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New Puppy Guide

We're so excited for your new fur-ever family member! In this guide, we've included some useful tips and tricks as well as some great products to help you get started and maintain a great relationship with your puppy! As always, if you have any questions at all, we offer free advice any time! Contact us here.


Click here for a printable version.

1. Puppy Proof the Home

To a puppy, your home will be a new playground to sniff, explore and make mischief! Protect your new puppy and save your belongings by puppy-proofing your home. Here are some tips from


  • Unplug electrical cords, move them out of reach, or string them through cord concealers. These chewing hazards can cause burns to the mouth or electrical shock.

  • Avoid feeding food from the table. Pups may look adorable as they beg for food, but many human foods are not good for them. Pay special attention to sugarless gum, chocolate, raisins, and other foods that are especially poisonous to dogs.

  • Keep cleaning supplies in high cabinets or secured behind doors with childproof latches. When using them, make sure that the puppy is kept out of the area, so he won’t be affected by the vapors given off by chemicals.

  • Put all medications away. Avoid keeping medications, even in pill bottles or dispensers, on low tables, bathroom counters, or night tables, where the puppy can easily get to them.

  • Keep toilet lids closed, so the puppy won’t drink out of the toilet or fall in.

  • Keep doors and windows closed at all times, so the puppy can’t escape or fall out, and secure the cords that raise blinds, so they won’t get caught around the puppy’s neck.

  • Put away small items that are choking hazards — such as coins, paper clips, rubber bands, and jewelry — to prevent the puppy from choking on them.

  • Keep all sharp objects out of your dog’s reach. This includes knives, scissors, razors, and tools.

  • Secure trashcans. Puppies are attracted to the smells coming from garbage, which can upset their tummies or even be poisonous.

  • Move poisonous houseplants, so the puppy can’t eat them.

2. Puppy Proof Your Yard

Here are some more tips from for puppy-proofing your yard:


  • Fence the yard, if possible. It’s best to have a fence that is high enough to prevent the puppy from jumping over it, with no holes to crawl through.

  • Remove toxic plants in your yard to prevent your pup from mistaking them for a snack.

  • Put a fence around in-ground pools. Pools are a big hazard for puppies. A fence surrounding the pool will prevent the puppy from accidentally falling in. You or a dog trainer can teach your pup pool safety, as well.

  • Designate a puppy area. Set aside a portion of the yard for the puppy to use as his bathroom area.

  • Keep the lawn trimmed and brush under control. Ticks are more likely to hide in tall grasses and latch onto your pup.

  • Keep your dog away from the yard if it has recently been treated with fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides. Try to avoid using insecticides because the chemicals can be very harmful to your puppy.

  • Be wary of heat. Avoid keeping your dog outside when it is hot, and always have shade and cool water available

  • Clean up after your puppy to be sure he won’t try to eat his own feces.

  • Supervise your puppy. Young puppies should not be left outside alone. This is the time to play with them and train them, and to protect them from predators, heatstroke, and other hazards.

3. Register with a Vet

When you adopt a puppy from Cocoa Doodles, you have just 7 days to get a check-up with a vet of your choice otherwise our Well Puppy Warranty will expire. Make sure you find a vet that you are comfortable with. Ask friends, family and even neighbors in the area for their recommendations. Many neighborhoods have Facebook groups that may be able to assist or support you with your search. You’ll want a vet with a good reputation that can go over, in detail, everything you’ll need to do to take care of your new puppy including a puppy shot schedule, deworming, parasite control and much more. While you’re at it, make sure to check around for an emergency clinic too just in case you might need it.


4. Stock up on Puppy Supplies

Through the many years we’ve been raising dogs and breeding puppies, we found the following list of supplies to be the best! But no matter what you buy, make sure it has good reviews and will be comfortable for your puppy. 



5. Training

You’ll definitely spend a considerable amount of time training your new puppy, but it will be WELL worth it! Check our page on Puppy Training for more information.

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