The Pet Parents® Guide to Raising a Puppy

Updated: February 02, 2024

We know that you want to see your new puppy grow into a loving, responsible, and beautiful dog. No matter if you are raising a german shepherd, golden retriever, pitbull, chihuahua, or any other breed, all puppies will need lots of love, attention, and patience in order to grow up into the perfect dog. Let’s take a look at some of the essentials for how to raise a puppy to be a calm, happy, and confident dog.

How to Raise a Puppy

Being a new pet parent can seem overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the art of raising a puppy. That’s why Pet Parents® has put together a guide to raising a puppy, so that you can be prepared with tips and tricks and learn how to raise a puppy you can live with for their entire lives. In this article, we cover what to expect bringing your new puppy home, what you should have on hand, how to potty train your puppy, and each developmental milestone- all to guide you in raising a puppy!

guide to raising a puppy, how to raise a puppy

"Here is a new puppy checklist for supplies you will need to prepare before bringing your puppy home."

What to Expect Bringing a Puppy Home

Bringing a puppy home is exciting! But it is not all fun and games. It is very important to get realistic about what to expect when bringing home a new puppy.

  • Your puppy may be quiet, nervous, and scared since they are in a new environment with new people.
  • Pup may not eat right away.
  • There will be accidents. A lot of them.
  • Pup may not get along immediately with family members and/or other pets at home.
  • Your new puppy may cry from time to time as they try to adjust to the unfamiliar surroundings.

What You’ll Need on Hand for Your Puppy

Before bringing a new puppy home, you should have all the supplies you will need. Here is a new puppy checklist for supplies you will need to prepare before bringing your puppy home.

  • Appropriate-sized puppy crate. Crates can be used to train your dog, to manage their behavior, to have them a quiet and safe place to stay, but never to punish them. Crates can be a great help to help curb your furbaby’s accidents and destructive habits, according to The Humane Society of the United States.
  • Baby or dog gate. Boundaries are necessary for safety while your new puppy adjusts to their home. Until they are able to be left unsupervised in the house responsibly, you can enclosed area of your home, like your kitchen, before giving them access to the full house to keep them away from choking hazards.
  • Puppy toys. Toys are an excellent way to encourage some of your furbaby's natural instincts and mental enrichment. Balls will help develop your pup’s chase drive or herding instincts. Squeaky toys trigger your pup’s natural instinct to pounce and shake. Plus, they provide fun bonding for you and your furbaby!
  • Gnawtlers®. Gnawtlers® make great dog chews to provide them an outlet for teething and their chewing instincts in a positive way. These are premium, naturally shed antler chews from elk and deer, perfect for your teething puppy! They are safe, do not easily splinter, are jam-packed with nutrients, and mentally stimulate your furbaby.
  • Age-appropriate dog food. Puppies have a more demanding nutritional requirement as they are still growing and developing. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, when choosing a diet for your puppy it is essential to understand the four key nutrients they need most: protein, fat, calcium, and digestible carbohydrates. It is also recommended to feed your puppy at least three times every day until they are about 4 to 6 months.
  • Pet Parents® Multifunctional SoftSupps®. Extra nutrition is always a plus! These multivitamin soft chews help promote powerful daily health support for your growing furbaby. Whether it is to promote skin and coat health, hip and joint support, immune and intestinal function, or to help maintain heart health, our dog multivitamin chews have your dog covered!
  • Collar, leash, updated tags. Puppies are very curious which can result in them getting lost or escaping. These are also helpful when taking your dog on a walk and for training. Should your puppy wander away, updated tags will help the person who finds your pup to get in contact with you and get your pet home safe. Microchipping is also a valuable way to keep track of your pet in case some things go wrong.
  • Food and Water bowls. Food and water bowls that are just the right size for your puppy make it easier for them to reach their food without having to strain, which can place unwanted pressure on their throat while they are eating or drinking water. Make sure you have these ready before bringing a puppy home.
  • Pet Parents® Pawtect® Pads. Pet Parents® Pawtect® Pads are a must-have when raising a puppy! As pups are prone to creating accidents, these Pawtect® Pads will help protect your floors, perfect for house training. With triple-stitched edges and WickQuick® proprietary fabric blend that quickly wicks, absorbs, and holds in more liquid per square inch than other pads, these washable puppy pads will prevent your puppy from tracking the mess all over your home.
  • Pet Parents® Dog Diapers. You can have your puppy wear Pet Parents® Dog Diapers or Pet Parents® Belly Bands to aid in potty training. These dog diapers and belly bands will help keep your furbaby and your home clean with sewn-in pad layers, and a leakproof, comfy fit.
  • Enzymatic cleaners. As puppies are prone to making accidents, spot cleaners come in handy. These cleaners work well for stain removal and they are very effective in reducing (or in most cases eliminating) odors caused by urine, which also helps dissuade future marking and accidents.

How to Potty Train a Puppy

One of the most important things you can teach early on is potty training. Potty training will help prevent your furbaby from soiling floors and leaving smelly messes. The process of potty training your puppy and helping them learn the appropriate time and place to eliminate takes a lot of perseverance and patience. The key is to remember that a thriving potty training is established on positive reinforcement instead of punishment.

Getting Started

How long does it take to potty train a puppy? That answer will vary based on how quickly your puppy picks up training and how consistent you are with the training. You can start the first potty training session when you wake up. Take your furbaby outside so they can get down to their business. According to the American Kennel Club, always head out the same door to the same area where you want your puppy to potty, and keep them on a leash while training (even in a fenced yard) so that your puppy is not focused on other things.

Take them out for multiple potty training sessions during the day and especially after meals. Try to have a fixed feeding schedule as this will help in regulating your pup’s peeing and pooping and help you set your watch every potty time. Remember that your dog may have to potty after playtimes and meal times, even if it has not been long because the stimulation of the digestive tract may also give your pup the urge to get down to business.

Potty Training with Puppy Pads

There are several tried-and-true methods for training your puppy. Pet parents have the option to potty train with Pawtect® Pads or Pet Parents® Dog Diapers. Pee pad training is great for apartment dwellers and those who may not be home during the day at work. You can learn more about how to train a dog to use a pee pad here.

Puppy Development Stages

There are a lot of changes in puppy development by weeks. Puppies grow up fast! But, there are a few things you can expect and do during the different developmental stages of your puppy:

Neonatal Stage

Provide Pawtect® Pads as whelping pads and for added protection. These pads help you keep the litter nice and warm.

Make sure your pup gets enough sleep. According to the American Kennel Club, puppies spend sleep 18-20 hours a day. Provide a stress-free environment that is far from a lot of people and loud noises that can easily disturb them.

Transitional Stage

During this stage, your pup may begin teething. As stated by experts at VCA Hospitals, teething will start during puppy development by week 3 generally. By approximately 6 weeks, all of their puppy teeth will have erupted.

You may find your pup chewing on inappropriate and unsafe things in your home. To avoid this for teething pups, Split Elk Gnawtlers® are excellent! The bone marrow in these chews is already out in the open, making it easier for your furbaby to enjoy the good stuff.

The Socialization Stage

Socializing your pup is essential during this stage of puppy development. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, socialization must begin during the "sensitive period" which is between 3 and 14 weeks.

Socialization is more than just introducing your pup to new people and new pets. Your socialization checklist should also include exposing your pup to different sounds, like a phone ringing or a car honking, so they don’t get easily startled. You can also change your walking route to expose your furbaby to different sights and scents.

Vaccination also begins at this stage, starting from six weeks. Consult your vet for the vaccination schedules of your pup to keep them away from parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and other life-threatening diseases.

The Adolescent Stage

During this stage your dog will experience hormonal changes and a change to the brain. Be prepared for a bit of independent or rebellious behavior.

Provide Pet Parents® SoftSupps® like Multifunctional, Hip & Joint, Allergy, Skin & Coat, Probiotic, or Turmeric & Curcumin to help curb certain diseases from worsening and help boost your furbaby’s health to its full potential.

Note: if you are not the breeder of your puppy, you will be bringing them home around eight to ten weeks.

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to raise a puppy! This guide to raising a puppy will give you a great head start so that you can enjoy the puppy days while your dog grows into the beautiful adult you have always hoped for them to be.

"Toys are an excellent way to encourage some of your furbaby's natural instincts and mental enrichment."

puppy development stages, bringing a puppy home