Caring for a new puppy is not unlike taking care of a small child in that your new pet will be completely dependent on you for its overall daily functions– food, house training, play time, and more. Training your new puppy is no small task. Although bringing a puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience, here’s a list of basic tips that will make the process a little easier for you.

Find a Trustworthy Veterinarian

The first thing you should do after bringing any animal into your home is take it to a veterinarian. This is especially important because puppies require proper vaccinations and you’ll want to ensure they’re happy and healthy from the start. Your initial visit to the vet should identify any potential health issues, schedule any vaccinations that need to be given, and set up a preventive health care routine.

Give Them The Best Quality Food

Feeding your new pup is an inevitable part of your job, which will mean buying specific food that has been formulated for puppies as opposed to adult dogs. Look for food that has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This will ensure that you have a high-quality food that will be good for your puppy’s health. If you’re unsure what brand/type of food is best for your puppy, this is definitely something to ask your new vet!

You should also be feeding your puppy multiple times a day. A puppy that is less than 12 weeks old should be eating four meals a day, while puppies that are between three to six months old should eat three times a day. Any puppy older than six months old can be fed twice a day which will be their daily routine throughout adulthood. You can make the jump from puppy food to dog food when your pet is between nine months and one year old, or as your vet directs.

Stick to Your House Training Routine

An established routine will be important for housebreaking your new puppy. Your routine should look something like this: your new puppy goes outside in the morning, after it has eaten a meal, before bed, but also about once per hour until it learns to go potty outside. Accidents will happen, so be ready to clean up the occasional mess. You’ll want to stock up on cleaning supplies that are pet-friendly to ensure a clean home without harming your pet!

Be Patient with Your Pup

The most important thing to remember about caring for a new puppy is to be patient. Your puppy is still getting used to living with you in your home with a new routine, so you will have occasional accidents or perhaps a chewed shoe. Remember that positive reinforcement is much more effective than punishment, so offer your puppy treats and praise when it does something right.

Overall, getting a new puppy is very excited! You’ll want to introduce your new pup to other pets and people to have your pup get used to being friendly. In time, you and your new pup will establish a daily routine and grow as a family together.