Top 8 New Puppy Questions

New Pet Owners  •   Mary Shaughney  •   Jun 12, 2018

Going on a shopping spree for goodies for your new 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. We’ve gathered some common questions new puppy owners have:

What do I need to buy for my 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 lost in the aisles of the store! Use our puppy supply checklist 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 for your puppy at his/her 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 when they are young. Your veterinarian can recommend the serving size that best fits your puppy’s needs. The American Kennel Club feeding guidelines  recommend from ages 6-12 weeks puppies should be fed four times a day. From 3-6 months, feedings can be reduced to three times a day. For ages 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, puppies should sleep around 15-20 hours a day!

 

What should I expect at my puppy’s first vet visit?

Taking your puppy to the vet soon after bringing him/her home is important for establishing healthy habits! Your vet can help answer some of your questions and will do an 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 him 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 home a puppy. Accidents are normal and can be frustrating for first time puppy owners. Remember that your puppy is not having accidents to spite you; he just doesn’t understand what is expected yet. Follow these keys to housetraining to help train your puppy the right way!

 

Do I need pet insurance?

Many owners consider pet insurance when they bring their new puppy home. Puppies are curious and often get into trouble. It’s comforting to know when an accident or illness occurs, you won’t be on the hook for large medical bills and can focus on your puppy feeling better. For most puppies registered with the AKC, a 30-Day Pet Insurance Certificate is offered at no additional cost. Do some research on your pet insurance options and know what is and is not covered before purchasing a policy!

 

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!

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Mary Shaughney

About the Author
Mary Shaughney

Mary comes to AKC Pet Insurance with an extensive background in animal care. As a lifelong animal lover, she has a passion for promoting pet health and wellness. Mary lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her orange kitty, "Cat" and her dog, " Wubbi".