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Adopting A New Puppy

What you’ll need · Behavior Issues · Grooming · Related articles

Your new puppy will have needs that are slightly different from those of an adult dog, and the following will help you get started. You can also visit Adopting A New Dog for in-depth information on:

  • What You’ll Need When You Adopt A New Puppy,
  • Puppy Proof Your Home,
  • Vaccinating A New Puppy,
  • Behavior Issues, And
  • Grooming A New Puppy.
Adopting a new puppy is a 10-15+ year committment to a new family member. Read more about this special relationship.

Feeding a New Puppy

Feed your new puppy a food that contains more fish or meat than grain. Avoid overfeeding because this predisposes puppies to develop bone and joint problems, including hip dysplasia and arthritis.
  • A puppy 2-3 months old should eat 4 times a day.
  • A puppy 3-6 months old should eat 3 times a day.
  • A puppy 6-12 months old should eat twice a day.
  • Use Fast Balance G.I. if your puppy develops diarrhea. See your veterinarian if it doesn’t clear in 24 hours.
  • Provide a constant source of fresh, cool water.

Monthly Medications for your New Puppy

  • Use a heartworm medication as prescribed by your veterinarian. The American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends that dogs receive heartworm disease prevention medication all year. The President of AHS said this prevents treatment failures caused when doses are skipped. Heartgard Plus, and the generic equivalent, Iverhart Plus, protect against heartworm disease and against intestinal worms. These heartworm medications can be started at 6 weeks of age.
  • Use a flea prevention treatment monthly because it is easier to prevent fleas than to struggle with them once they are a problem for your pet. Frontline Plus protects against adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from developing into biting adults. Frontline Plus also protects your pet from tapeworms carried by fleas; it can be started at 8 weeks of age.

Grooming a New Puppy

  • Start young and make grooming fun. Use short sessions and gentle tools.
  • Every day check and brush the teeth. Don’t use a human toothpaste. Use C.E.T. Toothpaste because puppies love the flavor, it’s okay if they swallow it, and it has enzymes that do an excellent job cleaning the teeth.
  • Every week, check the ears. If there is a discharge, take the puppy to your veterinary clinic.
  • Every month check and clip the nails.
  • Bathe according to your pet’s needs, which may be as often as weekly. 1-800-PetMeds Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo cleans and protects the skin. It is ideal for puppies because it does not contain strong perfumes to irritate them.

Training a New Puppy

  • The best training principle is: Ignore the bad and reinforce the good.
  • Keep training sessions short.
  • Use nine “Good puppy” sentences for each “No.”
  • Redirecting a pup’s energy is key to keeping your training positive. Rather than correcting with a “No,” tell your puppy what it is that you want it to do.
  • Attend training classes and use positive training books to reinforce your techniques.
  • Reward desired behaviors with treats. Beef Liver Treats are best for puppies because they are high in reward value, nutritious, and don’t contain chemicals or preservatives.
Photo of a new adopted puppy  

Exercise for a New Puppy

  • Provide for your new puppy's need to chew with chew toys from the very start.
  • Play with your new puppy for frequent, short periods. Let your puppy decide how far and how fast; encouraging a puppy to overexert itself, especially to jump higher than its elbows, predisposes your puppy to hip dysplasia and other bone problems.
  • Exercise stimulates the bowels and bladder, so plan on going out to potty after playing.

Sleep for a New Puppy

  • An 8-week old puppy may need 20 hours of sleep, and a 12-month old puppy may need 12-14 hours.
  • Don’t isolate your puppy from its “pack” by putting it in the bathroom or garage to sleep, but do provide a quiet sleeping area.
  • Use an easily washed towel or bed cover, and a soft, supportive bed.
  • If your puppy is upset when it is left alone, use Comfort Zone D.A.P. D.A.P. calms puppies by releasing a chemical message, a pheromone, that makes puppies feel they are back in the nest box with their mother.
For more information about adopting a kitten/cat, visit the ASPCA... the top ten list of things to do before you bring your new dog home are...

The articles here were answered by a variety of pharmacists and veterinarians
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  • Prepare before you adopt a new puppy, and the experience will be one of the best of your life.

  • Recommended products for adopting a new puppy
  • Heartgard Plus
  • Iverhart Plus
  • Frontline Plus
  • Beef Liver Treats
  • Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo
  • toys
  • Comfort Zone D.A.P.
    This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

    The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.

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