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New Year New Pup: 5 Tips to Start the New Year Off Right | Pupford

November 29th, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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Finally, 2020 is coming to an end. I don’t know about you, but we couldn’t be more ready to close the door on this year.

We’re seeing so many members of our community or their friends and family bringing new dogs into their family this time of year. We love to see it!

We want to help everyone start off on the right foot (or should we say paw?) with their new dog. So today we’re giving you five of our top tips to start the new year off right with your new pup.

These are the tips we’ll be covering:

  1. Make New Year’s Resolutions that include your new dog
  2. Set first day, month, year, etc. goals
  3. Puppy proof sooner rather than later
  4. Learn your basic pup safety and first aid
  5. Make a plan for raising a well-behaved pup

With the new year approaching fast, we don’t want to waste any more time -- let’s get right into these tips.

Related Offer: New Puppy Gift Boxes


When you typically make New Year’s Resolutions, you think of things like traveling, taking up a new hobby, exercising more, etc. -- things for you.

But now, you have your new dog to think about. While some resolutions will work just fine (being more active will be great for you and your dog), others like traveling more might not be the best with a new dog around.

Here are a few ideas for New Year’s Resolutions that include your dog:

  • Go on more walks or hikes
  • Visit new (dog friendly) restaurants
  • Make more homemade meals for you and treats for your dog
  • Create better sleeping habits, for both you and your dog
  • Commit to a training schedule -- and a playtime one too!

For more New Year’s Resolutions for your dog, take a look at this article. Yes, it was geared for 2020, but let’s be honest, there’s a good chance a lot of your 2020 resolutions didn’t go as planned.


new bulldog puppy with a rose collar around its neck | Pupford

Setting goals is important when you want to accomplish anything, even having a good relationship with your dog.

Break those goals down into first day, week, month, year, or similar timeframes to make the goals more manageable. Your goals could look something like:

  • First day: Acclimate your dog to your home, introduce them to children or other animals in the home on neutral ground). Read more about your first day with your puppy here.
  • First week: Bond with pup! Begin potty training and crate training, and set scheduled routines.
  • First month: Really dive into training by picking key skills to master like sit, stay, recall, etc. Following a training class can REALLY help, when it comes to the first 30 days with your dog. Try this course with professional trainer, Zak George.
  • First year: Be fully potty trained, make new dog and people friends, expand skills, and even learn some party tricks. This ever-expanding list of training courses, will help throughout your pup’s training.

Obviously, this is a super simplistic version, but you get the idea. Taking it one step at a time is way less overwhelming than listing out all the things you want to accomplish with your dog at once.


Taking the time to puppy proof before your pup arrives or as soon as possible afterwards will save you a ton of trouble in the future.

Your dog will want to explore their new surroundings but since it’s all new, they won’t know what’s dangerous and what’s not.

Plus, puppy energy = smelling things, chewing things, eating things… even the things they’re not supposed to.

Make sure you do a thorough job of puppy proofing your kitchen, living room, bathroom, yard, car -- basically anywhere your dog may get to at some point.

Take a look at these 21 Puppy Proofing Tips for Your Home, Yard, and Car for a checklist of things to puppy proof.


little puppy laying on white clean sheets on a bed | Pupford

Although it’s unlikely you’ll have an emergency with your new pup, it’s important to know what to do just in case.

Learning some basic safety skills will leave you more confident in your ability to handle any situation and keep your dog safe.

Here are the basics you should start with:

  • Create a dog-sepcific first aid kit with bandages, surgical tape, sterile gauze, medical scissors, a towel, an Elizabethan collar, and an extra dose of any medication your dog takes.
  • Learn to treat common dog emergencies. We have a full guide to dog first aid that you can find here.
  • Know which foods dogs can eat and which are poisonous. You can find a handy infographic of fruits and vegetables dogs can and can’t eat in this article.

Remember, if you have any suspicions that your dog may be injured, sick, or in danger, contact your veterinarian right away. You can never be too cautious, especially if you are still getting to know your dog’s temperament and personality.


Once you’re settled at home with your new dog, it’s time to make a solid training and socialization plan.

You’ll want to cover everything from facilitating a relationship between your dog and kids (if applicable), to how to socialize with other dogs, to being able to stay home alone.

It may seem overwhelming to think about all the things you need to teach your dog, but the right resources can make it easier than ever before.

The Pupford Academy grants you access to over 10 courses and 75 behaviors led by certified experts. They’ll lead you through every step of raising a happy, well-behaved pup and making the most of your first year!

New pup parents, we want to hear from you! Are there other things you’re doing to make this year with your new dog the best one yet? Tell us in the comments below -- and be sure to tag us on Instagram (@pupford) for pictures you take of your new pup.


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