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First year puppy care is extremely important for numerous reasons: Bonding, Health, Personality, and Behavior. It’s always a special occasion to bring a new puppy home. These first 12 months are what builds your dog’s ability to listen, trust, behave and especially to bond with you. Your new best friend depends on the attention and care you give him or her. So here are a few tips to get you started right.

First year puppy careFirst year puppy care tips:

Give your puppy an abundance of attention and care.

A short name (or nickname) makes it easier for your puppy to learn. Use the name frequently!

A collar is needed. Be sure it offers two finger-widths of slack and loosen or replace as needed.

Even if your puppy will be a larger when grown, a small crate is what you’ll need at this point. Make the crate cozy by adding fleece or comfy pillow to snuggle in.

Puppy teeth will fall out and be replaced by the age of 5 or 6 months. Your puppy may swallow those teeth, or you may find them in his bedding. No worries either way.

First year puppy care can be a bit tedious or worrisome, but keep up the good work and you’ll have a great best friend!

First year puppy tips for health and happiness:

Puppies like to have their minds stimulated, so be sure to include “food toys” (rubber toys that hold puppy snacks and food) to challenge them.

Be careful not to give your first year puppy any toy it could swallow and throw away broken toys. Puppies and dogs love playing fetch. Offer them a variety of ways to play and things to play with to keep them interested. However, it’s best to avoid aggressive behavior when playing, such as tug of war or wrestling.

Chew toys are a good bet to help keep your puppy from chewing on things he shouldn’t! Besides they could use a little help losing those puppy teeth.

Socialize your first year puppy (with supervision, of course) to insure he or she gets along with other dogs and animals. This is essential to help with behavior later. Interaction with other people is good too.

First year puppy care can be challenging but the more you stick with it, the more well-behaved and obedient your dog will be as he grows. It’s definitely worth the investment of  your time and energy.