There are a lot of responsibilities with dog ownership. Nothing on this daily checklist can be overlooked without a consequence. Get on a schedule to adjust quickly to all the new daily duties. Feel free to print out this puppy owner checklist and check off the jobs each day as you get them done.
Puppy Supplies to Buy First
— Crate/carrier (see crate training instruction here)
— Flat bottomed bowls (2)
— Premium puppy food (small bag)
— Adjustable Collar
— Leash (find helpful sizing info here)
— Chew toys (find out about safe dog toys here)
— slicker brush (for fluffy puppies)
— Ear cleaner
— Toenail clippers and styptic powder
— Puppy shampoo (oatmeal shampoo preferably)
— Pet waste bags
Daily Responsibilities of a Puppy Owner
— House Training
Start house training the puppy on the first day. Set a schedule for potty breaks throughout the day and stick to it. Post the schedule in the house for all to see and help out. Check out my house training tips here. Clean up any accidents immediately so odors don’t set in and habits don’t form.
— Feed the puppy after a trip outside every morning. Measure the food and feed exactly according to the guidelines on the bag. Divide the amount in two and give half in the morning and half in the evening. Do not overfeed a puppy.
— Rinse both dog bowls and provide fresh water at all times. You may not expect the water bowl to get as dirty as the food bowl, but it will get smelly fast. Dump the water and wash the bowl with antibacterial dish soap at least once a day. Make sure you rinse the soap completely.
— Exercise the dog on a schedule. This is not play time. Go for a long walk, or do some agility training. Get the puppy to focus on the exercise in a structured setting. Consider this school time for your dog.
— Play with the puppy with approved toys. Get down on the floor with your dog and teach them how to play nice. Find out what your dog enjoys doing most and you will see easy areas to train. Don’t let the puppy do anything during playtime that you don’t want it to do all the time. Correct behavior as needed, then continue play.
— Groom the puppy daily with the slicker brush if it has fluffy hair. All puppies should be checked over daily to make sure there are no lumps or bumps or injuries. Handling the puppy gently but firmly, rub your hands over the body and down the legs. This will also teach the dog that you are allowed to handle them, completely. Check the feet and hair between the pads for mats. Check the toenails for length and cracking. Call the veterinarian or groomer with any specific questions. More instructions on grooming introduction can be found here and here.
— Relax with your puppy and and praise them for staying calm. Give the dog as much hands-on one on one time as possible in a relaxed setting. This is another great time to check the puppy over for injuries or illness. Give the puppy a good massage and sleep will come easier.
Getting a new puppy sounds like a lot of fun and it is, but there is a lot of work involved too. If you have not gotten a puppy yet, this list will show you what to expect. There is a lot of time involved with raising a well behaved healthy dog.