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Top 11 Puppy Care Tips Print

With just a little planning, bringing your new baby home will open the door to years of fun, laughter and love together. With these helpful puppy care tips, you’ll soon be on your way to a happy, loving relationship.

Puppy Tip #1: Find a breed that fits your lifestyle

Consider adopting from an animal shelter. Many different breeds are often available, through no fault of their own, offering unique traits to match your individual needs. The IAMS Breed Selector is a great tool; full of great puppy care tips. Check out the breed selector now.

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Puppy Tip #2: Get the right food

Have his food ready before your dog comes home. Buy a premium food such as Iams® ProActive Health™ Smart Puppy Original™, IAMS® Proactive Health™ Puppy Chunks with Chicken and Beef in Gravy, or IAMS® Proactive Health™ Smart Puppy Large Breed Formula.

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Puppy Tip #3: Have supplies on hand

Make sure you have feeding bowls, a collar and leash, ID tag, comb, brush, nail clippers, a bed and toys.

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Puppy Tip #4: Introduce the family slowly

This is one of the most important puppy care tips. Your new puppy should meet family members quietly, one at a time. For the first few days, keep the puppy confined to one room, and play with him gently. Don't let small children play with him unsupervised.

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Puppy Tip #5: Introduce existing pets gradually

Top 11 Puppy Care Tips

"A puppy should never be forced into another pet's world," says Dr. Nicholas Warendorf, DVM, owner of Old Derby Animal Clinic in Hingham, Massachusetts. "This will be a huge adjustment, so let it happen naturally."

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Puppy Tip #6: Puppy-proof your home

This is one of those puppy care tips that requires special attention. Identify potential hazards by taking a pup’s eye view of your home. Are there cords he might lick or chew? All potential hazards should be removed or locked away

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Puppy Tip #7: See a veterinarian regularly

ake your puppy to a veterinarian for an initial exam. This will reveal any existing health problems, and your pal will get his essential vaccinations. Follow your veterinarian's recommendation for additional visits.

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Puppy Tip #8: Groom him regularly

Consistent grooming keeps your dog looking his best and also gets him used to being touched and restrained.

  • Comb or brush long-haired breeds daily and short-haired breeds weekly.
  • Bathe your dog on a regular basis.
  • Clip his nails as needed, avoiding the sensitive area at the base of the nail. Ask your veterinarian if you're unsure how to do this.
  • Make time for play. Playtime helps you bond with your dog and keeps him in tip-top physical condition. Let your puppy determine how long you'll play, and stop when he seems like he's tiring. Avoid "tug of war" games, which can cause aggression problems later. Make sure all toys are appropriate for his size, and teach your children the appropriate way to play with your puppy.
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Puppy Tip #9: Exercise for good health

Exercising your new dog is beneficial to his health, and yours! A daily walk is a good start. Swimming, playing Frisbee® or fetch, hunting or running are also fun.

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Puppy Tip #10: Enter your dog in competition

Conformation, obedience trials, tracking tests, hunting trials, herding trials and agility competitions can be fun for both of you. If your dog is a mixed breed, contact regional dog clubs for less formal shows. If you have a purebred and are interested in showing him, visit the American Kennel Club website for more information.

Puppy Tip #11: Don't feed him human food

Our food is not properly balanced for a dog, whose nutritional needs are unique. Some human foods, like chocolate, can even be toxic to dogs in large doses.

Welcome Home

Now that you've got the basics covered with these great puppy care tips, you're read y to welcome that special puppy or new adult dog into your life. Be sure to enjoy all the "little" moments along the way.

Start Him Out Right

Iams® ProActive Health Puppy™ is enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals. It provides high-quality nutrition to support the immune system. Premium ingredients make this a perfectly balanced food to help your puppy stay healthy during this critical stage of growth:

  • Vitamin-rich fish oil to help support overall health
  • High-quality chicken to nourish growing muscles, vital organs, and skin and coat
  • A tailored fiber source to help enhance your puppy's ability to absorb nutrients

Read more about Dog Health Issues.

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