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Ask Bondi Vet

What are some tips for first time dog owners?

Are there any tips or tricks that a first time dog owner should know (especially if they don't know much about owning a dog) and some important details and facts to keep in mind?


1 Answer



Here's some tops to get you started...

Get your puppy used to handling from day one.

Touch their feet, tail, ears, mouth, and belly to get them comfortable with human interaction.

Sleeping and Eating Arrangements

Choose wisely where your new puppy will sleep. It is important that it can see family life and that it has adequate dog bedding to sleep in. You must choose a comfortable place for your puppy to eat and you must always ensure fresh water is available (although don’t put this in the sleeping crate/pen as this will cause your dog to pee in the sleeping area).

Start Toilet Training Immediately

After your puppy has finished eating their first meal, head straight to the designated potty area and wait for it to do its business. If nothing happens in ten minutes or so, take it back inside. If your puppy does go, give it lots of praise. Never punish your puppy for going to the toilet in the wrong area.


Puppies should be offered half a cup of food at least three times a day to begin with. Don’t leave food out for your puppy to graze on.


Vaccinations are incredibly important as they protect your new puppy from diseases that could potentially harm or even kill your new furry friend. Dogs should receive their first vaccination at 6-8 weeks, with their second vaccination at 12 weeks. After the second vaccination you can then take your puppy out in public areas.

Identification Tags and Microchip

Ensure your puppy has ID tags with your name, phone number, and address; and that your dog has been micro chipped by 12 weeks of age. Both these methods will make it easier for others to return your beloved puppy to you in the event that they escape or run away.

Socialising Your Puppy

Proactively socializing your puppy is very important. Puppies have a ‘critical socialization period’ between approximately 3-17 weeks of age. Positive social encounters during this period will help to ensure your puppy grows into a well-adjusted adult that relates well to other dogs, other animals and people. You should consider taking your new dog to puppy preschool, as this provides a great opportunity for you and your puppy to socialize with other dogs and their owners.


Ensure someone is always supervising the puppy. If you cannot watch it, then it needs to be in it’s sleeping pen or designated puppy room where it can’t get up to any mischief. The puppy should never be left alone for long periods of time.


Puppies go through a teething stage, which can cause them to chew anything they can get their little mouths around. Reduce the chances of this happening by providing lots of toys for your puppy, as well as removing anything off the floor that you don’t want their teeth marks on.

Start grooming and bathing at a young age

Like handling, this will allow your puppy to get comfortable with grooming and bathing at a young age, making things easier for yourself and your puppy when they grow older.


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