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New Puppy? Here’s What You Need to Know

Bringing home a new member of the family is exciting. Perhaps you’ve waited months for the perfect pairing from your favorite breeder and have been tracking your puppy’s progress online. Finally, the day has arrived when you can bring your new puppy home. But now what? How do I begin this journey of pet ownership?

New Market Animal Hospital is here to help. We love puppies and kitties around here, so much so that every member of our staff has committed their lives to helping care for your puppy or kitty. With over 35 years serving the pet community in New Market, we offer the most compassionate and client friendly care. With our on call emergency vet services, we strive to be there when you need us the most. Below, we’ll go over what you need for your new puppy and what to do when you bring home a puppy for the first time. Contact us today to get started!


Dog toys

New puppies are teething until they get their permanent adult teeth in at around four months. During this time, your puppy will constantly feel the need to chew. Not only are they learning through their mouths, but as they chew, the baby puppy teeth will fall out. Hence, you’ll need a lot of chew toys on hand for your puppy to explore and keep his mouth busy with, rather than using your shoes as chew toys. Oftentimes, if you get your puppy from a breeder, he or she will send home a toy with your puppy that has the smells of his litter mates and mama on it so he’s not so homesick. Variety is key here. New Market Animal Hospital recommends that you try a bunch of different kinds of chew toys until you find your puppy’s preferred kind. There are rubber toys, squeaky toys, cloth toys, and throw toys. Just make sure there are no chokable parts before purchasing.

Dog crate

Odds are, your puppy won’t quite be potty trained coming from the breeder. The best way to potty train a puppy is by using a dog crate since dogs don’t like to soil their bed areas. Not only can this be a strong incentive for your puppy to alert you when it has to go outside, but it also keeps your puppy safe when you’re not around. Also, puppies like to have a safe place to retreat to and relax, and a dog crate can serve that purpose. One more benefit of having a dog crate is to give your puppy a safe place to decompress. With all the new activity going on and couple that with the fact your dog is a den animal by nature, your puppy needs downtime to sleep and process all that they are learning. New Market Animal Hospital recommends a dog crate for this use as well. Pro tip: when purchasing a crate, make sure it is the right size for puppy. Too big of a crate and your puppy will soil a corner. Too small and your puppy won’t be able to move.


All dogs need to wear a collar at all times. This is for safety reasons primarily and control reasons secondarily. It’s exceedingly easy for your puppy to latch onto a rabbit and go chasing it until it can’t find its way home. This is very bad, indeed. By having a collar with your puppy’s name and your cell phone number on it, you’ll have a good chance of getting your puppy home to you again. When you see your veterinarian at New Market Animal Hospital, have your puppy microchipped as well. It’s all too common for dogs to slip their collars and then they have no contact information on them. With microchipping, a small chip is inserted under the skin behind the neck with your contact information on it. When a veterinarian scans for this chip, your name will come up in a database, and you’ll be reunited with your beloved pet. You also need a collar for your puppy’s leash.



You need to choose a leash for your puppy, or a dog harness. A dog harness goes around their chest instead of their neck. Some people also like using the Gentle Leader, which goes on top of your puppy’s nose. New Market Animal Hospital recommends you let your puppy adjust to this newfangled instrument by letting them walk around the house with it on first before trying to go for a walk. The last thing you want to be doing is dragging your puppy along. Furthermore, depending on your breed, it can be suggested to not walk your puppy in the beginning months while they are growing. This is especially true for giant breeds, such as Great Danes or Irish Wolfhounds. Consult with your local vet at your first appointment to learn more.

Puppy food and water

Most puppies require special puppy food to meet their body’s growing needs. You’ll need to buy specific puppy formula for specific breeds as well since large breed dogs have very different nutritional requirements than smaller breeds. Puppies need to eat about three times a day and also always need fresh water. New Market Animal Hospital can recommend the best puppy food for your puppy. We also recommend stainless steel dog bowls since these collect less bacteria than plastic bowls.

Dog bed

Your puppy will need a comfortable bed to lay their weary head on at night. Including the toy from their litter that you may have received from the breeder can go a long way in helping your puppy to sleep well at night. Buy a dog bed or blanket that fits your puppy now and then upgrade later. Do be aware that your puppy may chew their bed if left unattended too long.

Bitter apple spray

Bitter apple spray is a spray to discourage chewing by puppies. You spray this onto furniture, clothes, or any other item you don’t want your puppy chewing. It’s odorless to humans, and dogs find it very unappetizing.

A good all-purpose cleaner

From accidents in the home to puppy food all over the floor, owning a puppy can be messy. Make sure your cleaning supplies are well stocked before you bring your puppy home so you can easily clean up the messes your puppy finds themselves in.




Make an appointment with your veterinarian!

This is imperative as puppies need lots of shots when they are first born in order to be healthy. Some of these shots are deworming shots to get rid of worms, while others are shots or pills to prevent diseases, such as heartworm medication or rabies. Furthermore, seeing your local veterinarian in the months after you have a puppy is akin to wellness checks for babies. You can have peace of mind knowing your puppy is growing healthy and strong. Your local vet can also catch anything awry with your puppy as well at these important visits. Here, you can get all of your questions answered about puppy ownership, including advice on food, information on spaying or neutering, and just overall helpful advice.

Sign up for puppy training classes.

One of the best things you can do for your puppy is to give them rules on how to behave. You do this through puppy training classes. In the typical puppy training class, your puppy will learn how to sit, how to lay down, how to wait for food, how to walk on a leash, and even tricks, such as roll over. These classes are vital when your puppy is young in order to train the behavior you want to see. Furthermore, New Market Animal Hospital notes these classes are great bonding times for you and your new puppy, as well as superb socialization time your puppy needs.


New Market Animal Hospital can help you with your new puppy. Simply make an appointment, and we’ll take it from there. We’ll go over all the shots your puppy needs, how to keep your puppy happy and healthy, and cover breed specific needs. We’ll answer all of your questions and offer helpful advice. The puppy stage is the perfect time for you to bond with your dog and develop a lifelong friendship that will last a long time. Call your local vet in New Market today to get started!