Whether the puppy in your life is your first furry family member or you are adding to your pack, what lies ahead is undoubtedly plenty of cuteness and unforgettable moments. However, you’ll need to help them effectively acclimate to their environment and develop the skills they need to become a well-rounded dog.

To celebrate National Puppy Day on March 23rd, we put together some tips for setting your furry friend up for success.


Dogs of all ages thrive on the structure that a routine provides, so establishing one early in their life can be a great way to set them up for success as they grow and develop habits. A routine can be effective for puppies because of consistency. When they can better predict the events in their day, such as when it’s time to go potty, eat, or sleep, it can help them adjust to new environments and become much more accustomed to what’s happening in their day-to-day, ultimately reducing their anxiety of the unknown.

Your puppy may take some time to get used to their routine, so be patient. Start small, such as making it a routine to eat meals in one specific spot in your home, so it creates a habit. You can then move on to eventually taking them out to potty after dinnertime. Over time, you can build up their daily routine, and the sooner you start, the sooner they can adjust.

What you add to your puppy’s routine is entirely up to you and your own schedule! You may want to allocate some time for cuddles and playing with toys, for example, before starting your workday. You can also try out different training methods throughout the day.

Keep in mind that life happens, and sometimes routines change. That’s why it’s always a good idea not to base your puppy’s routine on specific times but rather a general time of day. Instead of taking your pup out on a walk at exactly 6:15 p.m., you can make it a routine that whenever you come home from work and grab their collar/leash, it tells them it’s time to go on an evening walk. That way, if you’re not home until a bit later, they are not building up an expectation for a specific time of day.


Just like children, naps are important for puppies’ development. With all their energy and excitement throughout the day, it’s understandable that they’ll need time to recharge their batteries, but it also plays a key role in their growth and brain development. Naps can help puppies effectively develop their nervous system, strengthen their muscles, improve their immune system, and much more.

While you may be able to tell your pup needs to rest, such as when you see visible yawning or lying down, there are other times when their tiredness displays as unwanted or negative behavior. Since puppies typically sleep 18-20 hours daily, helping ensure they reach that range can help them feel and behave their best.

A great way to ensure they drift off to dreamland during the day and overnight is to create a comforting space for them to rest. Whether it is a comfy dog bed or a crate, choose an area in your home where your puppy can rest quietly without other stimuli distracting them. Initially, your puppy may not be used to this new space, but with time, retreating to a designated resting area can become a healthy habit, allowing them to recognize that it’s time to rest and relax when they’re there.


Puppies are naturally playful and already expend so much energy, so keeping them active during the day isn’t usually difficult. However, focusing their energy on mind-stimulating toys and agility-focused exercises can help them receive the physical and mental exercise they need to maintain their wellbeing as they grow.

A great way to set your puppy up for success is by creating an enriching environment. By no means do you need to transform your home into a puppy playground, but by providing your furry friend with a few safe toys or interactive puzzles to stimulate their minds, you can help them develop their problem-solving skills, which will be useful as they grow into adulthood. Meanwhile, agility exercises like a basic at-home obstacle course that keeps them moving and their tails wagging can introduce them to exercise so they can maintain a healthy weight and cardiovascular system.


Dogs are natural pack animals and thrive around others. However, when not properly socialized, they can feel timid and fearful of other dogs since it’s unknown to them. A well-socialized dog will also be well-behaved and comfortable around others and in new environments, which are important skills to develop early on so they can grow into confident adults.

When your vet gives you the go-ahead, expose your puppy to the outside world. Show them the sights and sounds! The goal is to build their familiarity with other humans, dogs, and environments. The more new experiences they have in their first year of life will play a role in the development of their behavior and personality.

Dogtopia can be a great space for your puppy to develop the socialization skills they need to become even greater canine citizens. Doggie daycare exposes them to other people and dogs, new environments, sounds, learning opportunities, and more, all in a secure environment with like-minded furry friends who are also navigating puppy life.

Once your puppy is at least 12 weeks old and receives an up-to-date vaccination record, bring them by a Dogtopia location near you to start their journey with our expert team.

(Photo courtesy of instagram.com/dogtopiadouglasglen)