Puppy Schedule

A group of eight Jack Russell Terrier puppies
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All dogs and certainly puppies need to be put on a schedule. Set a puppy schedule for yourself and work your dog's needs into it. Then, stick to it the best you can every day. Your puppy will appreciate it and do well. Here are some of the main items to keep on her agenda for each day:

  • A puppy schedule should include plenty of playtime. Maybe you noticed your puppy when he was with his litter mates. They were knocking each over, rolling around, play-biting and roughhousing in general.

  • Get a ball and start teaching her to retrieve it. Now is a good time to start her puppy training.. Do some simple training for a few minutes at a time, or until she gets bored.

  • Make lots of SOCIALIZATION time. Take the pup to see neighbors, the mailman, everyone you can find and let them hold, pet and talk to the puppy. The more people she sees NOW, the more she will learn people are not out to hurt her and the better she will act when she grows up.

  • Play hide ‘n seek and anything else you can think of. After she naps, do it again. Remember the need for handling and socializing. Roughhouse a little - be gentle. Let puppy see humans can play but not hurt.

  • Exercise. Plenty of time for that too. BUT, ask your vet how much is too much for your puppy. She needs exercise to keep her eliminations strong and same for muscles and bones, but don't overdo it. Be sure plenty of handling and socializing takes place.

  • Sleeping provisions. Some breeds MUST have soft beds, others don't. Most puppies do well sleeping in crates but you may have other ideas. That has to be decided in advance. As the pup gets older and is house trained, you might want to let him sleep in your bedroom or some comfy place in the house near you.

  • Your puppy schedule must include puppy potty training. There are several ways to go about this, depending on your needs.

  • Bathing and Grooming. This is a good time to handle the puppy, head to tail Many dogs love water and will enjoy a bath. All dogs I have known love to be brushed out. It’s the extra attention they like, so this should go well for you.

    Brushing teeth. Make time in your puppy schedule. Dog bones and chew toys don't do an adequate job of cleansing. Be sure to use ONLY canine toothpaste. Make a brush by wrapping your finger with a piece of gauze and rubbing each tooth gently. Brush at least once a week and rinse with water. Start this as a puppy so she won’t fight you later on. Have the vet check the teeth once a year even with the brushing.

    8 week old Lab Retriever puppy
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    Dogs should be fed on a regular schedule, same time every day, the same as sleeping and exercise routines. If you get your puppy from a qualified breeder, the breeder will tell you what food to give. Otherwise, get your vets advice on a diet.

    Always feed a quality brand name PUPPY food, not adult food. The cheaper the food, the less it has in the way of nutrients and the more it has of preservatives, artificial coloring, flavors and animal-by-products.

    Groom based on breed and hair style. Unless the dog is very dirty or smelly, it should be bathed as little as possible. Use ONLY shampoo’s intended for dogs. Human shampoo can be harmful.


    When you pick your puppy up from the breeder, get detailed information as to what the puppy has been eating and should now eat. This will include how much and when, so the dog stays on schedule. Only buy premium high quality brand name dog food.

    if you adopt your puppy from one of the rescue kennels, ask the staff what the puppy has been eating, but DO NOT let that be your final word. Take the pup to a vet ASAP and get his/her input for a diet recommendation. You may want to follow that advice. Frankly, we home-cook for out dogs.

    Here's a typical feeding schedule for puppies:

    4 meals a day for puppies 6 to 12 weeks.

    3 meals a day for puppies 3 to 6 months old.

    2 meals a day for puppies 6 months to 1 year old.

    Some large dogs, including those prone to bloat should stay at two meals a day. At this point, check with your vet for his recommended food choice and feeding schedule.

    Human food is not allowed unless it is a special diet, such as home-cooking for your dog. For example, our Mini Schnauzer needs a bland diet so she gets shredded baked chicken thighs topped with boiled brown rice and topped with Science Diet kibble twice a day. The small amount of kibble is added to provide the needed vitamin and mineral allowance she needs.

    When you finally work out a puppy schedule that works for you and the pup, try to hold to it as best you can. Your puppy will look forward to events happening at the same time every day.

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