New puppies are lots of fun. Responsible care of a new puppy is also lots of work . In addition to your love and companionship, there are measures you should take as a responsible pet owner to keep your puppy healthy.
This checklist gives some steps you need to take to give your puppy every possible advantage in life.
Your puppy needs a diet that is right for his age level. Premium brands often have higher-quality ingredients, so it might be worth springing for one. Your vet can help you choose the right food. You’ll need to feed younger puppies frequently, as their stomachs are smaller, so they can’t eat much food at a time. And don’t forget to make sure your puppy always has clean, fresh water. Wash out your puppy’s bowl daily with soap and water.
Physical activity is vital for your puppy’s health. Different breeds require different levels of activity, but all breeds require movement! This is particularly important during your puppy’s physical growth and when he’s going through adolescence. Gage your puppy’s needs by trying different activities with him and seeing how he reacts.
Brushing or combing your puppy helps keep his coat free from snarls and debris and encourages healthy skin. It also gets him used to being handled, lets you two bond, and gives you an opportunity to check out his body for any injuries or changes.
Almost every puppy is born with worms. These worms can cause diarrhea and poor growth. They also can spread to humans and cause serious illness. Your vet can discuss a deworming protocol that can keep your puppy and your family safe. Puppies also are susceptible to microscopic parasites called coccidia. These organisms commonly cause diarrhea in puppies. They are often detectable in stool samples — your vet will likely request such samples.
Finally, remember that puppies are susceptible to heartworm. The American Heartworm Society recommends that puppies be started on a preventative no later than eight weeks of age.
Vaccinate your pet against potentially deadly diseases. The most important vaccine, called the DHPP or DA2PP, protects against parvovirus and distemper virus. Puppies who do not receive this vaccine are at extreme risk of illness. The rabies vaccine also is important and is required by law in most developed countries. Your vet should be able to help you work out a vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your puppy’s circumstances.
It’s important for your puppy to learn basic manners and commands—it can help you control him, and maybe even save his life. Be sure to make training as fun as possible—maybe you want to try agility classes, or even Frisbee.
Your puppy also needs plenty of play. Not only will he get exercise, it will also give you two more bonding time. Dogs are social and love interacting with others—particularly their owners. Owning a dog is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. You and your puppy are going on a long, fun journey together. Enjoy the ride
Your dog should have access to clean, fresh water at all times. If you’re having issues with potty training, you can remove your pet’s water source before bed but don’t forget to put it back within reach the next day. Most dogs are fine with good old fashioned tap water but the bowl of water should be scrubbed and cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. While you want your pet to have water while they are outside and inside, try not to leave excess bowls of water laying around outside or you will have one too many mosquitoes hanging around before you know it.
Make sure you chose the right size bed for your puppy. It should be large enough for him to be able to lie comfortably in all natural positions. Round or oval beds with a side are great for when your puppy wants to curl up whereas mattress beds can be good for lying flat. Choose a bed with sufficient padded and made from a comfortable material. They should also be easily washable. Place the bed somewhere warm and draught-free.
Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use the crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules – like what he can and can’t chew on and where he can and can’t eliminate.
A crate is also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car, as well as a way of taking him places where he may not be welcome to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use the crate, he’ll think of it as his safe place and will be happy to spend time there when needed.