What First Time Puppy Owners Should Know

What First Time Puppy Owners Should Know: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcoming a puppy into your home is an exciting adventure, but it comes with responsibilities and considerations for their well-being. Here’s a guide for first-time puppy owners covering housetraining, social skills, and essential supplies:

Housetraining and House Rules:

Establish a Routine: Puppies thrive on routine. Set a consistent schedule for feeding, bathroom breaks, and playtime. Predictability helps them anticipate their needs and facilitates housetraining.

Use Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is key to housetraining success. Reward your puppy with treats, praise, or play when they exhibit desirable behavior, reinforcing the connection between good behavior and positive outcomes.

Supervise Indoors: Keep a close eye on your puppy indoors, especially during the initial stages of housetraining. Supervision allows you to catch signs of needing to eliminate and redirect them to the appropriate spot.

Establish House Rules: Set clear house rules from the beginning. Determine areas where your puppy is allowed and establish boundaries. Consistency in enforcing rules helps your puppy understand expectations.

Social Skills:

Early Socialization: Introduce your puppy to various environments, people, and other animals early on. Positive socialization experiences build confidence and contribute to a well-adjusted adult dog.

Obedience Training: Basic obedience training is crucial. Teach commands like sit, stay, and come to enhance communication and create a foundation for good behavior.

Expose to Different Environments: Gradually expose your puppy to different environments, sounds, and stimuli. This helps prevent fear-based behaviors and ensures they are adaptable to various situations.

What You Need on Day One:

Food and Water Bowls: Provide stainless steel or ceramic bowls for food and water. These are durable, easy to clean, and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Comfortable Bed: A cozy bed gives your puppy a designated resting place. Choose one that is appropriately sized and washable.

Quality Puppy Food: Select a high-quality puppy food appropriate for your puppy’s breed and size. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.

Collar and ID Tag: A well-fitting collar with an ID tag containing your contact information is essential for safety.

Leash: A sturdy leash for walks and training sessions is a must. Opt for a leash that suits your puppy’s size and strength.

What You Will Need Eventually:

Crate: A crate provides a secure space for your puppy and aids in housetraining. Choose a crate with enough room for them to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Toys: Interactive toys keep your puppy mentally stimulated and help alleviate teething discomfort. Rotate toys to maintain their novelty.

Grooming Supplies: Depending on your puppy’s coat type, you may need brushes, nail clippers, and shampoo for grooming.

Training Treats: High-value treats are essential for positive reinforcement during training sessions.

Toxic Substances for Dogs

Dogs are a different species, so some things we can eat or ingest may essentially poison them. There’s no need to panic if your 120-lb dog eats two M&Ms, but you do need to be concerned if your 20-lb dog eats half of a chocolate cake. If you know what your dog has ingested, you can call ASPCA Poison Control Center for a fee, at 9059255655  Morningstar Veterinary Pet Hospital.





Cigarettes, nicotine, e-liquid for electronic cigarettes


Dishwashing liquid, detergent/dishwasher tablets

Fabric softener sheets

Grapes and raisins

Ibuprofen and naproxen


Minoxidil (Rogaine)

Mosquito repellant with DEET

Nasal decongestants

Nuts (particularly Macadamia nuts)

Onions, garlic, chives

Pesticides and rodenticides

Topical medications

Wild mushrooms


Yeast dough

Being a first-time puppy owner is a rewarding experience, and with the right knowledge and preparation, you can create a loving and secure environment for your new furry family member. Always consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on your puppy’s specific needs.