Commonly Asked Questions About Your New Puppy

Getting a new puppy is exciting but can come with a lot of questions. Here at GVA we are only a phone call away and are happy to help answer any and all questions you may have regarding your new family member. Below we have outlined a few commonly asked questions about Puppy Care, Fleas, and so much more! 

  • What is the best way to house train my puppy?

GG EvansPositive reinforcement is the best and most effective way to train. Praise your puppy immediately when he eliminates in the appropriate location, don’t wait until they come back inside. Praise may be verbal, physical or both and sometimes accompanied by a treat. If your puppy eliminates in an inappropriate area scolding with a sharp “No” can be effective, but only if caught in the act. Puppies have a very short memory and cannot correlate delayed scolding. Frequent trips outside before and after a meal will be the best time to train.

For more info about basic training practices head over to our Dog Behavior - A Compassionate, Sensible, Effective Approach page. 

  • How do I correct inappropriate biting?

Puppies younger than seven months old are teething and will naturally “play bite”. It is important that you teach your puppy that this is unacceptable. The easiest way to do this is by redirecting the biting from you to an approved toy.

For more info on how to curb puppy biting, check out our blog post Puppy Biting: Why They Do It and How to Curb It.

  • How should I care for my puppy’s teeth, ears, and nails?

It is never too early to begin good dental hygiene. Luckily for us, there are easy ways to provide this for our puppies. We recommend using daily dental treats such as C.E.T chews or Oravet chews. Both of these options are great for keeping your puppy's teeth pearly white and healthy. Be sure to speak to your vet about when to start these and what size would work!

Handling your puppy’s feet, face, and ears often starting at a young age will make these things less threatening. Nail trims are a necessity as overgrown nails can cause discomfort and infection. If you do not feel comfortable doing nail trims on your puppy, nail trims are a service that our trained technicians or pet care staff will be happy to provide for your pet.

  • When should I start grooming my long coated dog?

We recommend getting your long coated dog in for their first puppy groom around their second/final booster vaccines.  We offer a puppy groom service which helps introduce your puppy to the process. It's very important to get your puppy used to getting groomed and all that comes along with that such as people touching their face, paws, ears, new noises, and other dogs. We highly recommend we see dogs such as Poodles and Poodle mixes, Bichon Frises, Schnauzers, and many more as early as possible to get them used to frequent grooming. If you have grooming questions or concerns visit our grooming page or contact us today! 

  • What human foods can my puppy eat?

Many human foods are considered toxic to dogs. It is very important to be well informed about which foods are dangerous to dogs. Common foods to avoid include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, dairy, any fruit with seeds or pits, any caffeinated items, and anything labeled sugar-free (the common sugar replacement, xylitol, is very toxic). Excessively fatty foods, such as leftover meat, can also cause digestive issues and sometimes even lead to pancreatitis.

For a detailed list check out our blog: Foods You Can't & Can Feed Your Dog.

  • How can I get rid of fleas on my dog?


This can be a challenging task and requires a three-pronged approach. Fleas need to be eliminated from your 1) dog, 2) from any other cats and dogs in your household, and 3) from your home and yard (environment). Once your dog’s fleas are under control, continued prevention is essential, since you cannot control some outside sources of fleas such as other people's pets, wild animals, or other property outside yours.

  • What should I put on my dog for Fleas?

Although many over the counter (from your local store) flea shampoos, sprays, and powders will kill adult fleas on your dog at the time of application, they can have limited effectiveness because they only work for a few hours after application. Most have no residual effect, meaning your dog will be infected with new fleas from the environment by the next day. We have very effective products designed for monthly administration that are available by prescription – our veterinarians recommend Nexgard, a chewable tablet which effectively prevents both fleas and ticks for 30 days. Some topicals, such as Frontline, are also effective monthly preventions, but run the risk of being washed off in dogs who swim or are bathed regularly. Regardless of which product you choose, it is essential that these medications be given on the same day each month to be effective. Be sure to consult your veterinarian to choose the most effective and safe flea products for your home and pet.

For a more in-depth look at fleas, preventions, and treatments check out our blog, Flea Control in Dogs.

  • Is pet insurance worth it?

It has been proven that pets covered by pet insurance receive more veterinary care than those without. That is because pet insurance allows pet owners to offer the best possible medical care for their beloved pets. There are many companies out there. We feel that Nationwide and Trupanion offer the best value and care for your pet. 

For Nationwide we recommend the Whole Pet Plan, which allows you to choose your deductible and receive coverage for both wellness and sick services. This includes vaccines, spay/neuter, parasite preventions, dental cleanings, and pretty much any treatment your veterinarian may recommend. For a quote and more information, you can call them at 866-838-3471 or visit their website here.

Trupanion is more similar to human insurance with their Vet Direct Pay system. This means that instead of paying in full and waiting to be reimbursed, Trupanion will pay your vet directly leaving you responsible for only around 10% of the visit. Trupanion Does not cover wellness services but is more focused on the unexpected emergencies your pet may face in life. With no rate raises based on age, 90% coverage on all eligible claims, and no limit Trupanion is a great option for your new family member. For more information or to get a quote, you can call them at 855-690-8123 or visit their website here

For a more in-depth look at Pet Insurance and their benefits head on over to our blog, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Pet Insurance

If you have more questions or concerns please contact your veterinarian! We have plenty of information for you!