First Weeks With a Puppy: Getting to Know Your Puppy

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Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your first week home with puppy will be filled with lots of snuggles, laughs, and memories. However, your 
first days with a puppy can also be stressful and messy.

Bringing home a new puppy is a huge commitment. Seeking out puppy advice can help both you and your new pet adjust. Thankfully, there are lots of online resources to help you learn how to deal with a puppy.

In this post, you’ll receive great advice on how to care for your puppy’s first week. From loving them, to socializing them, to setting a schedule, think of this article as your new puppy guide. Here are some expert tips for a new puppy.

How Do I Prepare for a New Puppy?

The first step is to purchase all the supplies you need in the first weeks with a puppy. Having the essentials ready for the puppy’s first week home will set you up for success. Here is a puppy supply checklist to follow:

  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Harness
  • ID tag with your information
  • Puppy food
  • Chewy treats
  • Puppy-friendly toys 
  • Baby gate(s) if you want to keep your pup out of certain rooms/areas
  • Dog crate
  • Food and water bowl
  • Dog bed

Having the above items ready beforehand is one of the best puppy tips for the first week you can learn. This is because during your 
first week with a puppy, it will be difficult to leave it home alone. It also gives the puppy a warm welcome and comforting environment that can help them adjust and open up quicker. 

Other Preparation 
Tips for a Puppy

Another one of the important preparation 
tips for a puppy is to have a vet in mind. Your puppy likely came with their first round of shots, but they’ll need more soon. Once you’ve chosen your vet, call their office and ask if there is a 24-hour emergency vet they recommend just in case you need it in the puppy’s first week.

Lastly, if you already have a dog at home, you’ll need to prepare them for the 
first week with puppy
. Even if neither your current dog or new puppy are one of the most jealous dog breeds, it’s important to brush up on the signs of a jealous dog to avoid conflict. Be sure to plan time for socializing the two during the 
first days with a puppy.

Training Tips for a Puppy

It’s important to start training early on, even as soon as your first week home with puppy
. Even if your puppy isn’t a breed that’s known to be easy to train, like the Border Collie, you should still start training as soon as possible. Though it may seem overwhelming and not a fun way to bond with your new pet, these training tips for a new puppy
 will help disprove these feelings.

Potty Training

Housebreaking is probably one of the first things new owners search for when learning how to deal with a puppy. During your puppy’s first week home
, there are several reasons why they might choose to relieve themselves inside. Setting a daily schedule for your pup can help with potty training. 

Setting a Schedule

It’s critical that you set a schedule during the 
first weeks with a puppy. An example schedule is feeding your puppy the same times every day and taking them outside after they eat, drink, and wake up from a nap. It doesn’t need to be complicated — in fact, it should probably be pretty basic and easy to follow. 

Crate Training

One of the most useful puppy tips
 for owners that work outside of the home and/or don’t want their puppy to sleep in the bed is learning to crate train. Even if those traits don’t apply to you, crates are still a good way to give your puppy their own space and curb bad habits. This training element certainly will take some patience, though, especially if your puppy is known for being “yappy” like the Chihuahua.

Training Through Play

When you play with your puppy, you’re actually helping their brain continue to develop. Playing during 
the first days with a puppy can be a great introduction to formal training. Playing can actually be a great opportunity to teach your puppy to respond to its name, too.

Leash Training

Introducing the leash during the puppy’s first week with you is always a good idea. Be sure to research what kind of leash your puppy’s breed needs. For example, a retractable leash is best for small dogs like the Shih Tzu.

Socialization Tips for a New Puppy

Socialization is perhaps the most critical new puppy advice to follow. This is because socialization helps your puppy become familiar with all kinds of sights, sounds, and smells in a positive manner. Keep in mind that during the 
first weeks with a puppy, they are not yet fully vaccinated, so refrain from having them socialize with unfamiliar dogs.

Important socialization cues are:

  • Going for rides in the car.
  • Hearing the noise of traffic.
  • Experiencing different kinds of weather, like rain.
  • Meeting other people, including children.
  • Passing by joggers, bikers, and skateboarders. 
  • Seeing disabled people who use a wheelchair, walker, etc.

Social Puppy Advice

Your puppy won’t be able to interact with unfamiliar dogs because you don’t know their vaccination history. After the 
first weeks with a puppy are over and they’re fully vaccinated (which usually happens at around 10-12 weeks old), you can begin taking them to dog parks. Try to find a social group that’s led by an instructor so that both you and your new puppy can learn what a good dog-to-dog interaction looks like.

In Conclusion

The first weeks with a puppy are a formative time for their development, and for the development of the bond you’ll share. Think of the new puppy tips covered in this article as investments you’re making into having a happy, healthy dog for many years. For more puppy advice (and adult dog advice too!), be sure to check out

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