Taking care of a dog or puppy is a big job! Find out what supplies you will need and what responsibilities you will have to take care of your new best friend.
- Premium quality dog food and treats for the right breed and size
- Food and water bowls – ceramic and metal bowls clean up better
- Safe toys – make sure there’s no lead paint or breakable parts
- Dog brush and comb
- Dog shampoo
- Pooper scooper and biodegradable poop bags
- Collar with license and ID tag
- Dog nail clippers
- Carrier or crate
- Dog bed
- Dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste
- Outdoor dog house
- Make sure you have shaded areas outdoors
Dangers! Never Give Your Puppy or Dog:
- Anything harder than your pet’s teeth. This includes cow
- bones, nylon bones and real bones. These can break a dog’s teeth.
- House plants
- T-shirts or knotted socks. If accidently chewed apart and ingested, they can become “foreign bodies”, causing your pet to become very ill.
- Grapes and raisins
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions, garlic or chives
- Poultry bones
- Salty foods or salt
- Tomato leaves or stems
- Unripe fruit
- Yeast dough
- Medicines unless it’s recommended by a veterinarian
What to Feed Your Puppy or Dog
- Adult dogs should eat premium-quality dry food. If you want, you can mix the dry food with water, low-salt broth or canned food
- Dogs can eat MOST fruits and vegetables, but never more than 10% of their daily diet. See below for a list of foods that shouldn’t be given to dogs.
- Puppies need a high-quality puppy food
- Avoid“people food”for all dogs and puppies
- Dogs and puppies need clean, fresh water available at all times
When to Feed
- Puppies eight to 12 weeks old: three meals a day
- Puppies three to six months old: two meals a day
- Puppies six months to one year: two meals a day
- Dogs, one year or older: two meals a day
- Large dogs: may need three meals a day
- Different dogs need different amounts of exercise. Some dogs need a lot. Some dogs get hurt if they exercise too much. Ask your veterinarian what’s best for your pet.
- When walking your pet, be careful of ice or snow, deicer salt, or hot pavement
- Gently brush your dog’s fur
- Play with your dog
- Walk your dog – ask your veterinarian how long and how much
- Brush your dog’s teeth – chew toys aren’t enough
- Clean up poop
- Clean water and food bowls
- Feed and water your pet
- Bathe your dog if needed. Some dogs don’t need to be bathed monthly.
- Have your parents or guardian:
- Check your dog’s nails to see if they need to be clipped
- Give your dog a heartworm pill from your veterinarian – no matter which state you live in!
- Ask your veterinarian to see if your dog needs his/ her ear hair trimmed or if he/she needs his/her“anal glands expressed”
- Apply a flea/tick prevention treatment if needed
- Have your parent or guardian take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup and any vaccines
- Never hit a dog, they don’t understand what hitting is
- Never grab your dog’s fur or tail
- Don’t force a tired dog to play
Get a License and ID
- Follow your city’s licensing laws
- Attach the license to your dog’s collar
- Have your parents or guardian ask the veterinarian to microchip your dog
Go to Dog or Puppy School
A trained dog is a happy dog! Contact your local humane society or veterinarian to find a training class.
Spay and Neuter
- To prevent health problems, females should be spayed and males should be neutered. Check with your veterinarian on the appropriate age to spay or neuter your pet.
- Dogs that are spayed/neutered don’t run away or fight as much
Finding the Right Veterinarian
- When you get your dog, have your parent or guardian take it to a veterinarian for a checkup
- Your dog should see a veterinarian once a year and when you think it might be sick
You know your dog best. If your dog seems to be acting strangely, call your veterinarian right away!