Welcome to Puppy Care 101
Are you the proud owner of a new puppy? Or, are you considering adding a puppy to your household? Puppy Care 101 is dedicated to bringing you the information and resources you need to help you choose, raise and enjoy a healthy, well-behaved puppy. Browse our comprehensive selection of articles on everything from working with a breeder, to choosing a breed, to puppy training. Check out our Our Illustrated Guide to Dog Breeds featuring printable pages with profiles of the most popular dog breeds.
Preparing for your new Puppy
Before your new puppy arrives home, you will need to buy equipment and supplies. It's a good idea to obtain them beforehand in preparation for your puppy’s arrival. Essential equipment that you will need are puppy food, water and food bowls, a crate or a pen, and collars and leashes. Below is a list of other necessary equipment for your new puppy.
Grooming supplies: There are a variety of brushes and combs available; choose those which are suitable for your puppy’s coat. Other supplies you may need are towels, scissors, clippers, stripping combs, and shears.
Deodorizer and Cleaner: During the house-training of your puppy there are bound to be some "accidents." Because puppies tend to return to the scene where they detect the smell of urine and feces, it is important that these spots be cleaned properly using a product that effectively neutralizes the odor. For cleaning puppy accidents on nonporous hard surfaces, as well as on carpeting, it is best to use a pet deodorizer/cleaner designed for this purpose, which you can obtain at a pet store or online.
Toys: Every puppy needs several toys to play with. Examples of recommended toys are a meat-scented nylon bone, tennis ball, and play ring to avoid boredom and control chewing. It is better to start puppies out on nylon bones as opposed to rawhide ones, since they are much more durable and less expensive in the long run.
Folding gate: This is necessary in order to confine a pup to a particular area. The gate should be sturdy, made of a material other than wood (which is chewable) and have slats that are small enough to prevent a puppy from sticking his head through and getting caught.
Dog bed: This is excellent for giving pups a secure sense of place when they sleep. The best dog beds use a combination of cedar chips and fiberfill; cedar chips are a natural repellent to fleas and ticks, and fiberfill helps preserve the bed's shape and softness. Make sure that the cover is removable, washable, and durable.
Pooper scooper: To make cleanup of the soiling area easier.
Last but not least, before you buy a large quantity of puppy food, it is best to talk to your breeder or veterinarian. Choosing a suitable, high-quality dog food is an important factor in your dog's health, and it pays to check with professionals before you make your decision.
Raising a Puppy
Raising a dog from a puppy to mature adult dog is rewarding experience, but also pretty exhausting. Much like human babies, puppies tug at our heartstrings and we sometimes give into their whims. But, just as with humans, it is very easy to spoil a puppy and end up with an annoying pet instead of the sweet companion you wanted. .... >>continue reading
Children and Puppies
Dogs and children need your guidance and supervision to live together happily ever after. Most dogs see children as littermates, and treat them as such. Your puppy might know not to jump up on you, the pack leader, but she may decide it is alright to do to your children. puppies are easily stimulated by the exuberance of children. To a puppy, a running, shrieking child is an invitation to chase and play rough. In addition, children love to hug puppies... >>continue reading
Choosing a Dog Breed
Experts disagree on the exact number, but estimate there are more than 300 breeds of dogs. Each is valued by someone or by a group of people. In fact, they exist because they were bred to have characteristics that make them well suited for specific tasks. Over thousands of years, dogs were bred to meet a variety of human needs... >>continue reading
Housebreaking your Puppy
Dogs are creatures of habit; and once they develop a habit, breaking it can be a long, frustrating process. Your puppy needs guidance and encouragement from you to develop a toilet habit you can live with. Animal behaviorists have learned a lot about puppys over the last couple of decades-including tidbits that will make housebreaking your pet a less frustrating task... >>continue reading
Pet Health Insurance for your Puppy
For those of us who own animals and have taken them to the vet's office for one reason or another, we know just how quickly the costs of maintaining a pet add up. Not only can the yearly physicals and immunizations be costly, but add in any unexpected injuries or illnesses and the costs can easily run into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Most of us carry health insurance on ourselves and our family members for this very reason, so why not on our pets too?... >>continue reading