Puppy Care Guidance

raising a healthy, happy, puppy

Caring for a healthy puppy can be very straightforward. The aim is to create an environment where your puppy can thrive. That means training and socialization, together with the right amount of food, rest, and exercise. Sounds simple right?

But sometimes raising a puppy is not straightforward at all. Some puppies howl all night for weeks, some get terrible diarrhea, some seem impossible to train, or are forever at the veterinarian’s office. 

And sometimes life with a puppy can just feel overwhelmingly hard. Don't worry if you feel that way now, we have lots of ideas and information to help you.

Your Responsibilities

From the moment you bring home your new puppy, you are responsible for the following: 

Don't panic!  We can help you with that list. It's important though, that you make provision for veterinary treatment for your puppy. This is your obligation legally as well as morally.  We strongly recommend you insure your puppy against medical costs as these can be eye-wateringly expensive.  

Socialization is a big deal.  It's not something that you can ignore and it needs to start from the very first week you have your puppy home. Do check out our guides to socialization and training. You can use those 'READ MORE' links below


8-12 week old puppies are very accepting of new things. This critical period does not last much beyond three months of age. Socialization is all about exposing your puppy to a wide range of situations and experiences before they become fearful of the unknown.  READ MORE


Training your puppy is all about teaching good manners and safe behaviors. Modern dog training is simple behavior modification and usually takes the form of games and enjoyable exercises that build up your dog's skills in easy steps. READ MORE

The Easy Puppy

Some puppies really are no trouble at all. I’ve had puppies like that. You’ll find information on puppy basics in those links above. And if your puppy is one of those ‘easy ones’, then hopefully that’s all you’ll need. 

If not, we are here for you. I’ve also had some very challenging puppies, that have really tested my patience and resolve. And I know just how demoralizing that can feel. 

Puppy Stages

All puppies, even those 'easy' ones, go through stages that are challenging.  All puppies go through a biting phase for example, and can be very destructive if bored and left to their own devices. 

Check out our guide to puppy development and growth, to find out which stage your puppy is at, and what comes next! You can also find out what to expect your puppy starts teething.

Problem Puppies

Problem puppies tend to fall into one of two buckets - health problems, or behavior problems. And when your puppy has serious problems in either of those two areas it can be tough on your entire family.

You’ll find information and advice on our ‘get help page’ with a whole range of common (and less common) puppy problems

Focus On The Solution

Puppy parents are often given to believe that all puppies are born as a somewhat blank slate waiting to be written on. And that all puppy problems are caused by bad puppy parenting. This is not true.

Particularly with behavior problems, it is very common for puppy parents to believe it is all their fault.  But sometimes a problem is just plain bad luck. And once that problem has arisen, it's important to focus on the solution rather than blaming yourself

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To read more puppy care articles, check out the puppy care archives.