The first 100 days, even year, of owning a puppy, can be tough, especially if you aren’t equipped with lots of paper towels and some useful tips - so read on.

If you’re considering buying a puppy from a breeder or store, make sure your puppy is with its mother and siblings for at least the first eight weeks of its life. These are crucial to the puppy’s social development. Early separation can have negative repercussions on a puppy’s personality later in life. If you’re worried that you’re going to miss the cutest part of your pup’s life, don’t fear. Your puppy will still have a few months before fully developed. Anyway, for the first two weeks puppies are pretty much just little blind hairy slugs, so you aren’t missing a ton there. Your puppy also won’t have much bladder control until about 9 weeks and the less time you have to deal with that the better.

You finally get your puppy at 8 weeks. What to do now? Take your pup to the vet! Do this as soon as you can after bringing home your puppy. This is a critical period in your pup’s physical development and you want to make sure your pup is in good health and be proactive by getting all the vaccine your furry new family member’s needs.

“Don’t go crazy trying to play fetch and teach your new pup tricks when you first bring him or her home.”

Don’t go crazy trying to play fetch and teach your new pup tricks when you first bring him or her home. 7-12 week old puppies tend to be more cautious than their younger selves. Your dog will likely be nervous in loud, stressful, and highly stimulating situations. It’s important to be gentle with your puppy at this time. By week 7, the puppy’s brain should be developed enough that it can learn its name and basic commands. You can also start to potty-train your dog. Make sure you establish a routine and keep it consistent when you are first training your dog. This means going outside at regular intervals and bringing your pup to the same spot. Your puppy will be adjusting to its new environment by exploring his or her surroundings as well as establishing his or her role in the family. This means that the pup will be craving attention from family members. Don’t get too used to it.

By week 12 - 13, your puppy will be entering its adolescent stage. Soon, she’ll be locking her doors, ignoring your texts, and listening to loud music. In seriousness, puppies during this stage grow more confident and independent. They also start teething (typical teenage behavior) which can be detrimental to your belongings. Hide your leather boots, unless you’re trying to rock a torn-to-shreds-chic kinda look. Keep monitoring the physical development of your dog at this time. Check Vetstreet for a list of veterinarian-approved early signs of disease.

Want to be a part of Wagmo?

Sign up for the Wagmo newsletter to get fun dog content delivered right to your inbox!

Enter a valid email address.