Tips for new puppy owners

New to having a puppy?

Tips for new puppy owners

Getting a new puppy is fun and exciting but it can also be overwhelming and scary! Here are some great tips and tricks we have learned along the way!

Toys and Chews

There are a lot of options out there as to what will keep your little ones mouths occupied but also keep them safe!


These bones are great for puppies.  Fill them with peanut butter and freeze them.  Works great at keeping them occupied for a while!


Antlers are another great chew option for growing pups.  Some prefer split antlers over non split.  Always remember to remove any that are small enough to be a choking hazard.


Himalayan Cheese

Himalayan Cheese chews are also great for big chewers.  The best part, once they get to a size that is too small and a choking hazard, they can be put into the microwave and turned into a great puffed snack.  This is definitely a chew something that should be monitored when they are chewing it.

Bully Sticks

Bully Sticks can be a bit stinky and some dogs can go through them quicker than others, but they are a favorite!  Make sure to monitor your pup while they are chewing these and if they get too small, remove and dispose of whatever is small enough to be a choking hazard





Rawhides have long been known to cause digestive issues in dogs.  I do not recommend using them and especially do not leave your pup alone with one.

While I do recommend rope toys for supervised play, it is highly advisable not to leave them unsupervised with rope toys.  The strings can be ingested and wrap around the intestine and cause serious damage.  Make sure not to pull any strings that your pup may have ingested and are coming out their rear end as this can cause serious damage as well.


Leashes and Collars

Your puppies are growing quickly as is their neck size.  It will be a good idea to keep this in mind when buying their collars or harnesses.


I would advise to have a collar with tags as soon as you get your puppy.  If you are crating your puppy (which is the best option for a curious and teething pup) you will need to take the collar off whenever he/she is in the crate.  The collar can get stuck inside the crate and can seriously harm your baby.  There are many options for a collar, but a flat, adjustable collar will be great to start with as your puppy will grow and may need a different size after some time.



A simple, flat 4-6 foot leash is your best option when leash training and walking your puppy.

Retractable Leashes

I have seen lots of people opt to use the retractable leash.  These leashes have long been regarded as dangerous for not only the pups they are on but the people around them.  Besides having personally been badly burned by another person using a retractable leash, I know people who have witnessed their dog pulling the leash out of their owners hands, and running wildly because they are being “chased” by the leash.  One even witnessed her dog run into traffic from being terrified of the leash.


Once your pup has finished growing, getting a front attaching harness will work great not just for walking but for riding in the car as well.  Pairing this with a tethered seatbelt attachment is the best way to travel with your furbaby.

Seatbelt Attachment

A seatbelt attachment is the best way to ensure your pup is safe during car rides.

Monthly Medications

There are a variety of medications needed to keep your pup healthy.  Since your puppy is growing (especially larger breed dogs), it will be necessary to have your pup weighed every month so your vet can advise you which dose of medication to use.  Here in Florida there are 2 parasites you will need to worry about every month:


Fleas are a BIG problem in Florida.  Not only do they make your pup itchy and miserable, they can also cause health issues and attack any other animals and humans they come across and .  There are a variety of monthly flea meds available to ensure your pup does not get infested with fleas.  Make sure to consult your vet regarding the best route in treating these pesky bugs!


Mosquitos are also a very big problem in Florida and cause very serious health issues- most commonly heart worms. Treatment for heart worm is costly and very dangerous for your pup.

There are a variety of medications that will protect your pup from these pests!  Some meds will cover one and others will protect from both.  Talk with your veterinarian to find out which will work best for your baby.


If you are new to the area here are some great local places that I highly recommend for your furbaby:

Bear Lake Veterinary Clinic

Bear Lake Veterinary Clinic is a wonderful, small clinic located in Apopka on the boarders of Altamonte Springs and Longwood. They also recently added Apopka Vet to the clinics run by Dr. Campbell.  Dr. Campbell is an amazing and caring vet that truly enjoys caring for pets.

Abbie’s Grooming Room

Abbie’s Grooming Room is located in the Wekiva area of Longwood. She grooms all breeds of dogs and cats as well.

Dogs Unlimited Dog Training

Whether you have a new puppy, or working through some bad habits of an older dog, Theresa covers it all!  She offers in home training and group classes.


Many pet families turn to us when they bring a puppy into their home.  Because puppies have small bladders and pet parents are working hard on house training them, we are called in to help break up their day while their owners are at work. The rule for how long a puppy can “hold it” it typically one more then their age (in months).  So a 2 month old puppy can generally go 3 hours.  This is just a general rule and other factors effect this as well.

The puppies we care for generally house break quicker and have great manors and socialization skills.  They are on a consistent routine, are used to people coming into their home, and get to get out and exercise a bit in the middle of the day.  They are less destructive and more enjoyable as puppies.

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