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Your Top New Puppy Questions Answered

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting and can be full of surprises! But they come with a lot of responsibility and you may have a few questions. How much should puppies sleep? Do they lose their teeth? Should you give your puppy supplements? In this ultimate guide, we answer your top questions to help you navigate becoming a new pet parent. 5 minute read

How much do puppies sleep?

Although they\'re known for being energetic bundles of fur, puppies need a lot of sleep. In fact, they usually sleep between 18 and 20 hours a day! So if after bringing home your new puppy, you were alarmed by how much they’re been sleeping, no need to worry! All those naps are completely normal.

In fact, sleep is crucial to your puppy’s development. It strengthens their muscles and bones and helps their immune system work properly. Although your puppy will naturally sleep on their own throughout the day, there are steps you can take to help them get their beauty rest. Make sure your pup has a designated spot to curl up and rest. Treat them to a cozy dog bed like this one. Also, try following a schedule. Give your puppy quiet time after a play session or walk to encourage napping.

Note: if your puppy is sleepy a lot and also exhibiting other concerning symptoms such as pale gums, diarrhea, or vomiting, consult your veterinarian.

A puppy sleeping

Why does my puppy cry?

After bringing your new puppy home, have they been crying and whining a lot? It can be difficult to listen to, especially if you don’t understand why they’re crying or can’t seem to soothe them.

Likely, the number one reason your puppy is crying, especially right after bringing them home, is due to separation from their mother and littermates. Anxiety, stress, and fear of a new environment with new noises are all reasons your new puppy is extra vocal. Even separation from you, their new human parents, can cause them to cry. Being left alone or out of their sight for too long can also cause your new fur friend to cry.

In addition, new puppies cry when they’re hungry. They also cry at night when they’re adjusting to sleeping alone. And if you’re crate training your new dog, your puppy may cry more too. If your puppy is bored or wants attention, they’ll also whine or cry. But in time, as they mature and become more independent, their cries will gradually decrease.

Do puppies lose teeth?

Just like humans, dogs start off with a set of baby teeth that fall out before their adult teeth emerge. Each breed and dog are different, but on average, puppies lose their first set of teeth around 4 months of age. A puppy’s baby teeth are typically pointed and sharp and often referred to as needle teeth. In time they’ll fall out and you may notice them on the floor. Or your puppy may swallow the loose teeth while they’re eating, which is completely normal.

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When do puppies stop teething?

Most puppies get their first set of teeth at around 5 to 6 weeks of age. But it’ll be another 4 to 5 months of teething before you and your puppy get some relief from this tricky growing stage. Most puppies gain all of their adult teeth between 6 and 7 months old. Until then, you may find that your puppy is chewing on anything they can get their paws on, from shoes to furniture, and maybe even nibbles on your fingers. Make sure your puppy has durable chew toys to give them some relief from teething. For example, this Kong toy is specifically designed for teething puppies. It’s made from soft rubber and shaped like a pacifier to help soothe your growing puppy’s teeth and gums. It can also be stuffed with treats or snacks to keep them busy and encourage them to chew on their toys and not your furniture!

Our team also learned this paw-some life hack from a professional dog trainer: give your teething puppy a frozen wet towel to chew on. It’s a simple, quick, and economical way to soothe their gums.

a puppy biting a hand

Why does my puppy breathe fast while sleeping?

Nothing is as cute as a sleeping puppy. But you may become concerned if you notice your puppy breathing fast while they’re sleeping. Is this normal? Should you worry?

While resting, puppies take more breaths than adult dogs. They’re growing and require more oxygen to fuel their quick metabolism and cellular growth. In fact, the normal respiration rate for a puppy at rest is between 15-40 breaths per minute, whereas an adult dog is between 10-30 breaths per minute. If your puppy’s breathing rate falls within that range, rest assured, this is normal! However, if you’ve noticed their breathing is faster than 40 breaths per minute, there could be some reasonable explanations. For example, dreaming, a recent play session, or even panting due to warm weather can all explain why your puppy is breathing fast. If you’re still concerned, consult your veterinarian to rule out more serious conditions such as heart or lung disease.

When should my puppy get spayed or neutered?

Choosing the right time to spay or neuter your new puppy is an important decision. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) guidelines, “small-breed dogs (under 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at six months of age or spayed prior to the first heat (five to six months). Large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age.

Ultimately, the correct time to spay or neuter your new puppy is a decision you should make with your veterinarian. They can give you additional information regarding your pup’s breed and the appropriate age for their sterilization.

a happy puppy

When should my puppy get vaccinated?

Puppies need the proper vaccinations to ensure they get off to a healthy start in life. In addition, some vaccinations are required by law. Within their first year of life, puppies will need to visit their veterinarian multiple times for vaccines and boosters. Proper vaccinations are also important before your new dog begins socializing with other animals. If you have a newly adopted or purchased puppy and received their medical records, share those documents with your veterinarian. They will then recommend a schedule for vaccinations. Typically, a vaccination schedule can start as early as 6-8 weeks of age.

How often should I take my puppy out to pee?

Every pet parent knows that potty training a new puppy is no easy task! But knowing when to take your new pup outside to relieve themselves is critical to successful potty training. At a minimum, take your puppy outside every 2 hours. Waiting any longer than that is likely to result in an accident. After all, their bladders are small, and your new puppy is still learning. Taking them outside soon after they wake up, during and after playing, and after eating or drinking will help you avoid unnecessary accidents.

Above all, be consistent! Puppies thrive on regular schedules.

The Final Woof

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is one of life’s greatest joys and is even more exciting when you know what to expect, especially if you’re a first-time pet parent.

Get your new fur friend off to a great start by keeping a consistent routine and regular vet visits.

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