Top “Why does my puppy…?” questions from new owners

We've come up with some explanations to some of the more common things puppies do that get owners asking questions and getting concerned.

1st November 2021

While welcoming a new puppy into the family, you’ll probably start realising that you’re learning new things every day about your dog. You’ll have questions along the way, some from worry while others out of interest, but we’re hoping we can provide some answers.

Why does my puppy bite?

Just like babies, puppies explore the world with their mouths. Unlike babies, puppies have very sharp teeth. So, as they’re unable to determine whether the object is appropriate (dog toy) or not (your hands) they might end up nipping at the wrong thing once in a while.

They’re also teething, and it’s important to remember that teething hurts, so they will sometimes look to chew to soothe.

If your puppy is trying to nip you or goes to use their teeth, provide them with one of their toys to remind them they have things to chew that isn’t human skin! If they manage to catch you then yelp, like a pup would, as the puppy will back off as they’ve hurt you. After a few minutes provide them with a toy to play with instead.

Make sure you praise your pup when they’re playing nicely, and never punish.

Why does my puppy lick me?

There are plenty of reasons to why your puppy might be licking you, and you might find yourself learning your dog’s different licks and their meaning as they grow.

From licking as a way of playing, wanting your attention, stress relief or a sensory tool. Just like their ancient ancestors, your dog uses its tongue as a form of communication and is probably just trying to tell you just how awesome you are.

Why does my puppy cry at night?

It’s completely normal for your puppy to cry at night. They’re probably not used to being alone, just yet, and trying to settle into their new routine.

They’ll miss their mother and siblings greatly and are probably just a little overwhelmed by everything that’s happened in the last few days or weeks and all the changes they’ve encountered. They might also be crying because they’re hungry.

You will need to train your puppy to sleep through the night and keep at it or else you’ll be encouraging some bad habits.

Why does my puppy have diarrhoea?

There are quite a few reasons why your puppy might be suffering from diarrhoea. It might be because your puppy is struggling to adapt to the new diet if you’ve changed their food since they’ve come home.

If you haven’t, it could be down to stress, but this should stop after a few days. It’s important to speak to the breeder or rehoming centre to check if your puppy has been wormed, because if not you will need to keep on top on their worming or flea treatment.

If your dog has diarrhoea, then you might want to feed them some bland food for a few days to let their tummy settle. Small portions of boiled rice for a day or two should see your puppy’s waste back to normal.

If your puppy’s diarrhoea continues you will need to take them to vets as soon as possible as they can become dehydrated quite quickly.

Your puppy will do a lot of things that will get you asking questions, and each puppy is completely different so not all answers will be the same. You’re on an exciting journey, and you will enjoy watching them grow.

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