Keeping it simple

Puppy Care: Step-by-Step Guide to Raise a Happy & Healthy Dog

Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with a great deal of responsibility. However, it’s important to be aware that raising a puppy can be both enjoyable and challenging. Puppy care demands thorough preparation, dedication, patience, and affection. 

Proper puppy care is essential for the health, contentment, and development of your furry companion. In this guide, we’ll cover all aspects of puppy care, from nutrition and vaccinations to training and hygiene, to ensure your puppy receives the best start in life. Fortunately, when approached correctly, it can result in a truly fulfilling experience. Continue reading to discover the essential steps for caring for your new furry family member.

How to Care for a New Puppy

Getting a puppy and introducing them to your home is an exciting yet slightly overwhelming experience, promising plenty of enjoyment for both of you!

Our puppy care guide is designed to assist you in providing the optimal beginning for your new furry companion, steering clear of potential issues down the road.

Step 1: Choosing the Ideal Puppy

If you’ve determined it’s the right time to bring a puppy into your life, the next step is choosing the perfect match. Sometimes, fate may lead your future companion to you, and you instantly connect with them, recognizing that they’re the one. However, it sometimes unfolds differently. Often, you’ll need to take the proactive step of searching for the ideal puppy care.

Start by assessing your lifestyle and identifying what you’re looking for in a puppy. Which do you like better: a purebred or a mixed breed? Are you looking for a larger or smaller dog? Additionally, consider factors like grooming and exercise requirements, temperament, and potential health concerns.

Next, you’ll need to decide where to begin your search for a new addition to your family. Will you explore animal shelters to adopt a dog, or are you inclined to approach a responsible breeder? This process demands thorough research and patience. Once you’ve discovered the perfect puppy, you’ll be well on your way to gaining a lifelong companion.

Step 2: Puppy-proof your home

Anyone who has introduced a new baby or toddler into their home understands the need to remove specific everyday items, keeping them out of reach to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. Similarly, puppies, being naturally curious, will explore their new surroundings and their contents, potentially putting themselves in harm’s way.

To establish a secure environment, begin by defining or fencing off a designated area in your home, which will serve as your puppy’s primary space during their initial months. Take precautions to ensure the following items are kept out of your new puppy’s reach:

  1. Electrical appliances and cords
  2. Hazardous chemicals and toxins
  3. Plants that may be harmful to dogs
  4. Rugs or carpets that could pose tripping hazards
  5. Fragile items that may break easily
  6. Valuables that could be damaged
  7. Trash or items that could be ingested

Additionally, it’s essential to regularly sweep or vacuum the area to eliminate small hazards and maintain a clean and tidy environment, allowing your puppy to safely enjoy their new surroundings.

Also Read: Cutest Dog Breeds

Step 3: Get the essential dog items

When bringing a new puppy into your life, there are essential items you’ll need right from the start, along with some helpful ones. The key necessities include a leash and collar with proper identification, food, and water bowls, and chew toys. Additionally, providing your puppy care with a comfortable dog bed and, if possible, a crate or kennel is important.

Keep in mind that while some of these items may last as your puppy grows, others will need to be replaced to accommodate their development. Collars, for instance, may have adjustable features up to a certain point. If you opt for a kennel, consider purchasing a larger size for the future, but you can block off a section using boxes or other objects to make it the right size for your puppy care at the moment.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to prepare financially for the responsibilities of dog ownership. Establish a budget and strive to adhere to it. Allocate extra funds in your budget for unforeseen expenses, and think about creating a savings account specifically for healthcare, including preventive measures and potential treatment in case of illness or injury. While costs can vary, the overall expenses associated with owning a dog, along with proper training and medical care, can add up to over $10,000 throughout the dog’s typical lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

Step 4: Choosing a Name for Your Puppy

When it comes to welcoming your new puppy into the family, selecting the perfect name is a top priority. After all, you’ll be using your dog’s name repeatedly throughout their life, so your choice should be a thoughtful one.

Opt for a name that has a pleasant sound and isn’t overly long. It should be easy to pronounce and straightforward for your puppy care to grasp. Additionally, ensure that your dog’s name doesn’t closely resemble other words or commands you intend to teach them.

Consider naming your puppy based on their personality, or appearance, or perhaps choose something distinctive. Once you’ve settled on a name, use it frequently. In no time, your puppy will become familiar with it and respond accordingly.

Step 5: Plan your puppy’s food and exercise routine.

Another crucial tip for puppy care is carefully selecting the right food. We recommend opting for nutrient-rich dog food tailored to the needs of growing puppies. It’s essential that your pup receives all the necessary nutrients and finds the food appealing. There’s a wide array of options available, including premium, natural, and raw dog foods.

Given your new puppy’s abundant energy, it’s important to help them channel it productively. However, keep in mind that puppies require significantly less exercise than adult dogs.

Allow your puppy to engage in play, short walks, runs, and outdoor exploration within a secure and controlled environment at least once a day. You can calculate the recommended playtime by multiplying your puppy’s age in months by 5 minutes per month. For instance, if your puppy is 6 months old, aim for around 30 minutes of playtime daily.

Step 6: Maintaining the Health of Your Puppy

Ideally, it’s best to find a veterinarian before bringing a puppy into your home. Within a few days of welcoming your new puppy, schedule a visit to the vet for a comprehensive examination. Take measures to ensure it’s a positive experience to reduce any fear your puppy may have about visiting the vet’s office.

Throughout your puppy’s initial six months, you’ll have several appointments with your veterinarian. This starts with puppy vaccinations and typically includes discussions about spaying or neutering. Generally, it’s recommended to have puppies spayed or neutered at around six to twelve months of age to mitigate certain health risks such as breast tumors, pyometra, behavioral issues, and specific types of cancers.

Step 7: Make appropriate sleeping arrangements.

When determining your puppy’s sleeping arrangements, consider the following:

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  1. Set up a designated sleeping area with a comfortable dog bed or crate.
  2. Position the bed in a location where other family members are nearby, ensuring your puppy doesn’t feel lonely.
  3. Avoid letting the new puppy sleep in your bed, as this may lead to undesirable long-term sleeping habits.
  4. Maintain consistency in enforcing the sleeping policy to ensure everyone, including your growing puppy, gets a restful night’s sleep.

Step 8: Fundamental Puppy Training and Socialization

Beyond housebreaking, there are numerous essential lessons to impart to your dog. Begin with socialization, which lays the groundwork for leash training and teaching fundamental commands such as sit, come, and stay. The mastery of these basic commands can be instrumental in addressing certain behavior issues.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that puppies are naturally curious, lively, and teething, leading them to explore the world by putting objects, including your hands, into their mouths. To manage this behavior, replace inappropriate items with suitable toys or safe chews. Redirect your dog’s attention from mischievous actions by offering more engaging alternatives like games, walks, or other activities. Reward your puppy with treats or praise when they shift their focus.

While puppy training can pose challenges, the resulting benefits make your efforts worthwhile. A strong foundation in training provides structure and instills confidence in your dog. Well-trained dogs tend to be happier, and well-socialized puppies grow up to be less anxious and more at ease as they mature.

Also Read: Toy Dog Breeds

Step 9: Your New Puppy’s House Training

House training is one of the initial skills you’ll teach your new puppy. While this process can sometimes prove challenging, some puppies catch on faster than others.

Commence house training as soon as you bring your puppy home, but remember that patience is key. Typically, puppies can’t control their bladders and bowels until they’re around 12 weeks old. If your puppy is younger than this, practice patience and understanding.

Starting early helps establish a routine for your puppy. As your dog grows and gains control over its bodily functions, it will already be familiar with the process. As a general guideline, take your puppy to their designated “potty spot” immediately after they’ve eaten or had a drink.

Step 10: Develop a Bond with Your Puppy

The connection you share with your puppy initiates the moment they enter your life and continues to evolve without end. Nurturing this bond involves showing affection, providing nourishment, offering training, tending to groom, engaging in playtime, ensuring regular exercise, and participating in various activities together. You might consider enrolling in obedience classes, exploring dog sports like agility and flyball, or even taking part in dog shows.

One of the most compassionate ways to reinforce your bond with your dog and facilitate their connection with others is to engage in animal-assisted therapy. If your puppy is suitable for therapy work, they can embark on training to visit individuals in hospitals, and nursing homes, or assist children in reading and learning. Strengthening and preserving the human-canine bond contributes to the health and well-being of both you and your puppy.

7 Grooming Tips for Your New Puppy

We understand that puppies coming to our salon won’t be as composed as statues on the grooming table during their first visit. However, we do require that they undergo some basic training before you schedule their appointment. The following steps will help you prepare your puppy for their visit to our salon.

1. Regular Brushing

If your puppy resists brushing from you, it’s likely they’ll do the same with us. If your puppy has a tendency to bite the brush while you groom them, they may exhibit the same behavior during our grooming sessions. To ensure a smooth and stress-free experience at our salon, it’s important to train your puppy to accept brushing and reward them for good behavior during brushing sessions.

2. Home Bath

If you have the capability to bathe your puppy at home, we suggest doing so. Please ensure you use a puppy care shampoo that we have available here, as their skin is quite sensitive. This practice will help your puppy acclimate to the bathing process, reducing any potential shock when we wash them during their salon visit.

3. Face Holding of your Puppy

The “face hold” technique is crucial for us to be able to securely hold your puppy’s face while brushing and trimming around their eyes with sharp scissors, ensuring their safety during grooming. Here’s how to teach them the “face hold”:

  • Begin by showing your puppy a treat and asking them to sit.
  • Place your hand under their chin and gently hold their hair.
  • After a few seconds of them remaining still, reward them with a treat and/or praise.
  • Repeat this exercise until they can hold their face still for at least 30 seconds or more.

Once your puppy is comfortable with you holding their chin, you can proceed to the next steps:

  • Begin to stroke their face gently between the eyes and above their head, rewarding them for staying still.
  • Once you can do this for 30 seconds without any issues, start brushing their face while holding their chin and reward them, gradually increasing the duration each time.
  • Finally, while holding their chin, use a pen or the back of your comb (simulating scissors) and place it along their nose, on the corner of their eye. Alternate sides every 5/10 seconds, building up to a 30-second hold, and reward them for remaining still throughout the process.

Also Read: Calmest dog breeds

4. Use of Dryers 

Familiarizing your puppy with the sounds of a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner is beneficial, as it helps them become comfortable with the salon’s noisy environment. You can make this experience positive by placing treats on the floor and using the hair dryer to blow them, effectively transforming a potentially frightening noise into an enjoyable treat dispenser.

5. Ideally Feet Holding

Many dogs are sensitive about having their feet touched, which can pose challenges during grooming. However, by starting early and gently touching and brushing your puppy’s feet from the day you bring them home, and rewarding them for allowing you to do so, you can help them become more comfortable with the process. This early training can lead to fewer or no issues when it comes to trimming their feet later on.

6. Teach “Sit” Command

Teaching your puppy the “sit” command is crucial, as it aids in calming them down when they get overly excited. It’s also the position we require them to assume when trimming their face during grooming. Training them to sit using positive reinforcement and treats from a young age is a valuable skill that you’ll appreciate not only during their puppyhood but also throughout their adult life!

7. Anxiety over Separation

Last but certainly not least, it’s essential to train your puppy to be comfortable when they’re alone without you. Many puppies can experience separation anxiety, a concern that has become more noticeable during the pandemic when owners have had fewer reasons to leave their homes. Familiarizing your puppy with short periods of being alone in a room or at home is vital to prevent them from becoming overly dependent on your presence. Failing to do so during their puppyhood can lead to issues as they grow up.

You can leave them with a boredom-relieving toy to keep them engaged or provide a tasty, long-lasting treat. Initially, they might whimper for a brief period, but over time, they’ll learn that you always return, easing their worries. This training will help them become self-sufficient and not feel overly distressed when you drop them off at the salon.


In conclusion, raising a happy and healthy puppy care requires dedication, patience, and love. It’s a journey filled with joy, challenges, and rewards. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog, you can provide your puppy with the best possible start in life.

Remember to prioritize proper nutrition, training, socialization, and grooming. Build a strong bond through affection and positive reinforcement. Prepare for regular veterinary care and establish a routine that ensures their physical and mental well-being.

Thank you for Reading!


What should I feed my puppy for optimal health?

Provide a balanced diet of high-quality puppy food, rich in essential nutrients. Consult your vet for personalized recommendations based on your pup’s breed and size.

How do I house-train my puppy effectively?

Consistency is key. Establish a routine, reward positive behavior, and be patient. Supervise closely, and use positive reinforcement to encourage potty training success.

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