Going on a shopping spree for things you need for a puppy can be fun, but researching what to expect with your new puppy is equally as important. It’s easy to overlook how little you know about puppies when you’re busy counting down the days until you pick your puppy up.
Here are some common questions to ask yourself when getting a puppy:
What Do I Need When Bringing Home a New Puppy?
Before picking up your puppy, you will need to make at least one trip to the pet store for supplies. Puppy food, toys, a crate…. it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the aisle at the store! Use our puppy budget list to ensure you pick up everything you need.
What Do Puppies Eat?
You can ask your breeder and veterinarian for advice on the best brand and type of food to feed your puppy at their stage of life. Growing puppies should eat puppy food that is specially formulated to provide the necessary nutrients to fuel their growth spurts!
How Often Should Puppies Eat?
Puppies should be fed smaller, more frequent meals than adult dogs. Your veterinarian can recommend a feeding schedule and serving size that best fits your puppy’s needs. The American Kennel Club feeding guidelines recommend that puppies between 6 and 12 weeks of age be fed four times a day. From 3-6 months, feedings can be reduced to three times a day. For puppies 6 months and older, twice daily feedings should suffice.
How Much Do Puppies Sleep?
All of that running around can wear a puppy out! Remember that puppies are growing constantly, and sleep is required to develop a puppy’s central nervous system, immune system, brain, and muscles. In general, a puppy’s daily sleep schedule should include around 15-20 hours of sleep!
What Should I Expect at My Puppy’s First Vet Visit?
Taking your puppy to the vet soon after bringing them home is important for establishing healthy habits! Your vet can help answer some of your questions and will do a physical exam to ensure your puppy is healthy. Read our article about what to expect at the first vet visit, so that you’re prepared.
When Can I Take My Puppy to the Dog Park?
Before taking your puppy around town, ensure that you have visited your veterinarian and your puppy has received a clean bill of health and all necessary vaccinations. Safely socializing your puppy is important to creating a well-rounded dog, but you don’t want to create a negative first impression of the park by taking them too soon.
Too many dogs at once can be very overwhelming for a puppy, so start by introducing your puppy to dogs one at a time. Understand some basic dog park safety tips before venturing out to your community park.
How Do I Housetrain My Puppy?
Housetraining is one of the first things you should focus on after bringing a puppy home. Accidents are normal and can be frustrating for first time puppy owners. Remember that your puppy is not having accidents to spite you; they just don’t understand what is expected of them yet. Check out tips in this article to house train your puppy the right way.
Do I Need Pet Insurance?
Puppies are curious and often get into trouble. It’s comforting to know that when an accident or illness occurs, you won’t be on the hook for a large medical bill and can focus on helping your puppy feel better.
AKC Pet Insurance’s Accident and Illness plans (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) can provide coverage for treatments related to the kinds of bumps and bruises common for puppies. Click here to create a custom plan fit for your dog and budget.
Having a puppy is such a rewarding experience and preparation is key to a successful first few months. With patience and a lot of love, you’ll help your puppy grow into a healthy, well-trained dog!