If you have ever owned a puppy before, you know there is a lot that goes into it. There are plenty of things that you wish you knew beforehand to prepare for the responsibilities.
I sure wish I had a list to help me along with my first puppy.
That is why I put this list of best tips for new puppy owners together, to save you the hassle I had to face.
Puppies can make quite the mess of things when they grow. From shedding all over the place to potty training, there are bound to be little messes you will have to clean up.
Here are a few tips on how to save a home as doggies grow up.
Learn How To: Take Care Of Your New Puppies
#1 Cover Furniture with Blankets
If it’s hard for you to say no to that cute puppy jumping up and snuggling with you on furniture, there are ways to save it from the excessive dog hair.
You can throw a blanket over your furniture, even getting ones to match your decor. It will save you from brushing down your couch every day since you can simply just throw the blanket in the washer.
#2 Use Dryer Sheets to Pick up Hair
Did you know dryer sheets are magical for cleaning up dog hair? Puppies shed like crazy and there will bound to be hairs everywhere you look.
You can simply take a dryer sheet and rub it over wherever there is stray fur. It will cling to it, plus make it smell like clean laundry!
#3 Rub Up Hair with Rubber Gloves
Another method of cleaning up all the hair is to use rubber gloves. Just put them on and rub down the areas you wanna clean. All that stray fur will cling to them and you can simply wipe it off into the trash.
Bonus: There are gloves made that gather shedding fur by just petting your dog with them.
#4 Rid of Pet Odor with Baking Soda
Puppies piddle everywhere as they are getting used to their environment and just life in general. It’s unavoidable for the first few months until potty trained.
To get rid of the odor, sprinkle some baking soda over your carpet and let sit for a full 20 minutes. Simply vacuum it up and done, your house will smell ten times better.
#5 Scrape Up Hair with a Window Squeegee
If your carpet is prone to collect dog hair like mine, you know how impossible it is to just vacuum it up.
You can actually use a window squeegee to scrape up the hair on your carpet or even your furniture.
#6 Fix Scratches with Walnuts
Puppies are bound to scratch up anything wooden in your home. From teething to trying to climb up to cuddle, it’s inevitable.
A good way to get rid of the scratches is to rub a walnut over it. The oils in the walnut push into the scratches and easily cover them up.
#7 Erase Drool Marks with Magic Eraser
If your puppy is a drooler, you know how it leaves marks on nearly everything imaginable. It is unsightly and really hard to clean.
Well if you use a magic eraser, it wipes away the marks like they never existed.
#8 DIY Dog-Friendly Carpet Deodorizers
If you are sensitive to those carpet deodorizers from the store like I am and want something that won’t harm your pup trying to help you clean, you can make your own.
There are many different things you can use around the home to keep your carpet fresh.
#9 Baby Wipe for Clear Drains
Just as our hair clogs a drain over time, dog fur clogs it in one bath. You can place a baby wipe over the drain to prevent it from clogging while still draining as normal.
#10 Packing Tape to Wipe Away Stray Fur
Again, dog hair is everywhere and unavoidable. If you don’t have a lint roller on hand and need to clean your clothes of fur before leaving home, you can actually use packing tape.
Just take a piece and wipe down your clothes and you are clear to go.
#11 Barricade the Litter Box
Owning a puppy and cats at the same time is a hassle in itself. And for some reason, some dogs can’t seem to keep their nose out of the catbox.
This leads to all sorts of mess. Keep the cat box out of reach or make a barrier so your pup can’t get in.
#12 De-Skunk Your Pooch
If you live in an area with skunks, you know the familiar smell that is impossible to get rid of. And if your dog happened to get sprayed, you know how bad that smell can get up close and personal.
With a mix of soap, peroxide, and some baking soda, however, you can get rid of it with ease.
#13 Keep Gum and Candy Out of Reach
Puppies are known for getting into absolutely everything, candy and gum included. These can be extremely toxic to your pup and even fatal.
Always keep them out of reach and stored away. This goes for anything and everything you don’t want your dog to accidentally get into.
Train your Dog
The only way to have a well-behaved dog is to train them. There are many different ways you can go about it, from having someone else train them to use special techniques.
#14 Utilize a Dog Trainer
Finding a trainer for your dog is not truly necessary, but it can be really helpful towards your dog’s behavior.
Whether you have questions or your dog won’t follow your commands, a dog trainer is always useful.
#15 Use Fruits & Veggies for Training Treats
Treats are vital in training, but too many is never a good thing. Using leftover fruit and veggies is a great and healthy alternative for your dog.
Make sure not to feed them anything toxic like avocados, mushrooms, etc.
#16 Positive Reinforcement with Potty Training
Potty training is a very critical part of training since it means your pup is learning to go outside instead of on your carpet.
Making sure to give them praise and a treat every time they do go outside helps reinforce they are doing the right thing.
#17 Stuff a Kong Toy With Treats
If you want to keep your dog busy while you are doing something, simply fill a Kong toy with treats and let them go at it.
This will keep them going for possibly hours or until they get all the treats out of it. I like to put some peanut butter in mine so my dog is trying to lick it out for a while.
#18 Designate a Potty Spot
Picking a spot for your dog to do their business may sound silly, but doing this can protect your yard from the damage urine causes.
Taking them to a general spot time and time again ensures that only that spot will be damaged instead of your whole yard.
#19 Rotate Training Rewards
Using the same old threats and praise can lead to boredom or your dog just disinterested.
By switching it up with other treats or even some play, it can keep them excited to keep following commands.
#20 Use Popcorn to Teach Your Dog to Catch
Some dogs don’t know how to catch initially and will fumble and likely catch a few balls to the face.
To help teach them without risk of them getting hit by the toy, use popcorn. It is a great light treat and gets their attention enough to want to catch it.
#21 Use a Clicker to Reward Good Behaviors
Clicker training is beneficial in helping your dog know if what they are doing is good.
It keeps it consistent and the noise can get their attention. For starting out, rewarding with a treat after the clicker can help your pup understand its meaning.
#22 Make Yourself Interesting to Come to
Training your dog to come can be a hassle when all they want to do is run and play.
However, using positive reinforcement with praise and treats can make you more interesting in coming back time and time again.
Playing with your dogs
Fetch can get boring for both you and your dog after a while. There are many different ways to stimulate your puppy and have fun doing it.
Here are some of my favorite ways to play with my dogs.
#23 Muffin Tin Treat Puzzle
If you are looking for some new ways to play with your pup, grab some tennis balls, treats, and a muffin tin. Arrange a few treats spread out in the muffin and cover them with tennis balls.
Your pup will be excited trying to get all the balls out, and the moment he finds a treat under one he won’t want to stop playing.
#24 Chasing Bubbles
For some simple fun, pull out the bubbles your kids have forgotten about or buy a cheap bottle. If your dog loves to chase things, blow some bubbles for some great exercise and playtime.
Not to mention the laughs you will be getting from them snapping at every bubble excitedly.
#25 Old Clothing Tug Toy
Whether you have a teething puppy or an older dog that loves to tug everything they can get a hold of, you know how fast some tug toys go.
You can make your own out of old shirts by simply braiding them together instead of tossing them out.
#26 “Find the Treats” Game
Like the muffin tin puzzle, this game works with treats but is placed all around the house. It keeps your dog busy and their nose and mind working for a while.
Plus they get a tasty reward each time they find one.
#27 Make a Re-Stuffable Dog Toy
If your dog is like any of mine, you know a stuffed toy does not last long before there is stuffing absolutely everywhere.
You can make your own stuffable dog toy with this amazing tutorial.
#28 Kiddie Pool for Summer Days
If you live in a hotter area or just trying to beat the summer heat with your pup, buy a kiddie pool. Your dog will have a blast cooling off and splashing about in it.
Not to mention these are amazingly cheap so your pup can go wild and have fun with them.
#29 Keep Toys Interesting by Alternating
Just as we get bored doing the same thing over and over, your dog will be the same with their toys. Changing it up with different textures or toy types can keep them interested in them.
This ensures you won’t have a pile of toys your dog refuses to play with at the end of the day.
“Tug-of-war” with your dog is amazingly fun and interactive. It gets them working out some energy and even keeps up dental strength.
Just five minutes can wear your dog out easily. Make sure to let them win at times too.
Read To Learn: Why Buy An Outdoor Dog Bed For Your Dog?
Health & Grooming
Keeping your dog healthy and clean is a must, but doing so can be a bit tricky. I have compiled a few of the most helpful tips I could to help you keep your pup clean and happy.
#31 White Towel Test for Fleas
If your dog is scratching a lot and you believe the cause to be fleas. There is a simple way to check without having to part your dog’s fur and watch for anything moving.
Simply lay your dog down on a white towel as you brush their fur out. The towel allows you to see if there was any flea dirt that fell loose.
#32 Use Tweezers to Remove Ticks
If you take your dog camping or live in an area with lots of ticks, you know how pesky they are to get rid of. You can actually use tweezers to get rid of them.
Put on a pair of gloves and prepare a jar of alcohol before getting your dog situated. Use the tweezers and grab the tick from the mouth part and pull firmly. Drop it into the jar to kill it.
#33 Brush Their Teeth
In a previous article, we covered just how important dental care is for dogs. It is best to get into the habit of brushing your dog’s teeth from a young age.
There are many different methods to go about it too that will keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy
#34 Use Dog Toothpaste on a Rope Toy
If your dog refuses to have their teeth brushed or just won’t sit still, you could lather up a rope toy with some toothpaste and make it fun for them.
It gets them use to the taste and makes the experience more fun.
#35 Using a Ladle and Container for Urine Samples
Getting a urine sample from your dog for the vet can be near impossible. With it being awkward getting so close to your dog while they are just trying to do their business, it could take forever.
However, you can buy a cheap throw-away ladle and use it to catch it as they are going without risking your hands getting in the way. From there you can put it into the proper container.
#36 Protect Your Dogs Paws in the Winter with Vaseline
Getting your dog to wear boots in the winter, while adorable, can be a hassle. It makes it harder for them to walk and it slows them down.
But walking without boots in the cold can hurt their paws. By rubbing some vaseline on their paw pads, it can keep them from cracking.
#37 Removing Stingers with a Credit Card
During spring, it is easy for your dog to get stung if they roll around in the grass a lot. Getting the stinger out can be a hassle and painful if you accidentally leave a bit in the skin.
You can use a credit card to fully remove them by just scraping them against the stinger.
#38 Stop Nails from Bleeding
Clipping a dog’s nails can be hard if they move around a lot. Cutting them too short can happen more than you would like it to.
With a mixture of flour, baking soda, and cornstarch, however, you can keep their nails from bleeding by applying the paste and keeping pressure for a bit.
#39 Prevent Pulling with Front Clipping Harness
Having a puller can be painful, not just for you but for them as well. Some dogs just don’t know when to stop even if it is choking them.
To help get them to stop pulling, you can use a front clipping harness and a normal six-foot leash. This will get them used to walking closer without the hard pulling.
#40 Bright Colored Banada during Hunting Season
If you take your dog hunting with you, it is always best to make sure they are visible.
Just as you would wear a bright-colored vest, giving your dog a bandana of the same color helps them stand out and be safe while hunting.
#41 Teach Your Children to Ask Permission Before Petting a Strange Dog
While this may not be for your own dog, teaching your kids not to pet strange dogs without asking is important.
There are millions of cases of dog bites a year, and simply teaching your kid this lesson protects both them and the dog from unwanted contact.
#42 Microchip Your Dog
Getting your dog microchipped is one of the most important things you should do right away. Dogs get lost all the time, and a chip ensures they always get back home.
Every shelter or vet scans dogs for a chip when they arrive, making their return home much faster.
#43 A Wagging Tail Does Not Always Equal a Happy Dog
It is never wise to approach a strange dog, even if it is wagging its tail. While it is seen as a friendly act, it could also be fear or insecurity that causes them to wag their tail.
If the owner is not around, it is best just to leave the dog be if it is in its own yard.
#44 Don’t Let Your Dog Ride in the Back of Your Truck
While there isn’t much space in trucks, you should never put your dog in the back unrestrained. Many dogs fall out and get injured or even die from being left unleashed in the back.
It is always best just to keep your dog in the cab with you since even debris can injure them.
#45 Keep Garbage Out of Reach
Keeping your dogs out of the garbage, especially when you are gone, can be quite the hassle.
However, the use of baby-proof locks or just storing the can out of sight can protect your dog from toxins.
#46 Keep Your Dog Restrained in the Car
Having your window open for your dog to hang their head out may seem like a fine thing, there are some risks that come with it.
If you are traveling under 20 mph, your dog could jump out at something that interests them. It is always best to keep your dog restrained while in the car.
#47 Doggie First Aid Kit
A dog can get injured anywhere and you never know when it could happen. Having a first aid kit for your dog for such an occasion could save their life.
Check out this list of great items to have in the kit.
#48 Keep Paws Burn Free in Summer Heat
Hot pavement can be scalding for your dog’s feet just as it would for ours. To know if the pavement is too hot for your dog, test it with the back of your hand for five full seconds.
If that is intolerable, keep your dog off it and try walking in the grass or wait until the sun goes down. Burned paws are never fun.
#49 Keep an Eye On Your Dog Around Water
Dogs are not always natural swimmers. If your dog is near deep water, make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t go under.
Also, it is best to train them to know the ins and out of the pool in case they happen to jump in.
#50 Meet My Puppy Parties
Setting up a party for friends and family to meet your puppy can be really beneficial for everyone.
Not only does it socialize your pup to a people-packed environment, but it also gets them to use to your guests without fear.
Learn More: How Can I Help My Elderly Dog With Incontinence?
Choosing Dog Foods
Getting your puppy the right nutrition from the start is a top priority. You also want to make sure they are getting enough while keeping them interested in the food and treats.
#51 Feed 2-3 Small Meals a Day
It is never wise to free-feed your puppy since it only leads to weight gain. Break up the required amount into two to three meals a day.
This ensures they are getting the nutrition and energy through the day without overeating.
#52 Frozen Broth Treats
If it’s hot out and you want to keep your pup busy and give them a treat, make some frozen treats. All you have to do is fill an ice tray with some broth and freeze it.
They are great for cooling your pup down, and they are sure to love them.
#53 Make Pill Pockets with Peanut Butter, Milk & Flour
If your dog manages to spit out their pill every time even after wrapping it up in meat or stuffing it into cheese, this trick will get them to swallow it with no problem.
Make your own tasty pill pockets with this easy tutorial.
#54 Soften Up Kibble with Warm Water
If your puppy food is too hard and big for them, or you have a dog with sensitive teeth, you can add some warm water to their kibble.
This will soften it up for them to easily eat it without losing its flavor or nutrition.
#55 Seal Food in a Container
Dog food does start to go bad after a while once it is opened. To keep it fresh, store it in a sealed container.
This will also keep it out of reach from your dog and make it last a lot longer
#56 Dog Treat Recipes
Making dog treats at home is insanely simple. There are many different recipes out there that you can use to make your dog some tasty treats.
Here’s a great compiled list you can look through that has as little as five ingredients or less per recipe.
#57 Pace Fast Eaters with Toys
If your dog is a fast eater that scarves everything down, it can be quite concerning. To slow them down, you can put some food dispensing toys or even tennis balls in their dish to slow them down.
It also keeps their mind sharp having to work around obstacles for their food.
If you are crafty like I am, you may want to make something for your puppy. There are many crafts out there that I couldn’t possibly list all.
However, here are a few of my favorites.
#58 Sweatshirt Pet Bed
If you don’t want to go get a dog pet your pup is sure to outgrow four times over in the first year, you could make your own.
By using an old sweatshirt and a pillow, you can make your own dog bed your pup is sure to love.
#59 Flirt Pole
A flirt pole is basically a giant cat toy but for your dog. You can make your own with some PVC pipe, rope, tape, and a toy. It is a great high-impact exercise to get your dog playing.
#60 Personal Doggy Digging Box
If your dog is a digger and seems to ruin your garden because of it. Make them their own digging box.
Think of a sandbox for your pup. It may take some training to get them to only dig there, but you can keep it interesting by burying some bones or toys for them to find.
#61 Dog Sling
If your dog is weak in joints or has arthritis, it can be hard to give them the support they need. However, with this tutorial, you can make a sling for them to easier get around.
#62 Refillable Water Bowl
Some dogs seem to go through a fresh bowl of water in hours, leaving you constantly filling it up. However, you can make your own refillable water bowl with only some wood, glue, and a water bottle.
#63 Elevated Food Bowl
Bigger dogs or dogs with arthritis and joint issues, have a harder time stooping down to the floor to eat. You can easily elevate their dish with a cheap table by cutting a hole in it and viola!
Your pup no longer has to bend down to eat.
Just as we need a doctor from a young age, your dog is going to need a vet. Going to a vet doesn’t have to be for emergencies.
It can be to keep them healthy and make sure you catch anything that may be happening under the surface before it becomes an issue.
#64 Find A Great Veterinarian
Finding a great vet can ensure your dog always gets the best care. Being able to trust your vet for any emergency will put your mind at ease.
Plus your dog will be the one benefiting the most with proper treatment.
#65 Visit the Vet Often
Visiting the vet doesn’t have to be for emergencies or even appointments. Taking them just to visit and get them used to the environment can make future appointments stress-free.
It can also make sure they aren’t scared when you do have to come in. Always call ahead to make sure it’s okay though.
In the end, this is your puppy, always follow your gut and vet’s advice if something doesn’t feel right. Also, try to research things before you try them.
#66 Don’t Trust Everything on the Internet
There is a lot of misinformation out there on the internet. As a good rule of thumb, never believe anything at first glance.
Do some research or ask a vet before you try anything new with your puppy beyond the norm.
Over To You
Which tip did you like the best? I put all this together to help out any new puppy owners since I had no idea what I was doing when I got my first puppy.
Have you tried any of these tips or are planning to try anything? Did we miss something or do you have a recommendation for this list?
Let us know in the comments and please share with friends and family if you enjoyed it.
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