Once the puppy reaches 16 weeks of age, you can reducing feeding to twice per day until it reaches 6 months of age. From that point forward, you should only need to feed your dog once per day.

 

As far as nutritional value goes, dry foods are better for your pet than wet foods. Some puppies, however, can have difficulty eating dry food at first. If this is the case, you can soak the dry food in water to soften it. This should no longer be necessary once your puppy reaches 12 weeks of age. You should never soak it in milk because it can cause diarrhea and it really does not add to the nutritional value of the food.

Raw bones, such as chicken necks and chicken wings, can also be fed to your puppy. These will help your puppy’s teeth to stay healthy and provide a good release for your puppy's natural inclination to chew. Chewing bones also helps to loosen your puppy’s teeth, which will help when the new teeth start growing in. Chew toys can also be helpful in this process.

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