Puppy Basics

puppy basicsCongratulations on the new, furry addition to your family! We’re so happy you’ve made the decision to become puppy parents. Puppies can be incredibly fun and entertaining, yet also challenging and frustrating, so get ready for a wild ride! Puppies change and grow incredibly in the first year, so learning proper care and nutrition is important to a lifetime of good health. Luckily, your friends here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital are here to help you by providing some key information and puppy basics to guide you along the way.
Below, you’ll find the information you need to raise a well-behaved, socialized, healthy, and happy pooch. Learn about proper puppy healthcare and nutrition, as well as tips on training, handling, and even bathing. And remember, we’re always here for you if you have any questions. Have fun!

Puppy Handling

Young puppies should be handled regularly, at least a few times a day. In fact, puppies that are handled often are generally quicker to develop, handle stress better, and may even become more social than those who are not handled frequently. Learn more about body handling.

Along with body handling, puppies should be taught expectations on simple things, including their food, bowls, and toys. Check out our guides for helping your pup correctly handle their food and bowls, as well as handling toys.

ID For Your Puppy

It’s important that you provide your pup with some form of identification in case he gets lost. We recommend two easy options that give you the best chance possible of reuniting with your little one should separation ever happen.

Puppy Collars & Tags

Your puppy should become acquainted with a collar early on, and keep it on at all times. Place a tag on the collar that includes  your dog’s name, your telephone number, and your address.
Here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital, we carry high-quality Lupine brand leashes and collars available for purchase in various styles and colors (we also do custom orders). These collars are guaranteed for life, even if your pet damages it in any way. Additionally, we carry Red Dingo tags available in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.

Microchips for your Puppy

Microchips are a more permanent form of identification that contain specific codes that can be read by animal shelters and other veterinary hospitals. Microchips are harmlessly placed just beneath your pet’s skin, and can be provided during a normal office visit without sedation. We offer Home Again Microchips for $47.00, which includes registration.

Socialization and Training

Help your puppy adapt to any and all situations by training and socializing early! Socialization is especially important within the first 12 weeks of life, and is key in helping your pooch grow into a well-mannered companion. Socialization helps your pup become exposed to other doggies and people, which can limit stress, anxiety, and behavioral issues later down the road. Learn more about socializing your dog.

You can help your puppy become well-behaved by enrolling in our puppy Obedience Training classes, ranging from Puppy Kindergarten to Adult Obedience classes. In our training courses, you’ll learn basic commands, housebreaking, proper leash-walking, and much more. Training your puppy is a great way to help them learn the fundamentals of proper behavior, as well as the foundation they need to bring joy and love to your family. Click here to register your pup in obedience classes.
Socialize your pup in other ways by bringing them in for Canine Daycare where they’ll have special group playtime with our other lodging and daycare guests! To learn more about Canine Lodging and Daycare, visit our page.

Nutrition and Health

Give your puppy a great start to health by feeding them a high-quality and well-balanced puppy diet recommended by your veterinarian. We recommend feeding the Iams™ Premium Protection™ puppy diet, developed by nutritionists and veterinarians to be the optimal diet for your puppy’s growing needs. If your pup is of a larger or giant breed, we recommend Eukanuba® Large Breed puppy diet, which has less protein to slow down growth and ensure proper development. How old is your dog in human years? Use this chart to keep up with their level of growth and development in comparison to human age.
To learn more about puppy nutrition, feeding recommendations, and changing diets, check out our nutrition guide.

Dental Care

There’s no better time than puppyhood to begin practicing good oral health! Help your puppy grow accustomed to having their teeth brushed and mouths handled, which leads to stress-free situations in the future. Proper dental care can help prevent long-term problems as well as frequent dental cleanings.
Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for dogs. We recommend brushing every day, but several times a week is great, as well. After brushing, be sure to praise your pooch with playtime or a walk. This helps your puppy learn that a fun reward will follow a brushing, and soon, he’ll enjoy getting his teeth cleaned.

Teething Phase


Temporary Teeth 1 month
Permanent Teeth 4 months
Permanent K9 Teeth 5-6 momths

puppy basicsBathing and Cleaning your Puppy

It’s important to bathe your puppy regularly, depending on their habits or where you live. However, bathing too often can cause skin dryness and flakiness. We recommend bathing your pooch when they smell bad or become oily. Below are some tips to help you keep a clean pup.


When giving your puppy a bath, make sure to use lukewarm water and a mild or gentle pet shampoo (with aloe or oatmeal). Human shampoos tend to irritate the skin, so avoid using those. Make sure to rinse well, and dry them off in a warm area. After bathing, always dry the face, eyes, and ears thoroughly, and use a pet ear cleaner with a drying agent, if needed.

Face Cleaning

The face is often neglected when bathing, so make sure to clean your pup’s face daily or weekly, depending on the breed. While cleaning, take the time to look at and around the ears, eyes, and teeth. Doing so can help prevent any medical issues from worsening.

Nail Trims

If not trimmed, long nails can become painful for your pup. That’s why it is important to practice handling your puppy’s paws often to help nail trims become a far less stressful and traumatic experience.
If you are uncomfortable bathing your pet or trimming their nails, or you’re looking for a special haircut or grooming session, we offer a variety of Grooming Services right here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital.

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Karen Faler
Karen Faler
posted 1 month ago

I love taking my dog to doggy daycare. The associates at the front desk are so very kind, more like amazing. When I bring my dog in for doggy daycare they are excited to see him. I love watching the dogs play on the live stream, such a great feature. My dog loves playing with the other dogs and sometimes he has to much fun. Abby as well as the other girls, but especially Abby, does a great job with my dog and knows when he needs a rest period. I whole heartedly recommend Tipp to Tail Pet Resort and Spa.

Holly Brubaker
Holly Brubaker
posted 6 days ago

We were looking for a vet that was caring and made us feel that our dog mattered to them. Dr. Emily Benedict is very knowledgeable and really listened to us. She was very compassionate. The whole staff made us feel welcome from the time we arrived and beyond.

Kayla Wrasman
Kayla Wrasman
posted 8 months ago

Our dogs love going and they saved our older dog's life when she had an allergic reaction 💕

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