Caring for A Puppy or Dog

Congratulations on deciding to adopt a dog! You are embarking on a wonderful and rewarding relationship.

Because adopting a new dog comes with a lot of change for both dog and dog parent, this basic overview guide was compiled to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Getting a dog is more than just taking home the adorable little fur ball. Are you ready to get a dog?

This is a step-by-step basic overview guide to taking care of any dog, and could come in handy!


  • Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old need four meals a day... feed your puppy until it is full.
  • Feed puppies three to six months old three meals a day.
  • Feed puppies six months to one year two meals a day.
  • When your dog reaches his first birthday, one meal a day is usually enough.
  • For some dogs, including larger canines or those prone to bloat, it's better to feed two smaller meals.
Feed your dog breakfast. Like people, dogs want some too. You can find pet bowls and pet food at your local pet store.

If your dog has not had all its teeth come in, you might want to consider buying canned food or wetting the food with water until they all have come in.

(Give water in the dogs food if your dog doesn't drink as much. They are guaranteed to drink that water as it tastes like food.)

Puppies should be fed a high-quality, brand-name puppy food. If the first ingredient says "corn" (a filler and a toxic GMO product), put it back on the shelf.

Please limit "people food," because it can result in vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems and may cause very picky eating habits and obesity.

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and be sure to wash food and water dishes frequently.

Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs
  • Grapes. They should only be given in a very limited amount on an infrequent basis, and should not be left where a dog or cat can have access to them. The unknown toxin damages the kidneys. Also, a grape can lodge in the pets throat making it impossible for him to breathe.
  • Chocolate.  It has a certain type of caffeine that makes your dog's heart beat too fast.
  • For a complete list of toxic foods click here


NUPRO All Natural Dog Supplement was researched and developed by a nutrition doctor. It is a totally holistic product that replaces the vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes that a dog does not get from his processed food.
In other words, Nupro is replacing with natural ingredients what a dog would normally have gotten in the wild. It is excellent for all breeds and all ages frompuppies to geriatric.


Supervised fun and games will satisfy many of your pet's instinctual urges to dig, herd, chew and retrieve.

Give your dog a walk. Dogs enjoy being outside to smell new smells, see new sights, and simply to walk.

To Read: 10 Top Dangers to Avoid When Walking Your Dog click here.

Start by buying a six foot leash, a harness and some poop bags.

DO NOT purchase a retractable leash. Because the leash is retractable, it requires special precautions to reduce the risk of injury. You lose control of your dog and because of the extensive length of the leash, your pooch could run into the street.

Have the dog to the left of you and let about a 4-5" slack on the leash.

To run or jog, hold on to the edge of the leash and run, letting your dog be in front of you.

If you don't do that, the dog may run into the street and get hit by a driving car not just leading to death, but painful tears.

As puppies keep the dogs closer to you to prevent later pulling and straining on the leash. If you're thinking about getting a "shock" collar to train your dog.

First try the collar on your neck and "zap" yourself on low, medium and high. How does it feel? This is not the way to train your dog by "zapping" him to do what you want him to do. It is reminiscent  of the way circus trainers are taught how to train animals.


Small dogs, sometimes referred to as "lap dogs," are the easiest to handle. To carry a puppy or small dog, place one hand under the dog's chest, with either your forearm or other hand supporting the hind legs and rump.

Never attempt to lift or grab your puppy or small dog by the forelegs, tail or back of the neck. If you do have to lift a large dog, lift from the underside, supporting his chest with one arm and his rear end with the other.


Groom your dog regularly. Some dogs need more brushing than others. Look up your dog's breed and find out how frequently your dog should be brushed. Some dogs need brushing once a day, while others may need brushing only once every two weeks. This is one of the best ways to bond with your pooch.

You can help keep your dog clean and reduce shedding with frequent brushing. Check for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather.

Flea collars are very dangerous for pets! If your dog has fleas consider using a "natural" and safe remedy.

To read more about these tiny critters and say goodbye to them click here. 

Most dogs don't need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or the dirt will stick to soap residue.


Your pet needs a warm, quiet place to rest, away from all drafts and off the floor. A training crate is ideal. You may wish to buy a dog bed, or make one out of a wooden box.

Place a clean blanket or pillow inside the bed. Wash the dog's bedding often. If your dog will be spending a lot of time outdoors, (checking him often) be sure she has access to shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather, and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it's cold, or better yet, bring him inside the house.

It is preferable and safer for pets to stay indoors except for walking them and playing with them outside.

If left inside a fenced yard for too long, you run the risk of them being stolen and sold as "bait" dogs to dog fighting rings, or sold to laboratories that test (torture) animals.

It's big business...Dog theft is running rampant now, so please, be careful and check on him often if he has to be outside.

Fencing and Gates

Now that your yard is landscaped with dog-safe greenery, plants, and flowers, there are a few more touches you need to make it a complete home for your dog - a strong fence with a gate that latches properly and easy access to shade, shelter, and fresh water.

Whatever type of fencing you choose, make sure it's sturdy, with no way for your dog to escape.

He shouldn't be able to jump over it, dig under it, or squeeze through a hole.

If your pet is a confirmed digger, you may have to thwart him by lining the ground beneath the fence with concrete.

Some homeowners like the open fields look and decide to put in one of those underground electronic "invisible" fence systems. If you're thinking of going that route, remember, although this type of fence might effectively keep your dog in, it won't keep other dogs or intruders out.

Also, some dogs figure out - by trial and error or just by accident - if they run through the shock or ultrasonic burst that these systems count on to keep the dog on your property, there's nothing to stop them from heading into the next county.

If you have the low-tech but reliable old-fashioned kind of fence, it's also not going to help much without a well-maintained gate.The gate should be hinged to close and latch automatically when you enter or leave the yard, with no way for Rover to nose it open.

To read: Dognapping...What To Know To Keep Your Dog Safe From This Growing Crime Click here


A well-behaved companion canine is a joy. But left untrained, your dog can cause nothing but trouble.

Teaching your dog the basics—"Sit," "Stay," "Come," "Down," "Heel," "Stop," "Off" and "Leave it"—will improve your relationship with both your dog and your neighbors.

If you have a puppy, start teaching him his manners as soon as possible! Use little bits of food such as carrots, which is good for them and their teeth, as a lure and reward.

Puppies can be enrolled in obedience courses when they have been adequately vaccinated.

Contact your local humane society or SPCA for training class recommendations. Petsmart and Petco have training classes available in most states.

You should always keep your puppy or dog on a leash in public. Just be sure your pet will come to you at all times whenever you say the word. A dog who is disobedient or aggressive is not ready to play with others.

Dogs who were taught by this method were more likely to learn a new behavior within 30 minutes, and to learn the behavior faster than dogs in a clicker-training group. And they are more likely to remember it later, even in a different context.

Click here to learn about this training. 

House train your dog. A dog that is not house trained will do its business all over your house! To prevent this, simply teach your dog not to go in the house by watching him/her closely for the first week.

When he/she goes to his business, pick your dog up, say "No!" firmly and loudly. Then, run out the door to the desired potty spot. 

Reward your dog for doing its business. Then, put a bell on your doorknob and teach your dog to ring it when he/she has to go out.


Microchips are a crucial part of dog-ownership, providing your pooch with the proper identification. It could save you a lot of heartbreak someday.

Animal control officers and veterinarians routinely look for microchips to return lost pets quickly to their owners, avoiding expenses for housing, food, medical care, and euthanasia. Most shelters place chips in all their animals.

Microchips can be implanted by a veterinarian or at a shelter.

After checking that the animal does not already have a chip, the vet or technician injects the chip (the size of a rice grain) with a syringe and records the chip's unique ID. No anesthetic is required. A test scan ensures correct operation.

Identification tags and/or Rabies tag can be attached to the dogs collar.

This provides a visual way to see that he's owned by someone in case he is missing.

If your dog is found, a lot of people don't know to take him to a vets office to see if
he's been microchipped and this visual aid will give him double protection.

When fitting him with a collar, place two fingers under the collar to make sure he's comfortable.


  • Reward them each time they obey your command. Use small treats and don't give them too much.
  • Make sure you have a good reliable vet. A good way to choose a vet is to see if they answer your questions promptly, and if they have time for you. Remember, you also need a backup vet that's open 24 hours a day and/or weekends. 
  • Stroke their fur from their head to tail, not vice-versa as this will irritate them. 
  • Always brush your dog because of fleas and loose hair.
  • Dogs will love you forever if you treat them correctly. Whatever you do, never hit your dog or abuse him/her in any way. Also, never taunt him/her as it will frustrate them and they will begin to dislike you. The worst punishment for a dog is being yelled at after the deed is over and done. They forget and don't understand what they are being yelled at for. When you punish be sure to do it immediately, without any waiting.


  • Don't ever let your dog get away with biting you or chewing on your shoes! It becomes a very bad habit. A way to prevent this is to switch a chew toy with whatever he/she's chewing on. Please avoid rawhide bones as dogs can't digest them and chunks could get lodged in the dogs intestines which causes irreversible damage.
  • Don't jump on a dog for every little thing they do. Reward a puppy, but as they get older still don't bombard with treats and toys as soon as they sit. Don't forget to always say "good dog"!
  • Don't ever hit your dog! It's cruel and doesn't get the point across. It doesn't matter if it's a boink on the nose or a smack on the head; it still hurts the dog and makes their relationship with you worse.
NOTE: When you adopt an animal from a Shelter or Rescue Group, your new pet will have been spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccinations, given a rabies shot, microchipped, and given a temperament test.

It's been reported that petting an animal significantly reduces stress and helps to eliminate depression. It is one of the great rewards of life for you and...your dog.

They understand more than you could imagine, so tell him you love him everyday and enjoy this wonderful and loving journey ahead with your new "Best Friend Forever".

Animals can be adopted from the Humane Society, SPCA, adopted from an Animal Rescue Group or rescued off the street, their contribution to the household they are in, is invaluable.

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