How to Socialize a Puppy

when you hear the word “socialize” you likely think of helping your puppy learn to play with other dogs, but puppy socialization includes much more than that! Socialization is all about helping your pup navigate the world safely. This includes everything from meeting new dogs to encountering unfamiliar situations and handling them calmly. The idea that you are charged with teaching your pup everything he needs to know about the world may seem daunting, which is why we’ve created this handy guide for how to socialize a puppy. These tips are sure to help guide your pup’s social development.

Why it’s Important to Socialize A Puppy?

Socializing your pup is critical for developing a well-rounded, even-tempered, patient companion. Just like people, dogs tend to fear what they don’t understand, so the more you can help your pup understand, the better! This will help him feel confident and give When to Introduce Your Puppy to Other Dogshim the tools he needs to navigate unfamiliar situations. As a result, he’ll be tolerant and calm when encountering new people, sounds, smells, environments, and more. A well-socialized dog is less likely to react aggressively to scary situations or other dogs. As you work to help your pup navigate the world you will develop a deeper a bond. Your pup will see you as his point of reference and soon he’ll know that he’s able to endure any situation as long as you’re by his side.

When to Start Socialization

A puppy’s most crucial stage of social development occurs between 7 to 20 weeks of age. During this period pups are learning all kinds of lessons that will shape the way they see the world. They’re at their most impressionable and malleable during this time. Needless to say, socialization should start as early as possible. The more situations you can expose your puppy to during this age, the better. But, it’s important to take care to ensure that his socialization experiences are highly positive. Don’t rush him, but do push him out of his comfort zone.

How to Socialize A Puppy

Your goal with socializing your puppy should be to introduce him to a wide variety of new environments and situations while providing him with plenty of support and encouragement.

With this in mind, consider your lifestyle and how you want your pup to fit into it. Do you spend a lot of time hiking, walking through urban neighborhoods, going on road trips? Do you host parties, or have small children? Plan to slowly familiarize your puppy with each of those scenarios. You should also expose him to people of all different ages, dogs of all different sizes and energy levels, as well as other types of household pets and animals.

  1. Handling Your Puppy
    Handling your puppy is really important and can be started right away. Make a point to pet and handle your puppy every day. Be sure you touch his paws, ears, snout, tail, belly, etc and reward him as you do. This helps your pup become tolerant and comfortable being handled by people. Once your pup is comfortable having his paws and ears handled, take things up a notch. Practice handling his snout and even having him open his mouth so you can inspect and touch his teeth and tongue. 

    If you use a comb or brush to groom your dog, introduce this to him too. Let him sniff it first, then slowly begin to brush his fur. Offer plenty of praise and treats as you go so that he understands the activity can be fun and rewarding!

    These activities help your pup become comfortable being handled, and will cull any impulse he has to react negatively when someone touches him. As a result, he will be much more cooperative when he goes to the vet, the groomer, meets small children who want to grab his tail, and more.

  2. Preventing Resource Guarding
    Resource guarding refers to when a dog shows signs of aggression when you try to take their food or toys. A great way to prevent this behavior is by petting and handling your pup while he eats. By doing this consistently you’ll help him understand that your pats are done out of affection, not because you’re trying to steal his meal. Once your puppy is comfortable with being petted while eating, begin randomly removing his dish in the middle of his meal. Give him a treat in its place, or place a treat in the bowl and give it back. Suddenly the interruption in his mealtime won’t seem so unwelcome! 

    Another good exercise is to practice removing your pup’s favorite toy while he’s playing with it. Some puppies are stubborn and won’t like it when you take something they’re playing with (after all, who would?). While this behavior isn’t unexpected, it’s important that your pup learns that it’s not acceptable to growl or show his teeth when you do this. Practice taking his toy, and if he’s cooperative reward him with treats and pats then give it back. If your pup growls or shows other signs of aggression as you try to remove the toy, say “no” firmly and wait for him to relax. Once he does, reward him with a treat and return his toy.

  3. Meet New PeopleIt’s one thing for your puppy to feel comfortable being handled by you, but it’s also important to make sure he’s comfortable around other people. Start by introducing him to other members of your household. Have them pet him, hold him and play with him while offering treats. Then, begin inviting friends over to meet him. Don’t overwhelm him with a huge group, but ensure he has consistent interaction with other people. Do your best to introduce your pup to people of different ages, genders, and energy levels. The wider your dog’s point of reference for people is the more confident he’ll be when meeting strangers. This practice helps your dog realize that humans are friendly and fun and he’ll be thrilled rather than fearful when he meets new people.
  4. Go For Walks
    Walks are an essential aspect of your pup’s social development. It might not seem like a big deal to you to walk around the block, but remember, for your pup, it’s a whole new world of smells, sights, and sounds. Be patient as he may be fearful and hesitant at first. 

    Start with short walks on a quiet street, and offer plenty of praise and rewards as your pup adjusts to his surroundings. Gradually you’ll want to extend the length of the walks and introduce him to new environments. Once your pup is comfortable on a quiet street, try one with a little more action.

    Remember, things like bicycles and traffic sounds are all new to your pup, as are different ground surfaces. You don’t want your pup to be a rockstar on grass but deathly afraid of sand, so try to expose him to as many different environments as possible. Offer praise and treats any time he encounters something he’s unsure of. Your pup sees you as his support system, so make sure he feels supported and protected at your side.

  5. Attend Puppy Classes
    Puppy classes are a great way for your pup to meet new people and dogs in a structured environment. They’re also a wonderful way to bond with your pup. These classes may involve anything from basic obedience to handling and socializing with other puppies, as well as other life skills. If your pup is extroverted and excitable, these classes are an opportunity for you to help him approach situations more calmly. On the flip side, if your pup is more timid, puppy class will help him come out of his shell a little. The best part is you will have the support of an experienced trainer who will be able to offer guidance tailored to your puppy’s personality.
  6. Take A Drive
    Car rides are bound to be part of your pup’s life to some extent. Imagine if the first car ride he ever goes on leads to the vet’s office? That probably wouldn’t be a positive association and lead him to fear and dread getting in the car. 

    In order to help your pup feel comfortable in the car, start taking him for drives. At the end of the drive reward him with a fun walk, playtime, and plenty of treats. This will help him realize that car rides have positive outcomes and that going for a drive is exciting, not scary!

  7. Set Up A Playdate
    Introducing your pup to new dogs is a crucial part of his socialization, but it should be done carefully. Many dog owners think “my pup is really friendly, he’ll do fine at the dog park.” Sure, their pup isn’t likely to start any dog fights, but he may find the prospect of meeting 10 new dogs at once a tad overwhelming. Wouldn’t you?! 

    The best way to set your pup up for success is to start introducing him to other dogs in controlled environments. If you have a friend or family member with a friendly dog, invite them to join you and your pup on a walk. This way the dogs can get to know one another in a low-pressure environment.

    If the walk goes well, let the dogs play together off-leash in your backyard. Keep a close eye on them to ensure neither one feels overwhelmed (some dogs aren’t prepared to contend with rambunctious puppies). Make sure to offer plenty of encouragement, praise and even treats throughout their playdate.

  8. Go To the Vet
    Many dog trainers recommend taking your pup to the vet’s office during their socialization training. This might sound strange but think about it. If your puppy’s first experience in the vet’s office involves getting jabbed with sharp needles he’s liable to develop fear and anxiety about the location. 

    If you instead take him to visit the veterinarian on a social call where he’s met with praise, pats, and yummy treats, he’s going to build positive associations with the animal hospital. Down the road, this association will make taking him for checkups SO much easier and less stressful for both of you.

Tips for Successful Socialization

  1. Take it Slow
    Be patient throughout the socialization process. Teaching your puppy about the world may be overwhelming for him, depending on his personality. At times you may feel like you’re taking one step forward only to talk two steps back the following day. This is normal. Even puppies have bad days, so don’t feel discouraged if after just one walk your pup is still scared of his shadow. Socialization takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. As you continue to bond with your puppy his confidence will improve and he’ll be more equipped to navigate unfamiliar situations.
  2. Use Plenty of Praise
    Don’t underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Reward and praise your puppy every time he does something well! This is especially important when he’s in unfamiliar situations. For instance, your pup may be fearful of his first walk, but constant praise and rewards from you will help him feel confident and empowered.
  3. Note Your Pup’s Body Language
    Always pay attention to how your puppy is reacting to new situations. While it’s good to help him push past his fear, pushing him too far could result in major setbacks. If he’s nervous, praise and treats should help him relax, but if he’s cowering in fear it may be best to remove him from the situation. 

    Signs that your pup is truly scared include:
    His body is tense and rigid
    He’s trembling
    His tail is between his legs and his ears are pinned back
    He’s constantly licking his lips
    You can see the whites of his eyes

    If your pup is showing any of these signs he’s too scared to continue with the activity. It’s best to take him home where he’s comfortable and let him relax. You can always try the activity again later, and you should!

  4. Practice Makes Perfect
    It’s not enough to introduce your pup to a new environment or situation once and assume he’s fine with it. You should make a point of reinforcing his socialization by continuing to put him in a variety of new environments. Take him for regular car trips, encourage him to meet new dogs, etc. He needs to practice feeling confident and comfortable in these environments. Again, puppies do have bad days. One day he may love a car ride, and the next he may be traumatized by it. The more familiar each situation becomes the more prepared your pup will be to face it.

Puppy Feeding Schedule, Chart, Amount

There is a lot of misleading information concerning dog foods, canine nutritional requirements and exactly what a puppy needs to eat. To cut through the myriad of conflicting messages we’ve created this guide on how, when and what to feed your puppy.

Puppy Feeding Schedule/Timeline (By Week)

Puppies have very specific nutritional requirements that determine what foods they can eat, how much they should be fed, and when they should transition to adult food.

To make feeding your puppy as easy as possible, we’ve created a weekly feeding schedule detailing how much food your puppy needs; how often they need to eat, and what types of food options you should have available.

How Much Food Do I Feed My Puppy?

Every week brings a rapid cycle of changes in which your puppy grows, learns and especially eats. From the day they are born, they are on an accelerated growth path, and they need the fuel to reach their full potential.

puppy feeding schedule

How much your puppy needs to eat is determined by its size and weight. This chart details how much food you should be feeding your puppy based on their weight and is a great place to start when creating a food plan. Don’t forget to consult a licensed veterinarian before making any changes to your puppy’s diet.  Not all foods are the same calories per spoonful and may need some adjusting.

Weight of Puppy Amount to Feed per Day
4 oz. 2 Tbsp.
6 oz. 3 Tbsp.
8 oz. 4 Tbsp.
10 oz. 5 Tbsp.
12 oz. 6 Tbsp.
14 oz. 7 Tbsp.
16 oz. 8 Tbsp.
18 oz. 9 Tbsp.
20 oz. 10 Tbsp.
22 oz. 11 Tbsp.
24 oz. 12 Tbsp.
26 oz. 13 Tbsp.
28 oz. 14 Tbsp.
30 oz. 15 Tbsp.
32 oz. 16 Tbsp.

Be sure to monitor your new puppy’s health and wellness. If they appear skinny and eagerly finish every meal, then you may need to increase the amount of food in their diet. Conversely, if you notice that your puppy is gaining too much weight for their age, you may need to limit the amount of food in their diet.

How Often Do I Feed My Puppy?

How often you feed you puppy is determined by its age. Puppies eat more when they are young, because they are constantly growing. Newborn puppies cannot consume solid food and should be kept on their mother’s milk until weaning age. Around 6 weeks you can begin feeding your puppy solid food according to the following chart.

Puppy Age Feeding Frequency
1 week 3 – 4 hours
2 weeks 3 – 4 hours
3 weeks 6 hours
4 weeks 8 hours
5 weeks 8 hours
6 weeks 8 hours
7 weeks 8 hours
8 weeks 8 hours
9 weeks Twice daily
10 weeks Twice daily

After 8 weeks, puppies should learn that food will no longer be provided constantly throughout the day. Feed your puppy then wait for them to finish their meal. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven’t finished, though 10 minutes should provide enough time for your puppy to consume the entire meal.

Does Breed Affect Feeding Schedule?

Breed can play a factor in determining when to feed your puppy. Large breeds like the German Shepherd, Rottweiler and American Bulldogs will require much more food than small breeds like the Jack Russel and Yorkshire Terriers.

Therefore, owners should consider their puppies size, and age in unison when creating a food plan. As your puppy grows its metabolic rate will change, and it will need more or less food depending on breed.

In general, the more exercise the breed requires to stay healthy, the more food they need to fuel their lifestyle. Lean, agile breeds like the Vizsla and Greyhound will require more food than a Basset Hound or a French Bulldog. Your vet will happily inform you on breed specific nutritional requirements.

Is Wet or Dry Food Better for Puppies?

Whether or not to feed your puppy wet or dry food is a common enough question to spark a fierce debate between dog experts over which is best. The answer to the question, however, is… It depends.

If you have any questions regarding exactly how much food your puppy should be eating in the course of a day you should consult your veterinarian or the breeder. Don’t guess. Do your research on the ingredients that go into the different puppy foods and how labels are written so that you can make the most informed choice on which puppy food is best for your puppy.

Wet Food

Puppies need protein, fat, and fiber in their diet. If it can’t be classified as one of those nutritional categories, it shouldn’t be in your puppy’s diet. The best wet foods contain ingredients that are rich in fatty proteins and healthy sugars like; muscle protein and no animal byproducts like hooves and tendons.

Canned food is generally more expensive than dry food, and more palatable. However, owners should be wary of “all-meat” products. Your puppy needs a complete, balanced diet to fulfill their nutritional requirements. Meat only diets won’t cut it.

Therefore, it’s important for new puppy owners to ensure their puppy is fed a diet rich in the fat, protein, nutrients and minerals they need to sustain vital body function, boost immunity, and sustain healthy development.

High-quality wet dog food contains a high level of moisture and zero grain, filler content, or artificial ingredients. Artificial ingredients are linked to cancer and a myriad of potentially harmful medical conditions that can severely affect your puppy’s quality of life.

Dry Food

Dry dog food is a concentrated dog wherein moisture is removed. The highest quality dry foods contain significant levels of animal proteins and fats like chicken, beef, fish, and lamb.

These healthy animal fat sources provide much-needed nutrients like omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Puppies also benefit from the healthy animal fats found in dry food that provide amino acids and support cognitive development.

Additionally, many new puppy owners claim an oral-hygiene advantage with hard kibble thanks to the friction produced by heavy chewing, which helps to keep the gums and teeth healthy. We recommend using kibble that is moistened with water to keep your puppy hydrated.

Raw Diets

Your puppy’s diet should consist primarily of meat, with zero grains, starches, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Raw diets contain zero artificial ingredients and are fresher than canned wet food or bagged dry food, and typically prepared and portioned at home with fresh whole ingredients like beef, blueberries, and vegetables.


Obesity is a common problem found in many breeds, so avoid feeding your puppy from the table. Puppies are not likely to benefit from human food, which may even contain ingredients that are harmful to a puppy like garlic, chocolate, or gluten.

Puppies need protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and not much else. Their bodies are still growing and the protein aids in development. Thankfully puppies are carnivores, which means they get all of the nutrition they need from animal protein.

To keep your puppy at a healthy weight, be sure to avoid overfeeding them, even if they beg. This is especially tricky with some breeds, who always appear to be hungry and who are predisposed to becoming overweight as they seem to always be hungry. It’s no surprise that these same breeds are the most prone to canine obesity.

Don’t forget, you are the puppy’s leader, and there is no room for another alpha dog in the house. By allowing your puppy to beg at the table you undermine your status as its pack leader, which can, and will result in training and behavior problems.

What About Bones and Treats?

Caution is needed when giving your puppy a bone to chew one. Poultry, pork and cooked bones of any kind, are off limits and hazardous to your puppy. They splinter into shards that can cause choking and serious damage to your puppy’s mouth, throat, and insides.

In fact, any bone can be chewed into small pieces and block the intestines, leading to a bout of constipation and lacerations of the mouth and internal organs. They can even lodge in the throat with fatal results. It is important to note that bones have little if any nutritional value.

Bones actually provide zero nutritional value. Not to mention the thousands of other ways to satisfy your puppy’s urge to chew, like chew toys and fake bones.

What Diet is Best for My Puppy?

What diet is best for your new puppy is best determined by your veterinarian. While there are pros and cons to each type of food, only a vet has the expertise to properly inform you as to which is best for your puppy.

Should I Buy the More Expensive Dog Food?

First, check the for a statement from (AAFCO), the Association of American Feed Control Officials. This association informs pet owners about the intended use of the food. Another phrase to look for is “complete and balanced nutrition”.

High-quality dog food has higher nutritional density, which means you can feed your dog less to achieve the same results. Additionally, high-quality puppy foods have stable ingredient profiles, higher in essential fatty acids.

When Should I Switch My Puppy to Dog Food?

When to transition your puppy from puppy food to dog food is, obviously, determined by its age, and may vary from breed to breed. Smaller breeds should transition from puppy to dog food around 12 months old and large breeds around 18-24 months.

Large breeds, on the other hand, continue to grow for several weeks more than small breeds. Therefore, they typically transition from puppy food to dog food later than small breeds. Your vet will be able to help you determine when your puppy is done growing, and when their puppy food can be changed to dog food.

How to Switch from Puppy Food to Adult Food

When transitioning your puppy from puppy food to adult food, be sure to make the switch gradually over several days. Sudden changes in your dog’s diet can cause stomach irritation. Don’t forget to consult with your veterinarian about the best type of food for your adult dog.

Puppy Feeding Tips

  1. Try to avoid feeding your puppy the moment you get home, as it may encourage separation anxiety. Besides, play time is a much better way to say hello when you get home.
  2. Prescription diets can be purchased from veterinarians to feed dogs with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions. These foods should never be fed without a prescription.
  3. Avoid feeding your puppy vitamin or mineral supplements. When utilized incorrectly they can and will do far more harm than good.
  4. Consult with your veterinarian before making any major change to your puppy’s diet. Then stick with whichever formula and feeding plan they recommend, as sudden changes in food may cause digestion problems.
  5. Small portions of carrot or apple chunks are healthful low-calorie snacks that most dogs love.
  6. Always keep fresh water available. Wash the water bowl daily to avoid a buildup of bacteria.


What is the best food for my puppy? The best dog food for your puppy will contain the healthy proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables that they need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

High-quality puppy food products contain zero filler or animal byproducts, so you can be sure your puppy is eating nothing but what its body needs to remain healthy.

Can puppies be overfed? Yes. It takes time for a puppy to learn when to stop eating. A puppy’s digestive system is very delicate. Therefore, puppies who overeat will typically vomit to relieve the pressure on their distended stomachs.

Assuming your puppy manages to keep their food down, they will almost certainly experience diarrhea shortly after. Chronic overeating can result in chronic diarrhea that can last for weeks, even months.

Excessive calories from overfeeding me may lead to weight gain, which is detrimental to your puppy’s healthy development. If you can’t feel your puppy’s ribs under your fingers, they are too heavy. Before you put your limit your puppy’s diet, we recommend consulting your vet on how to safely cut back their caloric intake.

To avoid this unpleasant issue, we recommend instill a feeding schedule. Feeding your puppy moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding.

After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven’t finished, though 10 minutes should provide enough time for your puppy to consume the entire meal.

What are the best times to feed a puppy? The best times to feed your puppy are at 7 a.m., noontime for lunch, and 5 p.m. for dinner. The last meal should always be around 5 p.m. so that they have enough time to digest their food and go potty one last time before bedtime.

How often should puppies drink water? Often. Puppies should always have access to fresh, clean water. If you notice your puppy’s water bowl is empty, you should fill it up right away.

Is it OK to give a puppy regular dog food? It is very important to your puppy’s healthy development that it be feed a diet designed to meet its nutritional requirements. However, a meal or two of adult dog food can suffice if you find yourself in a bind. Though any new food may upset their stomach, a small amount of adult food shouldn’t hurt.

What foods should be avoided? Puppies are carnivores who will never require corn, wheat or gluten in their diet. Owners should avoid dog foods that contain any ingredients derived from corn, wheat or gluten, and artificial ingredients such as:

  • White Flour
  • MSG
  • Gluten
  • Corn Syrup
  • Rendered Fat
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Animal By-Products
  • Brewers Rice
  • Corn
  • Animal Digest

Your puppy is unlikely to turn down a snack, so owners should avoid feeding their puppy “human food” and completely avoid foods that contain:

  • Chocolate & Dairy
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Caffeine
  • Grapes
  • Nuts
  • Pitted Fruit
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Soy

Final Thoughts

One of the most significant decisions you can make for your puppy is determining what it will eat. By feeding your puppy a nutritious diet on a regular basis you ensure it receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow into a healthy, happy adult dog.

So long as you’re willing to consult with your veterinarian and commit to feeding your puppy only the highest-quality puppy food, then chances are high your puppy will enjoy an excellent quality of life.

Your entire household should be dedicated to your puppy’s feeding regimen. Your puppy will find it and exploit any possible handouts, thereby reversing all of the good you are trying to do. Keeping a puppy healthy and on its feeding schedule takes a conscious effort from everyone in the household.

What Human Foods Can Dogs Eat?

Dogs are a constant companion that we love having in every part of life. However, we often wonder what’s okay for them and what is dangerous. While it might be obvious that they can’t walk on the pavement when it’s very hot outside, what they can eat is much less clear. Dog food comes in dry, wet, and raw. Unless you are feeding the last type, chances are you don’t handle the fresh ingredients of your pet’s chow.

During a summer outing, you’re left asking, “Can dogs eat apples/grapes/eggs?” Knowing what is okay and what isn’t is what is like playing a hard game of Minesweeper. Today, we have the answers to the top issues in regards to what dogs can or can’t eat!

A Look at Teeth

Before getting started, let’s take a look at what dogs should be eating. Though dogs are generally carnivores, eating vegetables isn’t out of the question. Proponents of the raw diet will know that meat with pumpkin and carrot can create the perfect meal for a dog. In addition, chewing on raw, uncooked bone can help them clean their teeth after a meal.

Now, that’s not to say that all meats are equal or that you can give as much carrot or pumpkin as you want. Everything lives in moderation, and the meat you give should be human quality, nothing less. Remember to talk to a vet before feeding a raw diet as your pet could have special needs that limit or change your options.

In the Wild:

With all the pet food advertisements, you’ve probably seen pet food pride itself as being what your dog’s ancestors ate. Before we get started on what your pet can eat, let’s take a look at what wild dogs, specifically wolves, are known to eat.

Wolves are carnivores; this means that they eat meat as their main food source. Most wolves will eat large hoofed animals depending on where they’re natural feeding grounds are located. However, wolves do require more than just meat to stay healthy. Many wolves can be seen eating berries, apples, and pears in the wild. In addition, they will eat grass for fiber and an upset stomach just as dogs do.

Are Dogs Color Blind?

The first question that you may have is can a dog tell the difference between a grape and a blueberry? The answer, yes but they might not care. Dogs don’t see as many colors as we do, but they are not color blind. Their eyes mostly pickup the yellows, blues, and violets of the world. That said, while they can tell the difference between foods and colors, they might not care too much. Their determining factor? If they think they can eat it.

Can Dogs Eat…

Now for the fun part, all your “can dogs eat” questions, answered. After each food type, we’re going to talk about if it’s okay to eat, how much can be eaten, and why. Hopefully, by the end of this, you’ll have a great understanding of what your dog can eat and how to keep them healthy. First, we will take a look at what foods can and can’t be eaten. In the end, we have added a few bonus thoughts on food additives that can make your pets sick.

Apples: Yes!

Apples make a delicious and healthy treat for your pet. They’re crunchy and rich in antioxidants and fiber. However, your dog should not be allowed to eat the core or any seeds. The seeds found in apples contain cyanide, a toxic substance. A dog’s more sensitive body, especially smaller dogs, can’t handle this and your pet could become very sick if exposed to a large number of seeds over time.

Bananas: Sometimes!

High in potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, Bananas are a healthy alternative to fatty and salty treats. However, everything good should be eaten in moderation. Because bananas are so high in sugar, they should be used sparingly. A dog’s body doesn’t process sugar as our does, and it can lead to fast weight gain.

Grapes: No!

Add grapes to your never feed list! Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to dogs leading to kidney failure and even death. Though research hasn’t been able to pinpoint exactly what in grapes is fatal, it is known that as few as three could be fatal to your beloved pet.


Strawberries: Yes!

Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. In addition, strawberries have an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth! However, fresh is best for both human and pet. Canned strawberries or strawberries in syrup are a no go as the high levels of sugar and preservatives can cause issues in your pet’s stomach.

Grass: Yes!

Though you shouldn’t be feeding grass to your pet on purpose, it’s no issue if they are grazing while in the backyard. There are many schools of thought as to why this is the case. Some think that it’s because the dogs don’t feel well and need to vomit. Others think that grass eating may be to improve digestion, treat intestinal worms, or to fulfill a nutritional need.

Blueberries: Yes!

Antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals, oh my! Blueberries are a great treat for you and your pet. On a summer day, try them frozen for a crunchy and nutritious snack. However, make sure you only use fresh blueberries. This is another case where canned and in syrup is a no go.

Watermelons: Sometimes!

Eating the red part of watermelon without seeds is a great treat for pets. The seeds can cause an intestinal blockage so they should be avoided. In addition, you should not let your pet chew on the rind. That can lead to gastrointestinal upset and a visit to the vet.

Oranges: Sometimes!

Orange, like all citrus, is known to cause diarrhoea, irritation, vomiting, or even central nervous system depression if eaten in large amounts. Eating a smaller amount is not a concern; however, keep in mind that the high sugar content can lead to obesity if given as a treat regularly.

Avocado: No!

This highly debated food contains a chemical called persin. In large quantities, it’s toxic to pets and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, small amounts of avocado shouldn’t cause too much of an issue. In summary, we don’t recommend this as a regular treat for your pet.

Carrots: Yes!

Both raw and cooked carrots are great for your dog’s health. However, it’s essential never to feed your dog a whole carrot. Make sure you shred the carrot into very small pieces to prevent choking in both large and smaller pets.

Pineapples: Yes!

Though okay to give to your pet in moderation, this fruit is often on the, by the pet, list. Watching your pet after you give them a taste will let you know if it should be on the list or not. Some pets will have upset stomachs after eating, in which case, pineapple should be stricken from the treat list.

Tomatoes: Yes!

As long as the tomato is ripe, it is safe. However, the stem and leaves, as well as unripe green tomatoes, have a high amount of solanine. Generally, small amounts of this chemical are safe for a dog, but it shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities.

Broccoli: Yes!

Dogs can eat broccoli, both cooked and raw. Remember to keep the pieces small and only give a little as a treat. The florets contain isothiocyanates which can cause gastric irritation in your pets. When cooking this vegetable, or any other, for you pet don’t add any oil or salt to the mix. Pet’s don’t need those extra flavors to be happy or healthy.

Eggs: Yes!

Eggs are a great source of protein, riboflavin, and selenium for you and your pet. However, make sure to give them this treat cooked and shelled. Giving them a raw egg can cause a biotin deficiency while the shells could upset or hurt their stomachs.

Popcorn: Yes!

While not bad for pets, plain air-popped popcorn can get stuck in your dog’s teeth and pose a choking hazard. For that reason, it’s probably best left for the humans at the table. If you do give it to your pet, make sure to keep unpopped and half-popped kernels away from your pet.

Peanuts: Yes!

Good news! Peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut treats are great treats for your pet. However, they should always be xylitol free! Some brands of peanut butter use this additive in place of sugar, and it is highly toxic to pets. Otherwise, keep in mind that peanuts are highly fatty and can be harder to process for your pet. If you notice any upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting then shy away from feeding your pets peanuts.

Tree Nuts: Sometimes!

This is a topic with multiple fronts. On the safe list are almonds and cashews. However, as with any food, caution should be exercised. Nuts are high in fat, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. On the other hand, macadamia nuts, black walnuts, and pecans are on the no go list. These nuts, when moldy contain a toxin that can cause seizures and neurological issues. Contact a vet right away if any of the unsafe tree nuts have been eaten by your pet.

Chocolate: No!

No! A small amount of chocolate won’t seriously harm your pooch. However, they will be prone to getting an upset stomach with some vomiting or diarrhea. On the other hand, large amounts of chocolate will cause too much theobromine to enter the system. This chemical can produce muscle tremors, seizures, an irregular heartbeat, internal bleeding or a heart attack. You’ll know of theobromine poisoning if your pet has severe hyperactivity after the consumption of chocolate.

Onions: No!

A chemical called thiosulfate is found in uncooked, cooked, and even powdered onion. As such, it’s something that should never be fed to your pet as a treat or meal. However, unlike a grape, this vegetable takes a bit longer to take effect. Should your pet gorge on onions, you can expect the destruction of the red blood cells in their body, which could lead to death.

Garlic: No!

Belonging to the Allium family with onions, chives, and leeks, this food is poisonous to your pooch. While the amount that they have to eat to get sick is generally very large, some dogs are more sensitive than others. In general, this food should be left off of your dog’s plate.

Milk: Sometimes!

Whether or not your pet can have milk will depend on if they are lactose intolerant or not. Some dogs have issues digesting milk while others don’t. If your dog is showing signs of diarrhea or vomiting after they consume milk-based products, you know that this is off the list.

Fish: Yes!

Your dog can eat fish. In fact, fish has many good fats and amino acids that can give your dog a nice health boost. Salmon and sardines are especially great for your pet. Salmon is loaded with extra vitamins and protein while sardines have soft, digestible bones filled with calcium. Make sure that all the small bones have been picked out if sardines aren’t the fish of choice!

Bread: Yes!

Small amounts of white bread won’t harm your pet. However, bread also won’t give them any health benefits either. It can pack on the carbs and calories, causing weight gain if not careful. Though it’s simply best to avoid bread altogether, homemade bread is often a better option. Preservatives in store-bought bread can lead to stomach upset.

Cheese: Yes!

Your pet can have cheese in small or moderate quantities as long as they aren’t lactose intolerant. Make sure to use plan cheeses with no added spices or foods. Also, look for low-fat options like cottage cheese or mozzarella.

Cinnamon: No!

While not toxic, this spice can lead to irritation. It’s known to lower a dog’s blood sugar to dangerous levels. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting increased, or decreased heart rate, and even liver disease. In the powder form, inhalation can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.

Coconut: Yes!

Coconut contains Lauric which will strengthen your pets immune system. It can also help clear skin conditions like hot spots, flea allergies, and itchy skin. The milk and oil are safe as well! However, your pet shouldn’t munch on the furry shell as it can get lodged in their throat.

Corn: Yes!

Corn is one of the most common ingredients in most dog food. However, the cob is hard to digest and can cause intestinal blockage. If you want to share fresh corn, make sure it’s off the cob first.

Ham: Yes

Though ham is safe, it’s not the healthiest option available. It’s generally a salty and fatty meat. While a small piece in fine, we recommend avoiding adding this as a normal treat to their meal plan.

Honey: Yes!

Honey is packed with health-boosting properties such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and antioxidants. Just as in humans, feeding your pet local and organic honey can help with allergies as it introduces the pollen to their immune system though small doses, building immunity.

Pork: Yes!

Like all meats, pork is a great source of protein for your pet. It’s packed with highly digestible protein and amino acids. In addition, pork is also less likely to cause an allergic reaction when compared to other meats. Keep in mind, pig has more calories per pound so pets will need less of it.

Quinoa: Yes!

Quinoa is an ingredient in high-quality dry dog foods. It’s a healthy alternative to corn, wheat, and soy. This is due to its strong nutritional profile as opposed to the starch profiles of the other options.

Shrimp: Yes!

Shrimp is high in antioxidants, vitamin B12, and phosphorus. In addition, it’s also low and fat, calories, and carbohydrates. You should always cook the shrimp and remove the shell, including tail, head, and legs. However, it should only be fed now and then to your pet.

Grain: Yes!

Although there has been a lot of discussion around grain-free diets, there is nothing wrong with your dog eating grain. Dogs do not have to be grain-free. Grains like wheat and corn provide protein, fatty acids, and fiber. However, if your dog has allergies, you should talk to your vet to see if avoiding grains could help.

Yogurt: Yes!

Plain yogurt is an acceptable snack for your pet. However, some canines, especially lactose intolerant ones, will have issues digesting this treat. If your dog can eat yogurt, the active bacteria will help strengthen their digestive system due to the probiotics in the food. As with all dog treats, you should avoid added sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Chemical Additives to Look Out for:

Sometimes, listing what food is okay and what food does not do not cover the whole picture. For these next few, we are going to talk about the chemicals that can be added to food that is toxic to pets. If your pet gets into the cabinet, take a look at what they have eaten to see if you should go to the vet or not.

Xylitol: No!

This additive is found in many candies, gums, toothpaste, diet foods, and baked goods. It’s a sugar replacement used for human purposes. However, for dogs, it can cause drops in blood sugar and liver failure. If you see lethargy, vomiting, or coordination, your dog may need to go to the emergency vet. Seizures, liver failure, and death can follow within just a few days.

Yeast: No!

Before bread is cooked, you have to add activities and let it rise. If you are a baker, make sure that your pet does not get a hold of active yeast. If they do, the yeast will swell inside the stomach. This swelling inflates your dog’s stomach and causes a lot of pain. Also, as yeast ferments, it creates alcohol causing alcohol poisoning.

Salt: No!

Just like humans, salt causes pets to retain water. However, due to their smaller size, it can cause it faster and on a more extreme scale. Eating too much salt will mean lots of trips to the potty as well as sodium ion poisoning. If you see vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, high temperature, or seizure after ingestion of large quantities of salt, then take your pet to the vet.

Alcohol: No!

Alcohol is bad on the liver and brain, whether human or pet. However, pets need a lot less alcohol to show the effects. Just a little liquor, beer, or wine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coma, or even death. The smaller the pet, the worst issue can be.

Always Talk to a Vet!

If you ever have any questions about what your pet can or cannot eat, then you should speak to a vet. While we aim to make this list comprehensive, each pet will have unique needs, allergies, and issues. In general, dry food with quality treats from the pet store will be safe and enough for your pet. Human food is not necessary and can be hit or miss depending on the pet.

If you are thinking about feeding your pet a raw diet, then you must consult a vet before beginning. They will be able to tell you what nutrition should be in the food and give you recommendations on food sources and amounts. Also, remember that each of the foods above will vary depending on the size of the pet. Things that are poisonous in high quantities will take less for a Yorkie than a mastiff.

Your Guide to Getting a Dog During COVID-19

How to Purchase a Puppy During the Coronavirus Outbreak

We know that the decision to get a dog is a complicated one during ordinary times but right now the environment has given us all a lot more to think about. This article will help you think through whether now is the right time to bring a puppy into your life.

We’ve organized this document into some helpful sections:

  • Is now a good time to buy a puppy?
  • How to buy a puppy for sale in Quarantine?
  • What happens to the puppy when things go back to normal?
  • Will you be able to support a puppy if you lose your income?
  • Are you prepared to socialize a puppy while social distancing?
  • Do you have a COVID plan for your puppy?
  • Canines and COVID-19: FAQ’s

Believe it or not, dog, cat and even chicken sales have soared in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forced to work from home and shelter in place, people are flocking to animal shelters and breeder services to bring home a furry quarantine companion.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog now this Guide to Buying a Puppy During the Coronavirus Outbreak is a great resource to help you understand the pros and cons of adding a puppy to your life.

CDC Guidelines for Social Distancing Dogs

Now that you’ve decided to bring a dog into your life, you need to ensure their safety as you would any other member of your family. As with human interaction, there are social-distancing guidelines for dogs and dog owners to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, if you own a dog, you are to:

  1. Keep them from interacting with people or other animals outside the household.
  2. Keep dogs indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  3. Walk dogs on a leash, while maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  4. Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs can congregate.

What if I Get Sick?

According to the CDC, if you become sick with the Coronavirus (or suspect that you may have contracted it), you should minimize contact with your pets and other animals and, when possible, arrange for another family member to care for your pets.

Most importantly, If you are sick with COVID-19 and your pet becomes sick too, you must NOT take your pet to the veterinary clinic yourself. Call your veterinarian and let them know you have been sick with COVID-19 and ask them to advise on how to proceed.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Puppy?

If you’re stuck at home with little to do outside of work and desperate for a way to break the monotony of the Coronavirus quarantine, a puppy just might shake things up for you.

The joyful face of a puppy provides a welcome relief from the depressing news of the day and comfort you when the isolation becomes too much to bear. Plus, many prospective owners are now discovering they finally have the critical element needed to raise a puppy – time.

Never before has so much of the population had so much time on its hands. If you were dreaming of an excuse to add a puppy to your family, then now is a really good time to make that dream a reality.

How to Buy a Puppy for Sale in Quarantine

Since the COVID-19 outbreak forced many of us into isolation, eCommerce is no longer a convenience, it’s a necessity. Fortunately, puppyzona has been placing dogs with families online for more than 10 years. Our goal has always been to connect healthy puppies from ethical breeders with families looking for a furry friend. Now more than ever, our service is helping families find their new family member without the need to leave their homes.

puppyzona is absolutely committed to placing healthy puppies into happy homes and maintaining social distancing in the process.

Is Now The Right Time For You To Buy A Puppy?

Thanks to COVID-19 shelter in place protocols, you likely have more time on your hands than ever before, but you still need to consider whether or not you have the time it takes to housebreak, obedience train and socialize a new puppy.

A puppy takes up much more time and energy than you’d think. Just because you’re now working from home, doesn’t mean you have the time to step away from your computer and go for the walk your dog needs to be healthy.

If you live in a densely populated urban area you will need to make sure that there is ample space for you to walk your puppy frequently as you train him so that you can maintain your city’s social distancing requirements while house training your dog and making sure the puppy gets enough exercise. As well, if you have to be online all day to keep your job, then it’s important to consider if you will have the time for the frequent breaks required to care for your puppy. If you live in a less populated area and have plenty of time on your hands, then there has never been a better time to get a puppy.

What Happens To The Puppy When Things Go Back To Normal?

Arguably, the most important thing you need to consider if you’re thinking about getting a puppy during COVID-19 is what happens to the puppy when things go back to normal? Will you still have the ability to care for your new puppy when you go back to working nine to five?

No one can be sure what is going to happen with the Coronavirus outbreak but experts do predict that it will eventually end. When it does and things go back to normal, you need to ensure that your puppy will still receive the care it needs to live a long and happy life.

Will You Be Able To Support A Puppy If You Lose Your Income?

No one likes to think about it but what happens to the puppy if you lose your income. COVID-19 has shuttered the economy and forced many people out of work. Your puppy has needs, the least of which is a safe place to live and nutritious diet to eat.

If you lose your income because of Coronavirus, will you still be able to afford to properly care for a puppy? If the answer is no, then now is not the time to bring a puppy into your home. You need to have an income to support a puppy to the best of your ability.

Are You Prepared To Socialize A Puppy While Social-Distancing?

Everyone knows that puppies need frequent trips outside, but that doesn’t mean you should expose yourself or others to possible COVID-19 infection. The new social-distancing rules apply to everyone. If you are unable to socialize your new puppy AND practice social-distancing, then now might not be a great time.

Though canines can’t contract COVID-19, owners who have COVID need to take special steps to avoid socializing with pets/dogs. These are just some of the things you need to think about when introducing a dog into your life now.

That’s why you must be able to socialize your dog in a way that does not expose you or your family to humans who may be infected. We are all in this together and It’s your responsibility as a human first and dog owner second to ensure you walk, exercise and socialize your dog while keeping as much distance from others as possible.

Do You Have A COVID Plan For Your Puppy?

What happens to your puppy if, heaven forbid, you or a family member contracts the Coronavirus? No one enjoys thinking about such a scenario but you must if you want to accept the responsibility of owning a dog.

An emergency plan for your pet is important but it doesn’t have to be complex. It can be as simple as having a family member care for the puppy in your stead. Plus, many boarding facilities remain open to provide care if need be. You’ll also need a puppy supply kit, which, along with emergency food and supplies, should contain:

  • Contact information for the person who will care for your dog.
  • Contact information for a back-up in case your first contact can no longer provide care for the animal.
  • Leash.
  • Toys.
  • Bed and blankets.
  • Crate or carrier.
  • Vaccination records and contact information for your veterinary clinic.
  • Collars, ID tags and microchips.
  • Medications and prescriptions with instructions.
  • Daily care instructions.
  • Something that smells like you to comfort your puppy while you’re away.

Canines and COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

puppyzona is your source for reliable, useful information concerning the Coronavirus; your pets and how it might affect them. We answer your questions below. However, if we missed any questions or you think of one we didn’t answer, please contact us here and a puppyzona concierge will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can Dogs Get Coronavirus?

Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, however, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a threat to dogs. According to the AKC,

“Two pet dogs in Hong Kong have tested positive for COVID-19, and both of these dogs lived in homes with COVID-19 positive owners… Hong Kong officials stress that “these findings indicate that dogs and cats are not infected easily with this virus, and there is no evidence that they play a role in the spread of the virus.”

In other words, yes, dogs can contract coronavirus, but these cases are infrequent and not believed to be a health threat to the dogs in question.

Can Dogs Spread COVID-19?

No. According to the World Health Organization, “There is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.”

Though you cannot contract COVID-19 directly from your dog, owners are advised to wash their hands after petting their dog and before touching their face. Do not wipe or bathe your pet with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use.

Can I walk my dog?

Yes, you can walk your dog. Nowhere in the United States are dog owners prohibited from providing their dogs with the exercise they need to stay healthy. However, as millions of Americans are under shelter in place orders, you must exercise caution and practice social-distancing when outside with your dog.

Do your best to avoid people by walking your dog at off hours when sidewalks and parks are less populated. Stick to open areas and stay at least six feet from others, which means keeping your dog’s leash tight enough that they don’t get too close to people and other dogs. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done with the walk.

Should I Have Contact With My Pet If I Have Coronavirus?

According to the CDC it’s best to “have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.”

How Can I Protect My Dog From Coronavirus?

Stay away from people. It sounds harsh but the truth often is. If you want to protect yourself and your dog from Coronavirus, then do your part and stay inside. The more you stay inside and distance yourself from others, the safer you and your dog will be from the Coronavirus.

How Can I Keep My Home Clean And Safe For My Pets?

Many cleaners that prevent the spread of COVID-19 aren’t safe for pets. It’s best to keep dogs out of rooms where cleaners that contain bleach, alcohol and other powerful chemicals are being used.

Don’t leave cleaners out where your pets can get into them and be sure to follow the product instructions, as some cleaners need to sit to be effective, while some surfaces need to be rinsed to avoid burning their paws.

What If My Pet Is Showing Symptoms Of Illness?

If your pet starts showing symptoms of illness, then it is almost certainly NOT novel coronavirus and you should contact your veterinarian for instructions.

Puppyzona: The Best Place To Learn About And Find Puppies For Sale

For those of you stuck at home aching for companionship, a puppy can be just the thing you need to get you through the COVID-19 pandemic. puppyzona puppies are only meant as companions and pets, that’s why all of our puppies are eligible for companion registration on the appropriate registry.

Once you’ve made a selection, a puppy concierge will walk you through the every step of the buying process. Then we’ll work with our trusted partners in the commercial air, private air, and ground transportation business to get your puppy to your home (or as close to your home) as we can as quickly as possible, while focusing on the health and welfare of your puppy.

The world we live in right now is a scary one but finding a companion to help you through these trying times doesn’t have to be. Contact puppyzona today and meet your new best friend tomorrow.