Newsletters

I would like to receive the following free email newsletters:

Newsletter Signup
  1. Bridal Party
  2. Dining Out
  3. Kliman Online
  4. Photo Ops
  5. Shop Around
  6. Where & When
  7. Well+Being
  8. Learn more
Getting a Dog: A Puppy’s Life
Making sure your puppy grows into a healthy, well-behaved dog involves considerable work. By Maya Rhodan
Photograph by Viorel Sima / Getty Images.
Comments () | Published November 7, 2012

It’s a good thing puppies are so cute—because they’re also exhausting. For a puppy, every day is a chance to explore, grow, and get into a new mess. Owners had better know how to keep up. With the help of Heather Morris, dog trainer and owner of DC’s Spot On Training, we’ve compiled a puppy’s typical daily routine. (We didn’t schedule cuddles, but those should happen throughout the day, too.)

■ 7:30 am—Wake up and go potty

“A general rule of thumb is a dog can hold its bladder one hour for every month that the dog is old,” says Morris, who has trained dogs in the area for more than nine years. Puppies are generally adopted at eight weeks, meaning they need to go to the bathroom every two hours.

■ 7:45 am—Breakfast time

Puppies six months and younger should eat three meals a day.

■ 8:05 am—Potty break

Puppies need to go to the bathroom within 20 minutes of eating and drinking in the morning.

■ 8:30 am—Alone time

When owners go to work, they should confine puppies to a comfortable-size crate or a designated area with a bed, and spaces to play and potty. Puppies with access to the entire house are sure to get into trouble—even danger.

■ 11:30 am—Dog-walker visit number one

A puppy needs a lot more attention than an adult dog, so owners who work all day and can’t let the young animal out should schedule two daily visits from a dog walker. That person should also feed the puppy a midday meal.

■ 3:30 pm—Dog-walker visit number two

When puppies are six to eight months old, one daily visit from a walker is usually sufficient.

■ 5:30 pm—Reunion!

There’s no happier time for a puppy than when its owner gets home from work. Excited pups are more prone to accidents, so you should immediately take them out for a potty break.

■ 6 pm—Socializing and play time

To grow into happy, confident, well-behaved adult dogs, puppies need to get out into the world. They should go to parks, meet other canines and people, and explore the neighborhood. Obedience classes are a good opportunity for socializing, too.

■ 7 pm—Dinnertime

■ 7:20 pm—Potty break

■ 9:20 pm—Potty break

When they relieve themselves outside, puppies should be rewarded. Positive reinforcement—such as treats, praise, and play time—goes a long way.

■ 11 pm—Potty break before bed

■ 1 am to 7 am—Late-night breaks

New puppy owners who think they’re going to get a full night’s sleep are in for a rude awakening—literally. Puppies usually need to make at least a couple of late trips to relieve themselves.

This article appears in the November 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

Read more
Things to Know About Getting a Dog

Categories:

Work & Family
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
  • Monica Gerber

    I JUST LOVE DOGS AND PUPPIES BECAUSE WHEN THEY ARE LITTLE I THINK THAT THEY ARE SO CUTE AND IF I HAD A DOG OR A PUPPY I GIVE IT LOTS OF LOVES AND HUGS BUT I HATE CATS SO MUCH AND I LOVE DOGS AND PUPPIES BETTER THEN CATS BECAUSE CATS DO DO ME NO GOOD AND IM NOT INTO CATS ANYMORE BECAUSE THEY GET ME TOO MAD AND UPSET AND THEY STAY OUT OF MY ROOM AND THEY DONT SLEEP WITH ME AT NIGHTS AND THEY DO THINGS TOO GET ME SO MAD AND UPSET AND THATS WHY I DONT LIKE CATS ANYMORE NO BECAUSE I DONT AND I DID NOT HEAR ANYBODY SAY THAT I HAVE TO LOVE CATS WHICH I DONT LOVE CATS ANYMORE AND I TAKE PICTURES OF DOGS AND PUPPIES ON THE IPAD AND I JUST LOVE DOGS AND PUPPIES BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO SPEND TIME WITH THEM AND I HATE CATS SO MUCH I TOLD MY FAMILY AND I JUST LOVE DOGS AND PUPPIES BECAUSE THEY ARE SO CUTE AND I WISH THAT I HAD A DOG OR A PUPPY AND I GIVE IT LOTS OF LOVES AND HUGS AND KISSES BUT IF YOU HAD A DOG OR A PUPPY YOU WOULD HAVE TO TRAIN IT AND THATS FOR SURE BUT I LOVE THESE TWO DOGS BECAUSE THEY ARE SO CUTE TOGETHER AND IM INTO DOGS AND PUPPIES NOW AND SO THATS GOOD

blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 04:00 PM/ET, 11/07/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles