Adopting a new pet into the family is always an exciting time. Your newly adopted puppy will quickly become your best friend, and at Bayside Animal Hospital, we want to ensure that you and your puppy start your life together on the right paw.

Today we are exploring the basics of new puppy adoption and new puppy care that every puppy parent should know.

Puppy Adoption 101

new white puppy playing in the grass at new home

There’s no comparison to the joyful feeling of holding your adopted puppy for the first time. Before you choose your new best friend, there are some important things to take into consideration. For starters, do you have the time, energy, and space to care for a puppy? To raise one with care and responsibility? 

New puppy care can be as time-consuming as welcoming a baby into the family. Just a few considerations are the need to puppy-proof your house, schedule time for routine potty breaks, and get a head start on training while your puppy is little.

For someone who works full-time with limited availability, a new puppy may not be the best choice. Instead, opt for an older dog (ages 2 and above). Older dogs tend to be a bit calmer and require less supervision after the appropriate training and adjustment time. Each dog is different and adjustment time can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to get your new pup into a healthy routine by your side.

What Age is Best for a New Puppy?

grey puppy looking at camera

Reputable shelters don’t begin puppy adoption until a dog is at least 8 weeks old. Prior to this age, they are still babies who are weaning and need to be in the presence of their mother or a trained human caretaker.

You will find that most puppies are available to adopt between the ages of 10 and 16 weeks. By this time, they will be old enough to adopt and will have undergone a few milestones with their shelter’s vet. You can resume this care with your local veterinarian during wellness visits. Puppies will need a full year of immunizations to protect them, as well as parasite prevention and other routine care necessary to help your pet live a long, healthy life.

New Puppy Care Essentials

black and white dog playing with new toys and treats

You’ll need to make sure to have all the supplies necessary to give your pup the perfect homecoming. This comprehensive list by the American Kennel Club is the perfect collection of all the must-have accessories for the best in puppy care.

Here are some of the Bayside veterinary staff’s top recommendations:

  • Steel food and water bowls that are easy to clean.
  • A soft and cozy bed.
  • A spacious puppy crate to offer your dog their own little sanctuary.
  • A long training leash.
  • A well-fitted collar and pet tags with your contact information.
  • Puppy toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Potty pads for house training.
  • Healthy treats for positive reinforcement and puppy training.

When to Take a New Puppy to the Vet

adopted puppy wrapped in blanket on way to the veterinarian

We recommend scheduling an appointment with your vet for a meet-and-greet shortly after bringing your puppy home. Your veterinarian will help you understand general puppy health better, including how to nourish your dog with the right food, how to train them properly, and when to schedule their next immunization appointment.

At Bayside Animal Hospital, we cover every cycle of a dog’s life, from puppy health check-ups to senior dog care. If you are looking for a veterinarian in or near Kemah, Texas, we would be overjoyed to meet you and your new companion and to help you get settled into a healthy routine.

You can schedule an appointment with us by texting, calling, or requesting an appointment on our website. Let us be one of the first to congratulate you on this wonderful new addition to your family! We wish you years of happiness alongside your beloved new pet.