Once you have fixed your eyes on a puppy to adopt or see the birth of a puppy just like a human mother to her new born infant, what comes next? The list below entails the following essentials:

Naming Your Puppy

It’s always exciting thinking of a name for your new puppy and give him/her a name that most describes on looks and personality

Vet Check and Microchip

A trip to the veterinarian right after getting your puppy is most important as the vet does a general check of the puppy from vaccination, microchipping, deworming, defleaing, and also advising on spaying/neutering at the recommended age and the benefits. The vet will give you a vaccination card that entails the next vaccination and booster. Puppies are vaccinated at 8 and 10 weeks but can as early as 4 weeks for the first dose and second dose given two to four weeks later.

Registering Your Pup at Your Local Council

Take note of local council regulations in registering your puppy as a license is required and renewed annually

Food and Water Bowls

Although there are 2 in 1 bowls where food is placed in one bowl and water the other bowl, it is recommended to avoid mess and food falling into the water, to have them separate. There is a huge variety of bowls made from plastic to ceramic to stainless steel and now elevated bowls for better swallowing too but for puppies, avoid plastic as they’ll chew it through.


A collar is required round the neck of puppy with its identification tag and a leash attached to the collar or harness during walks.

Socializing/Puppy Training

Socializing puppy is the key to ensuring a happy, confident and well-adjusted pup. Exposing pup to new sights, sound, smells, people and other dogs builds confident and less fear. Young vaccinated pups at 7 to 8 weeks of age can start the following:

7 to 8 weeks old:

Basic Cues ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Down’ – Use a treat for a sitting position and once sitting position achieved, give the treat and include praise. Do take note that pups of this age have short attention span so patience is required
Leash Training – This training can start at home as puppy hasn’t received full vaccination yet. Start by placing a collar round its neck for a short amount of time while providing treats. Once puppy knows how to come to you, walk with a leash round the house with no distractions. This training can be done outside once puppy has been fully vaccinated.
General Handling – Gently touch your puppy at areas like paws, ears even mouth as this will get him/her used to being touched during vet visits

8 to 10 weeks old:

Crate Training – The crate should be perceived as a safe and calm place for your puppy. Start by bringing him/her to the crate for about 10 minutes when calm. Reward once in the crate. You can also feed inside the crate creating a positive environment.

10 to 12 weeks old:

Learning Not to Bite – Like a baby, puppies get mouthy so whatever can be put into their mouths they’ll do so which is another way of exploration. When and if they start “biting” your hand or ankle, place a chew toy in their mouth

12 to 16 weeks old:

Potty Training – Maintain a schedule for potty time. Take puppy out first thing in the morning, after meals, after playtime and naps throughout the day. At this point, puppy should have enough bladder control to hold and reward every time bathroom is done outside

6 months old:

Puppies are entering the adolescence stage by this point, and it is the most difficult stage to start training at. That is why it is important to start training them as young as possible! At this stage you will continue training to solidify and strengthen their skills in more public and distracting settings such as dog parks.

Even if you decide to adopt an adult dog, find out the history of the dog for any behavioural issues before socializing/training and discuss with a qualified dog trainer.

Food (Nutrition)

The best food to be given especially at this stage as development is so crucial. Hill’s Puppy Dry and wet food provides all the essential needs and requirements for puppies.


Provide toys for stimulation, and, a chew toy for itchy mouths. This will remove boredom.


Dogs does groom themselves but not the way cats do. Whether long or short-haired, grooming is essential to remove dead hair, stimulate the coat and skin distributing natural oils throughout the body. In our weather, dogs are regularly bathed once a week or 2 weeks once depending on activity level. Use a good shampoo that doesn’t dry out their skin as that leads to another problem with flaky itchy skin. Trim their nails as and when needed and if unsure how to, ask your groomer or vet.

Although walking dogs is good but remember, they walk on concrete pavements or tarred roads although not so hot in the late evenings, over time it does dry out their paw pads, so, after every walk, clean all 4 paws and check for debris in-between their digits and apply paw balm onto the paw pads and massage. Trust me, this is a spa of relaxation for them.


Malaysia has a tropical climate with a high humidity so get bedding that is suitable for our climate. If you get the usual bedding, you’ll find puppy sleeping on the cold hard floor after a while.

Dog Carriers & Crate

There are plenty of small dog carriers that are fashionable for carrying really small breeds or small size dogs but for regular as in medium and large size, the crate is the best with several sizes.

Puppy Proof your House

Like human babies, they’ll crawl and explore what they can get their hands on and everything goes into their mouth. Puppies are the same so to avoid problems for pet parent and pup, please abide the following:

String, plastic bags, festive ornaments especially Christmas decorations, cable ties, anything that can be bitten into pieces and long that can wrap itself round puppy during play and choke puppy needs to be put away

Stationeries like coins, staples, clips, pins, erasers should not be left on work tables. Instead, put them in drawers

Puppies love to open kitchen cupboards so have them child-locked as they love to hide in pots and corners deep inside. Refrigerators are another area of exploration too but not as bad as kitchen cupboards.

Cover trash cans and toilet lids too so puppy doesn’t fall in and make a mess jumping out or drown

Hide all wires especially at the television area to avoid biting and electrocution

Properly tie curtain and blinds cords to avoid dangling and puppy swaying side-to-side and rod falling from its place

Keep strong chemicals and anything toxic in locked cabinets

Plants that are hazardous and toxic to pets must be removed like tomato, lily, daffodil, mistletoe to name a few but please ask your veterinarian for the latest list

To know more, please visit https://www.hillspet.com/new-pet-parent/dog
This article is courtesy of Pets Corner Sdn Bhd. For more pet care tips, visit www.petscorner.com.my