5 Common Mistakes New Puppy Owners Make

puppies Tips

Congratulations on your decision to become a pet parent to an adorable puppy! You have many years of happiness to look forward to with your new furry friend. We’re sure that you have every intention to be the best puppy parent possible. The last thing you would ever want to do is unintentionally put your […]

Congratulations on your decision to become a pet parent to an adorable puppy! You have many years of happiness to look forward to with your new furry friend. We’re sure that you have every intention to be the best puppy parent possible.

The last thing you would ever want to do is unintentionally put your pup in harm’s way. There are 5 common mistakes that new puppy parents make that negatively affect the health and happiness of their puppies. We don’t want you to make the same mistakes, so we’ve laid them out here along with solutions you can use instead.


A puppy learns how to behave when he interacts with the world and gets feedback in real time. Puppies naturally go with their instincts and yet they’re exceptionally adaptable. As they meet other people, dogs, puppies, animals, and children, they’ll do what comes naturally and quickly modify their behavior according to your approval or disapproval, as well as the approval or lack thereof from others. This is called socialization. 

Socialization is not optional. In fact, as the puppy parent, it’s really up to you to make sure that your puppy is being socialized as he grows. A common mistake that new puppy parents make is to assume that whenever their puppy meets children or other dogs it will be a good time and the right moment to teach their puppy about how to behave. But waiting and letting things happen naturally is a mistake. 

You’ll want to instead organize these encounters. You need to stay on top of making sure your puppy meets other people, children, and animals regularly, even if that means bringing him to a park where children play or taking him for a long walk where you know other dogs will be. Don’t socialize your puppy randomly or in an ad-hoc manner, either. Socializing your puppy should be right up there with meeting his other daily needs such as for food, water, exercise, and love. 


When you first get your puppy from the pet store, you’ll learn that he’s already received an initial round of vaccinations. The pet store staff will likely tell you that one of the first things you’ll need to do after you take your puppy home is schedule a vet appointment. The reason for this is so that the vet can continue to administer vaccinations and boosters. In fact, your vet will develop an immunization schedule that you’ll need to stick to.

This can be a challenge for new puppy parents. A common mistake that these parents make is that they push off vet appointments or stop going altogether. This only hurts their puppies and makes fun outdoor activities like going to the dog park dangerous. We can’t stress highly enough how important it is to keep up with your puppy’s vet appointments, continue the vaccination schedule, and return for your puppy’s check-ups, too.


It seems like such an innocent thing to do. You’re snacking on a tasty treat. Your puppy looks up at you with those big eyes of his. You think to yourself, what’s the harm in giving him a little bite? Well, there’s actually a lot of harm in it, which is why we’ve included it in the #3 spot for mistakes that new puppy owners make. 

Your puppy requires a nutritious diet of puppy food, and while puppies definitely eat more food per pound of body weight than adult dogs, that doesn’t mean you should supplement your puppy’s meals with table scraps. 

There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is that a lot of human foods are toxic or poisonous to dogs. Foods like avocados, garlic, chives, grapes, and chocolate can all make your puppy very sick. If you feed your puppy from the table, you’re actually teaching him that human foods are available to him. What happens if he steals food when you aren’t looking because he feels entitled, and that food item is poisonous to him?

That could spell disaster. The other reason why you shouldn’t feed your puppy table scraps is because it simply isn’t healthy and could cause him to gain unhealthy weight. There are plenty of human foods that are excellent treats for puppies, such as peanut butter. But you shouldn’t feed your puppy from the human table. Get in a routine of treating your puppy to peanut butter, apples, and other safe foods by including these in training. And be sure not to overdo it. 


Puppies are curious little creatures. They seem to have boundless energy and yet they sleep 18 – 20 hours a day. This can become confusing for new puppy parents who want to spend quality time with their puppies and fear that if they let their pups run wild, they’ll only sleep deeper and longer. This causes a common mistake which is to not provide enough exercise to their puppies!

Even though your puppy spends a lot of time sleeping, be sure to maintain a fixed daily routine that includes plenty of walks around the block, games like fetch in the backyard or at the park, and even indoor games like tug-of-war. A good rule of thumb that you can live by is that if your puppy isn’t resting, he’ll be happiest exercising even if he’s just padding around the house. 


The final common mistake that new puppy owners make is definitely the most common of all. Many people simply do not know that they must maintain their puppy’s dental hygiene by brushing their puppy’s teeth and managing their puppy’s dental care. This includes providing the necessary chews and chew toys to alleviate the pains associated with teething. 

To learn about what to expect with your puppy’s teething, check out our article, Puppy Teeth Stages: What You Need to Know. And for information on how to keep your puppy’s teeth clean with daily brushing, read How to Care for Your Puppy’s Teeth. For now, we’ll assure you that brushing your puppy’s teeth isn’t too difficult. Be sure to buy a special doggy toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste on your puppy! It’s a good idea to develop a post-meal routine that includes brushing your puppy’s teeth and taking him outside to use the bathroom, of course. By cleaning your puppy’s teeth, you will get him used to good habits that will ensure good dental health for years to come. 

That concludes the 5 common mistakes new puppy owners make. Now that you’ve read about these mistakes and how to avoid them, you’ll be a better puppy parent than ever!