What Shots Does My Puppy Need?

​​​What's The Best Way To Housebreak A Puppy?
              Crate Training
              Potty Training​​

How Do I Choose The Best Puppy Food?

How Can I Get Rid Of Dog Urine Stains & Odor?

​​Does My Puppy Have Worms & How Do I Treat Them?

​​Help - My Puppy Has Diarrhea!

How Can I Help My Constipated Puppy?​​

​​How Can I Train My Puppy Properly?

​​How Do I Introduce My New Puppy To The Resident Dog?

​​My Dog Barks & Destroys Stuff When I'm Out - What Do I Do?

​​Why Is My Pup Always Licking/Scratching Himself?


​​​​​​Puppy Shots ​​

The 2011 AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommendations for puppy shots are the most up-to-date veterinary guidelines for puppies and dogs in the USA.

The four CORE vaccines (those that all puppies should have) are:

Canine Adenovirus-2 (aka CAV-2 or Canine Hepatitis) - this protects against a viral disease affecting your pup's liver

Canine Parvovirus (aka 'Parvo'- - protects your puppy from the dreaded (and deadly) Parvovirus. A viral disease which affects his intestines, lymph nodes, bone marrow and sometimes even his heart

Distemper - protects against a viral disease which affects his intestines, lungs and brain

Rabies - protects against this deadly viral disease which affects your pup's central nervous system.

 It's worth remembering that there are no 'cures' for any of the illnesses listed above. if your pup gets one of them, it's quite possible that he will die.

Vaccinations save the lives of puppies just like yours every single day. They're one of the most important parts of your new pet's health care and are NOT optional.

Usually there will be three sets of combination vaccinations (a shot that protects against more than one disease) given at 3 week intervals.

The puppy shots timeline that most vet's traditionally recommend starts vaccinations at around 8 weeks.

A second shot is given at 11 weeks and then the third at 14.

The Rabies vaccination is given at around 16 weeks.

Giving puppy immunizations is good, but giving them at the right time is essential if you want them to work!

puppy shot

Very young puppies have a certain amount of natural immunity that they get from their mothers milk, but that begins to diminish somewhere between 5 and 8 weeks of age.

If a puppy is vaccinated while he still has a significant level of maternal antibodies in his bloodstream, the vaccine won't be effective.

Some studies have indicated that at 6 weeks old only 25% of puppies vaccinated respond to a vaccine by producing antibodies.

By 18 weeks that figure has risen to 95%.

Non-Core Vaccinations For Puppies

 All puppies need to have the core shots to protect them from the most common dog illnesses, but there are also other diseases/conditions that some pups may be at risk of catching.

These can also be prevented by vaccination, but it's important to know that not all puppies need (or should have) these.
Sometimes it depends on the part of the country (or world) that you live in.

Other times the activities your pup will take part in or where he'll spend a lot of his time is the key.

These optional 'extras' include vaccinations against:
•Corona Virus (a viral disease which affects a puppy's intestines)
•Bordatella (commonly known as Kennel Cough, a bacterial illness which affects the upper respiratory system)
•Giardia (a internal parasitic disease)
•Lyme Disease (a bacterial illness usually affecting joints, but can also spread to the major organs).

Certain vaccines are often grouped together and give as one shot. The most common would be the 3-in-1 shot for Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvo. These are all CORE vaccines.

Then there's a 5-in-1 option which also includes protection against Leptospirosis and Canine Parainfluenza.

A 7-in-1 puppy shot option is available which gives additional protection against other strains of Adenovirus and Leptopsirosis.

If your pup will be boarded, kenneled, attend dog training classes or be 'out-and-about' a lot (which hopefully he/she will to get those valuable puppy socialization experiences ) you need to have the Bordatella vaccine given.

There are two options for administering the Bordatella vaccine - a 'shot' or nasal drops.

If your dog isn't a hugely social animal, then annual boosters are enough.

BUT if he travels a lot, goes to doggie day care, is boarded or at the dog park regularly then having the vaccine given twice a year is recommended.

Some veterinarians prefer to start vaccinations a little later at 9 or 10 weeks due to concerns about the effectiveness of vaccines when given too early and the possible side effects.

As your puppy is very vulnerable to disease until he's been fully vaccinated, the only problem with this 'late start' is that you will need to keep him well clear of any strange dogs or outdoor/indoor areas where other dogs may have been for longer.

There is a fair amount of conflicting opinion among vets and veterinary care professionals as to how many vaccinations puppies (and dogs) should be given, how often they should get them, and how the shots should be given.

Although the AAHA and AVMA still recommend yearly boosters for all dogs, a lot of research shows that this is not strictly necessary - and can even cause health problems.

Some research seems to indicate that giving 'combo-shots' (ie a vaccination that contains more than one vaccine, such as the 3-in-1 mentioned earlier) can lead to a higher risk of allergic reactions and other side effects.

If you are concerned about any of this discuss it with your veterinarian. You can ask for vaccinations to be given singly (if your vet has/can get) these.

After the first set of shots you can also ask for your pup's blood titers to be checked before you give him any subsequent ones.

You can do the same thing when it comes to the regular (usually annual) boosters that adult dogs are given (with the exception of Bordatella/Kennel Cough, Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease whose vaccines are usually only effective for 6 or 12 months)

Worried about over-vaccination?

If you're concerned about over-vaccinating your puppy talk to your veterinarian.

After your puppy has had his first set of vaccinations you can ask your vet to check the 'titers' in his bloodstream before he gets any more shots.

Simply put, titers are a measurement of antibodies to disease that exist in your puppy's bloodstream as a result of vaccination.

It takes about a week to 10 days for the antibodies to show up in tests, so you can ask your veterinarian to run a blood test for specific antibodies 10 days after he's been vaccinated.

If the level of antibodies in his blood is high enough to confirm that he has immunity to a particular disease, you may not need to re-vaccinate him.

Generally once your puppy has had three sets of the combination puppy shots, plus the Rabies shot, he will be protected.

Protection isn't immediate though, and I would recommend waiting at least a week after your pup has received his final set of puppy shots before venturing out into public areas.

There are also, sadly, no guarantees and even after three sets of combination vaccines occasionally puppies still get sick.

So always be careful to avoid dogs who might appear sick, or areas where stray dogs might roam.

Vaccinations For Adult Dogs

Adult dogs must by law receive annual dog 'booster' vaccinations for Rabies (although some vaccines provide 3 years of protection).

There is an annual booster recommendation for most CORE vaccines too but your vet can check the antibody 'titers' (basically the level of antibodies in your dog's bloodstream to any particular disease) and vaccinate only if they are too low.

This can help to prevent over-vaccinating your dog, which may lead to auto-immune problems and other illnesses. BUT these tests do cost extra money.

In some states/areas vaccines are now available that are effective for 3 or even 5 years. I'd recommend asking your vet if these are available for your dog/pup.

The best advice I can give you is to ask your own veterinarian about this, and follow his/her advice and recommendations about canine vaccination procedure.

If you've adopted an older pup or adult dog and don't know their puppy shots history, then the minimum vaccinations you'll need to get them are against Distemper, Parvo and Hepatitis.

He/she will need two rounds of shots, given 3 weeks apart.

Again though, individual areas (and each veterinarian) may have different recommendations, so talk to your own vet to find out what he/she thinks is best.

​​​What's The Best Way To Housebreak A Puppy?

This is a leading, puppy FAQs question! The simplest and easiest way to housebreak your puppy, is by using a crate. Crate-training works WITH your puppy's natural instincts and helps speeds up the whole potty training process.

Any puppy of 8 weeks of age or older can begin crate-training.

You can find out how to choose the right size crate, how to introduce it to your puppy, and exactly how this method of housebreaking works on Crate-Training

You'll also find lots of helpful advice on housebreaking in general on Potty Training 

                                      Crate Training A Puppy- How & Why It Works

Crate training a puppy is the quickest and easiest way to keep your home a 'puddle-free' zone! Find out why it's so effective, and how to get started here!

There's a very straightforward way to teach a pup to eliminate where you want him to, while at the same time minimizing the number of accidents he has, it's called puppy crate training!

Housebreaking is one of the very first, and most important, tasks all new puppy owners have to deal with, and it can also be one of the most challenging ones too - but it doesn't have to be stressful or frustrating, for you or your pup.

You might be wondering exactly why using a crate is so great, and may even feel that you don't want to put your precious baby in a 'cage'... but there's no need to worry!

I have all the information you need to understand not just how it works, but why your puppy will soon enjoy being in his crate and why that's completely natural for him.

A dog crate is truly an amazingly versatile piece of equipment and it's not just an effective puppy housebreaking tool.

Using a crate (sometimes called a 'kennel' or 'cage') is going to help both you and your pup in more ways than you might think, and as dogs are naturally 'den' animals, your little guy - or gal - will feel safe and secure in his crate.

As he gets older he'll actually enjoy being in his own cozy, safe little hideaway.

​The benefits of crate training include....

​•Helps your puppy learn where you expect him to pee/poop (and where you don't!)

•Keeps him safe, and protects your furniture and possessions when you're not around to supervise him

•Keeps him safe when traveling in the car or by air

•Helps prevent separation anxiety issues

•Gives him a safe place where he can get some 'alone time' and just rest and relax

There are many different styles of crate to choose from, but some are better suited to puppies who are being housebroken than others!

Check out my Choosing The Best Dog Crate page to find out more.

Introducing Your Puppy To His Crate

Your puppy will most likely not have spent much time in a crate before he comes to live with you (except perhaps during travel, or if his breeder started him on housebreaking) so crate training will be new to him.

The main reason why crate training a puppy is so effective is that it taps into your pup's natural desire to keep his 'den' clean.

In the wild, puppies would toddle out of their den to eliminate - even if it's only two tiny puppy-sized steps outside! This is instinctive behavior and is hard-wired into their little brains.

Now, your little guy has never seen a real 'den', but being in his crate will trigger that deep-seated instinct and he'll naturally do his very best not to pee or poop until you let him out.

Although crate training a puppy will help make housebreaking much easier for you both, your puppy is a baby and has other natural instincts to deal with too. One of them is that he instinctively wants to be right next to his pack - and that pack is now YOU.

He feels anxious and worried if he's away from you (because in the wild a puppy who gets separated is vulnerable and in great danger). This is why he will cry and complain and fuss and whine at first.... not because he hates his crate!

Of course, he's perfectly safe... he just doesn't know it yet. And as he's a domesticated dog and not a lone wolf, he needs to get used to being separated from you from short periods, so it's okay to ignore the fussing.

 When you're crate training, it makes the whole process a bit easier if you let your pup get used to his new crate, and feel comfortable around it, before he has to spend much time actually inside it.

Something worth mentioning here is that you should never use the crate as punishment. Your pup needs to think of his crate as a safe, happy place where he gets the chance to chew on his very favorite toys! Putting him in his crate as a punishment or when you're angry with him will undo all the hard work you invested in the first place.

Here are some basic rules of crate training and a few ideas for ways in which you can help your little one get accustomed to his new crate and learn that it's a fun place to spend time -
•Open access
When you begin crate training your puppy, leave the crate door open and throw some really tasty treats inside, all the way to the back. Curiosity will get the better of your little fur ball sooner or later and he'll venture inside to claim them.

•Feed him inside
Give Fido his meals inside the crate (with the door open). This way he learns to associate one of his favorite things (food!) with his crate. If he seems scared at first try feeding him right outside the crate door a couple of times then try it inside again.

•Play Hide & Seek
Make crate training fun by playing this game. Put a tasty treat or special toy inside his crate and then encourage your pup to 'find' it. Using a happy, friendly voice say something along the lines of "where's your goodie? Let's find it?". Follow the search with praise, such as "Oh, there it is. It's in your crate (or bed, house whatever you want to call it). What a good boy, you found it!"

Now you know all the benefits of using a crate to housebreak your puppy, and how to handle the introductions, you'll need a straightforward guide to how to actually use it!

Crate Training Safety

One of the reasons for crate training a puppy is that it helps to keep him safe - but there are a few things you need to do to make sure he stays that way.
1.Don't ever leave a chain, prong, training or slip collar on little Fido when you put him in his crate. It's quite possible it could get caught up on something and then he'll panic, the result of that could be tragic. If you really must leave a collar on make sure it's a simple, undecorated buckle collar - or even better a safety 'break-away' type collar.

2.Don't leave your puppy crated in a hot room, in sunlight (even indoors) or outside in direct sun, or in a car on a sunny day. It doesn't take much for a puppy or dog to overheat, and again the results could be tragic. When you're crate training a puppy in hot weather, be especially careful with short nosed breeds (otherwise known as brachycephalic breeds) as they tend to have more difficulty with the heat. Something similar applies to heavy, thick-coated breeds such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Husky's etc.

3.Never allow children to tease Fido while he's in his crate or push their fingers through the doors or wire panels. A puppy or dog who is crated, can tend to feel cornered if approached or teased. Even an even-tempered, docile dog can react with growling or snapping if he feels threatened.

His crate is meant to be your puppy's safe haven, and as such he has a right to some peace and quiet and to feel safe when he's inside.

How To Potty Train A Puppy

Quick 'pop quiz'.... what's one of the most important (and dreaded) tasks you face when you bring home a new puppy? Potty training

  If you don't get house training right, both you and your new pup will soon be confused, frustrated and fed-up.

Having potty trained many pups over the years, I've learned what works (and what doesn't) and by sharing my hard-earned knowledge I hope I can make your learning curve a little less steep!

You'll soon find out that your new puppy has no qualms about peeing or pooping just about anywhere!

When the urge strikes him, you'll soon find out that your little guy (or girl) has no qualms about peeing or pooping just about anywhere.

He also has NO idea that this isn't the way we humans do things and is totally oblivious to the fact that you think his behavior is unacceptable.

So, it's up to you to help him learn where you expect him to pee/poop as quickly as possible, with love, patience and understanding.

If you follow the simple, step-by-step guidelines on this page you'll be able to avoid the majority of accidental or misplaced 'puddles and piles'.

You'll be less frustrated, your pup will be less confused and you'll both be happier!

But don't expect to housebreak your puppy in 5 days, or 7, or 10.... those kinds of expectations are unrealistic.

No matter what anyone promises you, it is extremely unlikely that your puppy is going to be properly housebroken within a week or two.

Of course there are always exceptions, and your little one may be a really quick learner, but it's best to expect the whole process to be ongoing for some weeks/months to come.

Your pup learns through repetition and by linking cause-and-effect....

.....when you help him make the right connections (by anticipating his needs and showing him what you expect), he quickly gets into the right habits. Ones that he'll follow for lifetime.

BUT, if he's allowed to build up bad habits (such as peeing on the living room floor) it will make life much more difficult than if he gets into the habit of feeling the grass in the backyard on his paws before he lets loose!

House-training begins the minute you bring your 'baby' home, so being prepared beforehand is always recommended.

​House Training Puppies 101

So, now you're ready to start potty training your puppy. If you follow these steps and are patient and consistent, you'll have a well-trained pup sooner than you think....

1.Designate a specific 'potty spot'
Make sure there's an area of your yard just for your puppy, and ALWAYS take him there to potty. Introduce him to it as soon as you get him home, before you even take him inside the house, and hopefully he'll be ready to relieve himself.
2.Realize that puppies need to potty a lot!
The average 8 week old pup needs to go out approx. every 30 mins to an hour during the day, and most will need at least one potty break
during the night for the first few weeks. Always take him to his potty spot after every meal, nap and playtime - and anytime he is whining, circling and sniffing, or seems restless or agitated (all classic signs that he needs to 'go').

3.Keep To A Predictable Routine
Puppies really benefit from having a daily housebreaking routine that they can count on. It also helps your efforts to potty train a puppy in two ways..... It has emotional benefits because it makes them feel secure - remember how puppies love repetition and habits? On a practical level, putting your pup's meals, naps and playtimes on a schedule will regulate his bowels and make it easier for you to predict when he needs a potty break.

4.Teach your pup to let you know when he needs to go outside
Although at first you will be in control of when, and how often, your pup goes outdoors to pee/poop - but eventually you'll want him to let you know when the urge strikes! You can teach him to give you a 'heads-up' by using Poochie Bells. The idea is that he alerts you to his needs by ringing these little bells which are hung on the handle of the door you want him to use to go outside. To begin with you'll need to help him 'ring' them every single time you go out, and add a verbal cue such as 'Fido needs to potty' as you do so. Most pups will get the hang of this fairly quickly, and it certainly makes life much easier later on.

5.Never leave your puppy to run around indoors unsupervised
When you're beginning to housebreak your puppy, NEVER leave your him to run around the house unsupervised. Although dogs are naturally clean animals and will do their best not to soil in their den, your home is considerably larger than a dog's natural den, and it will take some time for a tiny puppy to realize that the whole house is his den and needs to be kept clean.

This is why crate training a puppy is the quickest and most effective way to potty train a puppy. While your puppy is loose in your home, watch him like a hawk.. and at the first sign that he needs to 'go' (remember the body language for this... whining, circling, intense sniffing, arching his back or even squatting) scoop him up and get him to his potty spot. Whenever you can't watch him, put your puppy in his crate (where he will be much less likely to pee/poop at will.

A puppy play-pen or a fenced-off area of the kitchen is better than letting him run free, but not nearly as effective as a crate. BUT don't put him there and then forget about him. He's still going to need to go outdoors in 30 minutes!

6.Pick a 'Trigger Word' and use it consistently
When you're potty training a puppy, choose a word or phrase (called a 'trigger word') and repeat it quietly while you're encouraging him to 'do his business'. "Potty time" or "hurry up" work fine or choose something you're comfortable with. (You could say 'bananas' if you wanted to and it would work the same way, but if anyone overheard you they may well THINK you're bananas yourself!)

Over time your little guy will come to associate this word or phrase with the actual action of peeing or pooping and eventually just hearing it will trigger the desired reaction. This is something that will prove invaluable when it's 20F below and you don't want to stand outside for the next 45 minutes!

7.Make sure your puppy knows when he's succeeded
Always praise your puppy when he 'goes' in the appropriate spot. He wants to please you and this is how he knows he's been successful. If you want to you can give him a tiny, tasty treat as a reward too (I do this for the first few weeks and it really does help). Just don't give him a big treat because as he'll be making anywhere up to 24 potty trips a day he'd be eating his own weight in goodies in no time!

8.Don't scold, if he makes a mistake so have you!
Unless you catch your puppy in the act of peeing/pooping in an inappropriate place (and I mean IN THE ACT, not 10 seconds later) there's no point in scolding him, he won't have a clue why you're mad and will just be scared. He may look guilty, but it's not because he knows he did wrong, it's because he can feel that you're angry and upset and that scares him. If he's had the opportunity to have an 'accident' then you've also failed somewhere and probably should be scolding yourself!

Maybe you didn't supervise him closely enough, or you forgot that he needed to go out after lunch, or you were busy when he woke up and expected him to 'hold it'. When you want to potty train a puppy, your job is to make sure he's set up to succeed, and if he's made a mistake, chances are good it's because of one you made first.

However, if he does squat right in front of you it's perfectly OK to say "No' or "Bad" in a loud, firm voice. It may even startle him into pausing mid-flow. Scoop him up immediately and take him straight to his potty spot and let him finish his 'business'. Then give him lots of praise. Even if he seems to have emptied his bladder or bowels onto the carpet, still take him outside and repeat the 'trigger word' so that he understands that this is where he's supposed to 'go'.

One other point that I'd like to make is that puppies NEVER make a mess on your carpet out of 'spite' or because they're upset with you!

They're simply not capable of thinking in that way. They also don't know that it's wrong (until their housebreaking education is complete anyway).... you'd be surprised how many puppy owners don't realize this.

I always recommend that when you train your puppy to do his business outdoors from day one... whenever possible.

This is because most owners have this as their final aim anyway, and if you teach a pup to pee/poop indoors it simply makes the whole process much more confusing, and frustrating, for everyone.

But of course, sometimes there are good reasons for having to potty train a puppy to pee/poop indoors, or on a balcony or porch.

When you're trying to house train your puppy and you live in a high rise apartment building for example, or if you're disabled or have mobility issues, or if your pup is a very small breed and the weather is extremely bad etc.

If it's not practical for you to be training your pup to eliminate outdoors, then you have a couple of options - pee pee pads, a doggie litter box/indoor doggie potty.

The pee pee pads are probably the cheapest option in the short term (but they're still not cheap, especially if you plan to have your pup 'go' indoors 90 or 100% of the time).

However, puppy training pads do have drawbacks that make them my least favorite choice personally, although many other dog owners swear by them!

A lot of puppies see them as toys, and often prefer to drag them around and chew them up rather than pee on them!

You can find reviews of, and information on, many popular brands of puppy training pads here - Best Puppy Training Pads

A doggie litter box may work better than the pee pads, but some pups prefer to play in the litter (or eat it!).

The third choice is an indoor doggie toilet which is more durable than the pee pads, and not as messy as the litter box. Several of them have 'fake turf' for the pups to use which helps them when you want to transition over to peeing on REAL grass later on.

​Puppy House Training When You Work All Day

As you've probably realized by now, house training demands a lot of your time (and patience), and a pup who is left to his own devices won't learn the right potty habits.

So, what do you do if you have to be at work, or at school, for 8 hours a day?

Is it possible to potty train your pup in this situation, or do you have to resign yourself to piles and puddles in the house or relegate poor Fido to the back yard?

The answer to both of these questions is 'NO'!

Of course if you're not there to take your pup to his potty spot every hour, or to supervise him when he's wandering around your house, playing or napping, then you can't follow all of the guidelines above.

But there are two ways to handle this.

Which you choose will depend a lot on your puppy's age and temperament and on whether or not you can enlist some help during the first few weeks......

Option #1 - Crate Training With Help

If at all possible I'd always recommend crate training puppies, it's truly the easiest, quickest and least-messy option.

But because a very young puppy has minimal control over his bladder/bowels, you can't leave him crated for long periods without a potty break.

For an average 10 week old puppy his limit is around an hour (maybe two) at a time during the day, by the time he's 18 weeks old - or approx. 4 months - he can go 4, 6 or even 8 hours at times.

This means that for the first 4 months you can crate train while you're at work but you will need to arrange for someone to come into your home once or twice a day to take him out for a potty break and some play time.

Depending on the size of your family and their individual commitments you may be able to patch together a system that works if everyone pitches in - either in their lunch-hour, break time or before/after work/school.

If this isn't possible, you'll often find a relative, neighbor, friend or even a local teen or retired person who's more than willing to help out in exchange for some puppy-cuddles.. and maybe a small fee if needed.

Finally, there are petsitting services in most areas, or 'doggie daycare' camps and such.

These measures will only be necessary on a day to day basis for the first 4 - 6 months. After that your pup should have enough bladder/bowel control to 'hold it' until you get home.

But do realize, if you leave your pup home alone and crated all day, you're going to need to invest a LOT of time and effort on play, training, socialization and just plain 'ole loving when you are at home.

Option #2 - Containment & Puppy Training Pads

If you can't work it out so that you can crate your puppy while you're at work/school, then you'll still need to contain him so that he learns not to eliminate wherever he pleases... and to protect both him and your belongings from damage/danger.

To do this you'll need a puppy playpen and a supply of good quality puppy pee pads.

Set up the playpen in a room where the floor is made from a non-porous, easy to clean material such as tile.

Set up a 'potty area' with one or two big pee pads (I'd strongly recommend getting the ones that are impregnated with a scent that encourages your pup to use them, and that fit a puppy-pad holder which is a plastic frame that keeps the pad taut and helps to stop it getting chewed up and dragged around).

Add a few sturdy, safe puppy chew toys so that he has something to keep him amused, but don't add a soft bed or blanket because most pups will just tear them up, and can ingest the fabric/stuffing and make themselves quite ill or worse.

You can put his crate in there with him if you like, just make sure the door is removed so he doesn't get himself locked in, or hurt by it.

The aim is to have your pup eliminate on the pads while you're gone. Keeping him in his playpen will protect the rest of your home and carpets and with time and repetition he'll come to understand that the pads are an 'allowed potty spot'.

This puppy housetraining method can also be used if you live in an apartment, or a home that doesn't have a fenced yard, or if you have mobility issues that make it difficult to get a puppy outdoors quickly.

It's not an ideal option, because at some point you're most likely going to need to re-train him to understand that he's no longer allowed to pee/poop indoors, and that can take some time.

It works best with small to medium sized breeds, because if you have a large or giant breed pup he will make big messes and then you'll have a lot of cleaning up to do!

BUT, it is a stop-gap method of potty training that works if it's necessary.

* If you don't want to buy a playpen you can shut your pup in a small room such as a laundry room or mud room, and put a baby-stair-gate on the door to keep him inside.

A playpen is better though because it's a smaller, more confined space and your pup is less likely to think that any room is a suitable potty place.

Housetraining At Night

Luckily your new puppy doesn't need to pee every 30 minutes at night too, but he will need at least one potty trip outdoors (more likely 2 or 3 during the first week or two) between the time you got to bed and when the alarm goes off.

Puppies are like babies in so many ways (well, they are babies of course!) and loss of sleep goes along with the territory.

By about 12 - 15 weeks most puppies have outgrown the need to go out during the night, but those early weeks can seem like a l-o-n-g time when you're sleep deprived.

However exhausting it is you NEED to make sure when your pup cries to go outdoors at night, that you take him out! Potty training takes consistent 24/7 effort during the early weeks, but it's well worth the effort in the end.

What I'd recommend is to give your pup a potty break right before you go to bed at night (even if he's napping by then or whatever), then put him in his crate, turn out the lights and ignore his initial fussing.

Most puppies whine and cry when they're first being crate trained, it's normal, and as long as you know he's 'done his business', and is just crying because he doesn't want to go to bed, you can ignore him.

But, once he's slept for a while and wakes up and starts to whine then he most likely needs to go outside.

Make night-time bathroom breaks short and to the point. No eye-contact, low voice, minimal talking... you don't want your puppy to have so much fun that he wakes up just to spend time with you!

If you choose not to crate train your pup then I wouldn't recommend letting him sleep on your bed, or in your bedroom - chances are when he needs to pee/poop in the night he'll simply find a convenient spot and do his business.

The best alternative would be to use the playpen containment option as I talked about in the section on housebreaking a pup when you have to go to work all day.

Cleaning Up Housebreaking Accidents

When you're trying to potty train a puppy there are always going to be occasional accidents - no matter how careful you are or how smart your puppy is!

Whenever this happens you need to clean it up immediately using a special cleaner/deodorizer such as Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover to remove every trace of urine/feces.

Puppies are attracted back to the same areas by their own smell and ordinary household cleaners simply won't do the job of removing all the lingering odor. Although YOU may not smell it, your puppy will, so always use a product that's been specifically designed for the purpose.

​​​How Do I Choose The Best Puppy Food?

​​ It's one of the 'Puppy FAQs of life' that what you feed your puppy now has a direct effect on his future health, growth and development. Choose puppy kibble that has the wording 'a complete and balanced diet' on the package.

​​ This shows it meets the standards set by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

​​ You need to be sure the dog food you pick has a good source of high quality protein as it's first ingredient. Chicken or Lamb are both good choices. Puppies grow very rapidly, and to support that growth they need a diet high in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

​​ Protein values should be around 25% plus and fat around 15%. If you have a large breed or small breed puppy, look for a puppy food that is especially designed to meet their specific requirements


​​How Can I Get Rid Of Dog Urine Stains & Odor?

​​ Even when potty training is going smoothly, there will be times when your puppy has an 'accident'. It's one of those 'puppy FAQs of life'. To avoid having your carpets ruined you need to act quickly, and tackle those puddles in the right way

​ To be effective, you need to blot up any liquid that is in your carpet. Then you need to rinse the area well with clean, cool water and blot that up too.

​​ Follow this with an application of an enzymatic-based cleaner/odor remover.

​​Allow this to soak into the carpet for at least 10 minutes and then blot up the excess.

​​ Allow area to dry thoroughly.

​​You may need to repeat this process more than once

​​Does My Puppy Have Worms & How Do I Treat Them?

​​ A huge percentage of puppies have worms and if you're a new puppy parent, it's something you may well have to deal with. Some worms can be seen in your dog's feces, and in severe cases of roundworm infestation your pup may even have worms in his vomit.

​​ Other symptoms of worm infestation include a round, distended belly, a dull, rough coat or a cough. Although very common, worms can make your puppy quite sick...at the very least he'll feel and look 'out of sorts'.

​​Y​ou will need your veterinarian to diagnose and confirm the infestation, and the type of worm involved. They will then prescribe, or administer, the appropriate de-wormer.

​​Do not use over-the-counter medications as they can be ineffective at best, and harmful at worst.

Help - My Puppy Has Diarrhea!

​​​ This is one of those puppy questions where it's not necessarily easy to figure out the answer without veterinary help. Diarrhea in puppies is very common and can be a sign of a simple tummy upset due to a change in diet for example - or a deadly serious illness such as Parvo

​​If your puppy has diarrhea that looks has the consistency of chocolate pudding, but otherwise seems okay, chances are he's eaten something he shouldn't. If he's not vomiting, is alert, playful and bright-eyed you can probably afford to wait and see for a while.

​​ BUT if he's not feeling better within 24 hours, or seems to be getting worse, call your veterinarian right away.

​​ If your puppy's diarrhea is severe and watery, he's vomiting and/or seems lethargic, has dull eyes and looks like he feel unwell you need to get in touch with your veterinarian right away.

​​If it's after hours you should contact your nearest 24 hour emergency pet clinic. This could be a life-or-death situation.

How Can I Help My Constipated Puppy?

​​Puppies can get constipated from time to time, and often it's the small/tiny breeds that have trouble.

​​​ There are many reasons why a puppy can get constipated, and these from medical conditions to hairballs (and everything in between!).There are a few simple things you can do to treat the problem, and to prevent it happening again.

​​ A correct diet, plenty of fluids and a good amount of exercise are all vital to a healthy digestive system.

​​​​How Can I Train My Puppy Properly?

​​ If you want your precious little puppy to grow up to be a well-behaved companion, you need to teach him or her some manners, and some basic obedience commands.

​​ A fair number of puppy FAQs center around puppy behavior, and learning what behavior is acceptable and what isn't should be some of his earliest lessons! If you want your pup to understand what you expect of him, there are three simple steps that you MUST follow :

​​tell your puppy what you want him to do help him to perform that behavior reward him with treats and/or praise when he is successful

​​Several short training sessions per day are much better than one longer one because you want him to enjoy his trainings sessions and think they're a fun part of his day.

​​The first thing to teach your little one is to recognize his name.

​​After that, the basic obedience commands that you want your pup to teach him are "sit", "come" and "down".


How Do I Introduce My New Puppy To The Resident Dog?

​​ Most dogs learn to get along with a newcomer (and some super-sociable souls accept them right away), but if your older dog is treating the new baby with something less than unbridled enthusiasm he won't be the first to do so!

​​ When choosing a new dog to integrate into your family, it's best to choose one of the opposite sex to the resident dog. Two same-sex dogs are less likely to get along as adults, especially if they're not neutered/spayed.

​​ Also consider size and temperament, an older dog with a high prey drive may not be the best match for a puppy from a tiny, fast-moving breed such as the Yorkshire Terrier.

​​ Make the initial introductions under supervision, and expect some hesitation on the part of either pooch.

​​Always remember to show lots of affection to your older dog. It's sometimes difficult to tear yourself away from an adorable new puppy, but make a point of greeting, feeding and petting the older dog first, as it reinforces his status (in both his eyes, and the eyes of the new puppy) and helps to maintain a natural transition into the 'pecking order'.

​​​​My Dog Barks & Destroys Stuff When I'm Out - What Do I Do?

Does your puppy or dog drive the neighbors crazy with his barking and howling? Does he try to remodel your home (maybe by chewing holes in the walls/door, or destroying carpets and furniture) while you're out?

If so, chances are he's suffering from separation anxiety. There are levels of separation anxiety, ranging from mild distress to hysteria (on the part of the dog, not you. Although the sight of your Persian rug in tatters has the potential to trigger a hysterical reaction!).

There are all sorts of treatments for this problem, depending on the level of anxiety your pet is experiencing, and anything from simple herbal products, calming CD's, or behavior modification training can work.

By using one, or a combination of treatments, you should be able to lower your dogs' anxiety levels and teach him that it's okay to be left alone for a while, and that you always return.

Why Is My Pup Always Licking/Scratching Himself?

​​Constant licking and/or scratching and red, itchy skin or hair loss are all signs of dog allergies. I think it's important to point out in this Puppy FAQs page that dogs suffer from allergies just as people do!

​​ There are many different causes and triggers for canine allergies, but most result in skin problems and symptoms.

These include:

             ​​Flea allergy

             ​​Inhalant allergy

            ​​Dog food allergy

            ​​Contact allergy

​​There are many, many different ways to treat allergies in dogs, and of course the treatment depends on the trigger!



FAQ about puppies that
​​ you might have