Caring for Puppies (how to)


A featured image for a blog post on how to care for puppies

A dog makes a great pet because they are lovable & cute, mischievous & fun, and lets not forget loyal. After all, a dog is a man’s best friend right? Dogs are the ultimate companion pet as they can have a complicated personality of their own. Dogs can be a best friend for a child and a loyal companion or even body guard for an adult.

There’s an extensive range of dogs available to suit all and any situation. Some dogs are perfect for family’s, others for the aged. Some dogs work, while some will simply never! Some dogs are perfect for indoors and small yards, other need lots of space.

Will grow up!

It’s important that the cute puppy your looking at now, will grow into the dog that will suit you and your situation. You will really be making a choice that will last for the lifetime of the dog. First work out which breeds you like and then narrow it down to what will be the best choice in your situation.

Things to consider:

• Looks/Coat- Of course the dog you choose has to be one that you’ll love. Would you kiss them? You can bet they will always want to kiss you! Long hair means more maintenance
• Temperament- Boisterous, aggressive, passive, shy, energetic, lazy? Most breeds will already have a ‘known’ temperament and behavioural patterns
• Size- Small yard = small dog? Generally speaking this is the case, but it will depend on environment and exercise
• Environment- Family dog or a dog for old age? Kids, friends, allergies and “if you like the look of your garden”, all needs to be taken into consideration. Not to mention if you already have other pets
• Time- Owning a dog will require you to commit some time every day. Apart from feeding, they need exercise, training, grooming, cleaning and attention.
• Cost- After purchasing a dog, their will be ongoing expenses for food and maintenance (lots of tennis balls). You should also keep money aside for unexpected vet bills.

Basic Requirements

If you are about to get a puppy, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any puppy.

• Water and food dish/s
• Bedding
• Puppy collar
• Leash
• Premium puppy food
• Worming treatment continuation
• Puppy grooming brush

Optional Requirements

• Kennel
• Flea free bedding or off ground bedding
• Flea, tick treatments or continuation
• Heart worm treatments
• Indoor toilet training pads
• Grooming aids, brushes, gloves, nail clippers
• Shampoo’s, conditioners and cologne’s
• Dog loo
• Carry cage
• Toys toys toys


Suitable For People Aged: All But Depends on Breed, Adult Supervision
Experience Required: None / Care Sheet & Info
Feeding & Care Time Required: 2 Hours a Day
Maintenance Time Required: 1 Hour a Week
Minimum Space Required: Large Yard- Depends on Breed
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $20+ per week
Life Span: (approx) Up to 15 Years
Availability: All Year


Vaccination will need to be repeated after about 4 weeks, and can be done with your vet check up, or when appropriate.

Worming and flea treatments will need to be maintained throughout your dog’s life. There is no permanent prevention for fleas and worms. Please talk to us, or your vet for advice.


Your puppy has been placed into a strange environment away from litter mates or other known carers. Therefore it 1s natural for the puppy to feel scared and stressed, and may take several days to settle. Give your puppy lots of love and understanding, and remember they will learn what they are taught from a very young age. You will need time and patience to help your puppy adjust to his/her new home.

Place your puppy in a warm, safe and secure place. Give the puppy bedding, toys and water in this location. Although difficult when you have a new and cute puppy, don’t give in to the puppy when it cries at night. By doing so you are telling the puppy that when it cries, you will come in and reward them with attention. Whether it be positive or negative, it will be some attention just the same.


Giving your puppy a well balanced diet is essential. Premium puppy preparations give puppies all the necessary ingredients that they need. There is no need to add calcium or other supplements to any premium puppy foods. Read the information carefully on the food you purchase and make sure you are feeding the correct amount of food in relation to your puppy’s size and weight. Your P & K Pets puppy will come with some of their existing diet to ensure they get the correct nutrition. If you plan to change to another brand or diet, you can gradually mix the new diet with the current one until 1t runs out. This enables your puppy’s stomach to adjust to different food, and should be done whenever you change from one brand to another. Sudden changes in diet may cause diarrhoea, and lead to dehydration. If diarrhoea lasts for more than 24hours, please seek veterinary advice.

Feeding schedule: (approx)

6 to 12 weeks:      Divide their recommended amount into 45 small feeds throughout the day

3 to 6 months: 6 to 8 months:

Do the same but reduce to 3 feeds per day 2 feeds per day

8 Months on:         1 feed per day

Water should ALWAYS be available and fresh! This includes everywhere your puppy goes, inside, outside, on walks, in the car or visiting others.


Training your puppy is very important and this can start as soon as you get home. Set the rules immediately if the puppy is to sleep on the floor. Provide them with their bed and get them used to going to that place. Do not let the puppy sleep on your bed or the lounge unless you intend following through and allowing this behaviour when an adult. This also applies to jumping up, a good habit to avoid if you have children. Again do not feed scraps from the table or any other bad behaviour that you do not wish later on in life.

At this young age, with nothing more it should be easy to imprint the behaviour you than a loud stern voice and hand signals when desire later on they do the ‘wrong thing’. Later on in life your dog will not be as timid and hence won’t be as accepting to changes in 1ts behaviour.

Smacking your dog is NOT an acceptable practice, positive reinforcement training is widely accepted. This means rewarding your dog for good behaviour, and ignoring them when they are bad. Any form of attention, including a smack, can cause them to repeat the behaviour to receive more attention, regardless of 1f the attention was good or bad. They will respond well to training with nothing more than praise or treats when they do the ‘right thing’.

It’s highly recommended that you attend puppy pre-school classes followed by obedience lessons later on. Establish a leadership within your household with your family members at the top. Keep training sessions short and always end the session on a good note. Always reward your puppy for good behaviour.


All puppies should be groomed daily whether they are long or short haired. Grooming your puppy daily makes handling easier and it is a good way to check your puppy for any abnormalities or problems. A dogs coat moults depending on the amount of daylight hours that it is exposed to. An indoor dog will moult continuously throughout the year as it 1s exposed to simulated light indoors. A dog that lives outside will generally moult twice a year when the number of daylight hours change.

In South Australia this is around the start and finish of daylight saving. Some grooming tools that are required for your puppy are a slicker brush or grooming rake, rubber grooming block and a wide tooth comb.

Bathing every 4 weeks is adequate, but depends on how dirty they get, and if they are an indoors pet. Please remember to use a pet shampoo. Human shampoos or wool washes contain a different Ph level and can cause irritation to your puppies skin.


Socialising puppies is a vital part of their upbringing and the benefits of owning a well socialised dog are great. The critical period for socialising puppies is between 6-18 weeks of age. This is the time that you need to expose your puppy to as many environmental factors as possible. These can include children, car rides, other animals, swimming, vacuum cleaners, stairs, loud noises and so on. Older puppies and adults also benefit greatly from socialisation, but can have complex problems if they haven’t been introduced from a young age.

Handling puppies is also very important. Keep sessions short, no longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Pups have very short attention spans and become bored very easily. Concentrate on handling the ears, mouth, teeth, around the eyes, feet and rear end of your puppy, (give them attention all over and don’t just concentrate on their head) this can aid veterinary examinations when the pup 1s older and helps eliminate stressful handling in case of an emergency.

Puppy pre-school gives puppies an excellent start in learning social interactive skills and it will teach you some very important pet care techniques.

BEHAVIOR (What to expect)

Chewing: Give your puppy their own toys. Do not leave items laying around that you do not want chewed. Puppies do not know the difference between their squeaky toy and your new shoes. Give the puppy a variety of toys and around to prevent boredom. If they learn to chew an old boot, they are sure to chew your new shoes later on, the scent will be the same (your feet).

  • Barking: Puppies will bark when bored. To initiate play, or to alert the world to something or someone new in their home. Training and alleviating boredom is important to combat this. Barking dogs are a nuisance to the community and it is your role as a responsible pet owner to prevent this from becoming a problem. Again, your classes can help.
  • Mouthing: Puppies will mouth when they are teething and as a form of testing their boundaries within their pack, this must be discouraged as while it may be cute when he or she is a puppy, it 1s not quite so cute when an adult dog 1s doing it. Once again, provide the pup with toys to chew on.
  • Toileting: It 1s your responsibility to toilet train your puppy. Take the pup outside after they have had a meal or have woken up. When you see your pup toileting in the correct place give a verbal command (e.g. “toilet”) and reward the puppy. Never reprimand your puppy for toileting inside if you find the evidence well after the event. Puppies have very short memories and do not have bladder control until they are 12 weeks of age. If you catch them in the act, quickly take them to the correct spot and praise them when they are done.
  • Digging: Digging is another consequence of boredom. Once again, provide the puppy with toys to alleviate the boredom. Also, you can provide your puppy with a digging pit (e.g. a part of the garden you are able to sacrifice). Encourage the puppy to dig there by placing their toys or dry food just below the surface of the sand. Discourage them from digging elsewhere. Digging and chewing are natural behaviours. It is impossible to stop these, much like asking a puppy not to wag his tail. However you can modify their behaviour and provide alternatives.


Puppies must be registered by law. This can be done after three months of age with your local council. They will need to remain registered for the rest of their life, and you need to inform the council if your details or address change. If you have your dog de-sexed, there 1s normally a discount that applies to their registration.

You must keep your pet under effective control at all times, this includes the noise your dog may generate. It is also against the law for your dog to defecate on property that is not owned by you, this includes all parks, paths, roads and beaches etc. Hefty fines apply depending on the council location you are in.

Enjoy Your New Puppy!