Puppies are cute, but the art of raising a puppy is not without its difficulties. Here are some tips on raising a puppy from our Middlesex vets to help you get through the puppy stage and guarantee your new four-legged baby grows up to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted dog.

Getting Started: Things to Consider When Raising a Puppy

Life with a puppy is similar to life with a human toddler. You'll need a lot of patience to keep him out of mischief and teach him about the world securely. Puppies are compelled to chew excessively as their adult teeth emerge, and you may find the doggy equivalent of a teething ring in the living room rug, your favorite pair of shoes, or even your hand.

Having a dog also entails taking responsibility for another being's happiness, safety, and health. It entails being able to pay for vet fees if your dog consumes something it should not, as well as always having a plan in place for his or her care when you are unable to be present. It entails being emotionally astute enough to recognize that your dog does not understand the words "stop chewing on the walls!"

What to Look Out For in a Puppy's First Year

New puppy owners should be vigilant for signs of potential health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy, as puppies are more susceptible to illnesses. It is also important to closely monitor their behavior and socialization to ensure they are developing appropriate manners and habits. Below, we'll give you some tips on how to make sure your puppy gets off to the best start in life.

Preparing Your Home

It is critical to prepare your home before introducing your new dog into it. Electrical cords should be secured, and potentially hazardous plants or chemicals should be moved out of reach. Close any vents, pet doors, or other openings that could lead him astray or get him stranded.

You must be prepared to begin house training your puppy as soon as you get him home. Prepare the crate if you intend to crate train him. Line it with blankets or a dog bed to make it more comfortable, but make sure it's big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down.

If you intend to crate your puppy, set aside a small area, such as a powder room or a kitchen corner, where he can be kept safe and away from other dogs and small children. Make sure you have puppy training pads, a dog bed, food and water bowls, and a few toys on hand in case of an accident.


Look for high-quality puppy food that has been specially formulated to help puppies develop and grow properly. The amount of food needed is determined by age, size, and breed. It's a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about how much and how often you should feed your dog.

To guarantee enough nourishment for some tiny breeds of dogs, it may be best to free-feed. Toy and tiny breed dogs mature physically faster than larger breeds and can be moved to adult dog food and adult-sized portions between the ages of nine and twelve months.

Larger breeds should be fed many meals each day in appropriate portions to avoid issues like stomach bloat and protein or calcium buildup. Here's a general guideline for a large dog feeding schedule:

  • Six to twelve weeks old: Four meals per day
  • Three to six months old: Three meals per day
  • Six months and up: Two meals per day


Dogs strive to avoid soiling their bed and the area around it naturally. Create a potty pattern for your puppy, bearing in mind that small puppies will often need to go out every couple of hours. Take him to a portion of the yard where he won't be exposed to other animals until he's had all of his vaccines, and never punish your puppy for a mistake.

It's usually preferable to ignore undesirable behavior or to correct your dog with a simple but strong "no." Never smack or yell at your dog. When he exhibits bad behavior, attempt to redirect him to something positive. Consider enrolling him in an obedience lesson as soon as he is old enough. This will not only teach him proper behavior but will also aid in socialization.

Proper socialization is critical to the success of puppy raising. To become a well-adjusted dog, he must be exposed to as many new people, places, experiences, and situations as possible. While you should wait until your puppy has received all of his vaccinations before taking him out in public or allowing him to interact with other animals, you can begin socializing him right away by playing with him and exposing him to new people, sights, sounds, smells, and textures.

Working with your dog to reduce even minor resource guarding habits protects everyone, including the puppy. Always supervise children while they are around your puppy's food or favorite toy.

One of the most crucial lessons is to teach pups not to bite. Establishing your position as pack leader will help your puppy remember that he must earn your respect and obey you, which will assist him in controlling this behavior. Keep in mind that your dog desires your approval but also requires your direction. If your puppy nips or bites, discipline with a calm but firm "no!"

Exercise & Play

Bored dogs are more likely to exhibit aggressive or inappropriate behavior, so keep them mentally stimulated with puzzle toys and outdoor exercise (walking, playtime). Your dog must understand his role in your household, which can only be accomplished through consistency and a firm, caring touch.

Your First Vet Visit

If you don't already have a veterinarian, ask around. Your family, friends, and coworkers will almost certainly be able to supply you with numerous references. One of the first things you should do after getting a puppy is to make an appointment with a veterinarian for a health checkup. At Bound Brook Veterinary Clinic, we're always ready to accept new patients.

Your veterinarian will most likely recommend a parasite control program to keep fleas, ticks, and heartworms at bay. They'' also advise you on when to bring him in to be fixed, which can help lessen the chance of health and behavioral issues as the puppy ages.

They can also advise you on puppy care issues such as tooth brushing and nail cutting, and even show you how to do it. Your veterinarian can also help you with any questions you have regarding care for your dog, such as what kind of food to feed them.

You can also try to schedule his 6-month vet checkup while you're there to monitor his development and progress. They can also start advising you on how to prepare for the adolescent years, which can be difficult for pet owners. This is also a good time to talk about what to expect as your puppy matures into an adult.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you have a new puppy and need to schedule its first veterinary appointment? Contact our vets at Bound Brook Veterinary Clinic in Middlesex today!