How to Take Care of 5-Month-Old Puppies

Social play teaches pups their role in the pack.
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Five-month old puppies enter an adolescent phase marked by competition for social standing, sexual maturation and teething. Less tiny and dependent every day, a 5-month-old is taking puppy steps into adulthood, giving you an opening to shape your dog’s ultimate personality and behavior.

Step 1

Feed your 5-month-old puppy food three times per day and provide fresh water at all times.

Step 2

Allow your puppy time to socialize, as 5-month-olds are testing out their social boundaries. Let your puppy play with littermates, plan puppy socials or take a solo pup to the dog park for supervised play. During this phase, pups may nip and nibble. Correct this with a firm "No" and a tug on the leash. While play biting can seem cute, it's not cute when your grown-up pup tries to bite other pets. Now is the time to train this behavior out of puppies.

Step 3

Provide your puppy with chew toys, since pups are teething at this stage. At the same time, hide your favorite shoes and other objects so a frustrated puppy won't chew on something that smells like you.

Step 4

Give your pup plenty of exercise to keep him fit and wear out some of that puppy energy. Training also works well to tire out your pup and can reinforce his submissive role. Teach your puppy to come, to fetch or to "leave it" when he finds an unwanted object. This engages your puppy physically and mentally.

Step 5

Call your vet to schedule a spay or neuter appointment for your puppy around the six-month mark. A housebroken puppy can exhibit marking behavior, and getting him fixed can stop this.


  • Playing with pup is fun, but don't let your dog win at dominance games like tug of war each time you play. When you win, it reinforces your alpha status.

  • Pups should be fully vaccinated by the five-month mark. If your pooch has some shots left, schedule them now.

Items You Will Need

  • Puppy food
  • Leash
  • Chew toys