Puppy 101 5

Learn the basics on puppy care from the moment you bring one home, with advice from Dr. Lindsay Mamula of Veterinary Center of Parker.

Anyone who has ever adopted a puppy can tell you there’s a learning curve at first. Caring for a puppy takes patience. Some pups go through a chewing phase (like mine!) and others want to play round the clock. A transition period—for all parties involved—is normal and to be expected.

Dr. Lindsay Mamula of Veterinary Center of Parker says, “Puppies are like kids. They will need lots of attention when they come home.”

If you bring home a new fur baby this season, here are some tips to ease into puppy parenthood.

Some things you’ll need to teach your puppy are how to:

  • play nicely, with humans and other dogs
  • go to the bathroom outside
  • like their crate
  • get around their new home (i.e. using stairs or whether they are allowed on furniture)


In addition to keeping a fresh bowl of water available at all times, you’ll also need to feed your new puppy two to three times a day and maybe more often if it is a smaller breed. Dr. Mamula recommends, “Each puppy’s food requirements is very different based on their size. The bag will give you general guidelines to follow until you can see your veterinarian.”


Just like us, puppies will need to get some exercise! Warning: If you aren’t already an outdoor person, this might turn you into one. (Not bad, right?) Dr. Mamula says that exactly how much exercise your dog needs will be based on their breed and energy level. “In general it is a good idea to get your dog outside for good exercise twice a day,” says Dr. Mamula. Plus, burning off all that puppy energy will help keep them calm. It’s hard for a worn-out puppy to get into mischief!


Dr. Mamula recommends that the younger and smaller the dog is, the more frequently it should be let out.  She adds, “If they are a larger dog breed then their urinary bladder is bigger and can hold more, thus the reason why they don’t have to go as often.”


Visiting a veterinarian at eight weeks to receive vaccinations is a good start, unless the breeders have already provided them. Otherwise, Dr. Mamula recommends waiting “until 12 weeks of age for their next set of vaccines, given that the puppy is otherwise healthy. It is always a good idea to get your new puppy in to see the veterinarian sooner than later to help guide you with feeding, training and any questions that you may have.”