TAKING CARE OF A NEW PUPPY
The most important thing to remember is that puppies need lots of love and patience. To ensure your new puppy grows properly, be sure to give your puppy nutritious food and schedule regular veterinarian visits for vaccinations and check-ups. Working with your puppy to teach him proper obedience will establish the basis for good behavior as your puppy continues to grow. Plus, training can be fun for both you and your puppy.
If you have common sense, then you probably already know how to take care of a puppy. Good care starts with love and patience. Puppies are so cute and cuddly, how can it be hard not to love them unconditionally? How about when your puppy piddles on the floor, or chews on your favorite shoes (again)? Having realistic expectations for your puppy will help you be patient as you and your new puppy get to know each other. While it’s important to start training your dog from the beginning, you should remember that your puppy will not be fully housetrained for at least a couple weeks, sometimes longer depending on the breed.
Physical health is important for puppies, too. You should feed your puppy nutritious food that is developed with a puppy’s nutritional needs in mind. While more expensive good typically contains higher quality ingredients, it is not necessary to feed your puppy the most expensive food on the market. Puppies should visit a veterinarian at least several times during their first year. These visits will include check-ups and vaccinations. Your puppy may visit the vet more often if she gets sick, or if you decide to have her spayed.
Obedience training is a good idea for puppies and dogs. Learning commands such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Come” will help you and your puppy feel comfortable going out and being social, or having good behavior when company comes to visit. Your veterinarian will be able to give you specific tips for training your dog. There are also many classes available if you’d like advanced training; however, most dog owners are more than capable of teaching their dogs and puppies a wide range of commands and tricks.
Most people already know how to take care of a puppy, but would like some tips for good puppy care. Puppies need a lot of attention and the most important thing you can do for your puppy is to spend a lot of time with her. As a responsible pet owner, be sure to schedule regular visits with your veterinarian that include check-ups and vaccinations against dangerous viruses. Basic obedience training is a great way to establish good behavior with puppies, and also gives you an opportunity to bond with your new puppy.
BATHING A PUPPY
After a while, the new puppy smell may become a stinky puppy smell, and you will have to start thinking about giving your puppy a bath. There are a few things you should know before bathing a puppy. First, your puppy should be at least eight weeks old, and you should use a shampoo that is formulated for puppies’ delicate skin. Secondly, you should ease your puppy into the idea of bath time, as many dogs do not like to stand or sit in the tub. Giving your puppy time to adjust will likely make all future baths much easier. Finally, be sure your puppy is thoroughly rinsed while avoiding getting soap in her eyes and ears.
There will likely come a time in every puppy’s life when it is time for a bath. While many dogs enjoy playing in the water, bath time is much different and many owners find it difficult bathing a puppy, or grown dog for that matter. Because puppies have such delicate skin, you should not bathe a puppy younger than eight weeks old and should limit baths to once every 4 weeks until the puppy gets older. It’s important that you use shampoo that is made specifically for puppies because it is designed to be gentle on their skin. You may also consider using puppy wipes to keep your puppy smelling fresh between baths.
Your dog may be uncomfortable getting bathed at first. You should establish a routine to help your dog feel better about taking a bath. It will make bath time much easier if you allow your dog to get used to sitting in the tub with water. Slowly pour water over your dog and let her get accustomed to that. You may not be able to fully bathe your dog in one sitting. It may take several attempts to acclimate your puppy to this part of the grooming process.
When you are able to fully wash your dog, there are a few tips to consider. First, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach. For most people, this means having a towel, puppy shampoo, and a cup or bucket for rinsing nearby. When washing your puppy, it is important to avoid getting soap and water in her eyes and ears. Her face may be cleaned with a soft cloth, while her ears should be cared for with cotton balls if necessary.
Grooming is an important routine to many pet owners, and it is likely you will want to bathe your puppy at some point in the future. Bathing a puppy can be an easy part of your puppy’s care providing you set the state for it to be a success. Make sure your puppy is old enough for a bath, and be sure to use a shampoo that is gentle on her skin. Your puppy’s first bath may be rather short as you help her get acclimated to sitting in the tub. Be sure you have everything necessary nearby to make bath time easier
FEEDING A PUPPY
If you want a healthy, happy puppy then you should learn about feeding a puppy properly. Puppies need food that is specially formulated with nutrients their growing bodies need. It is best to establish a feeding schedule with your puppy for a number of reasons. Above all else, it is important to remember that water is essential to growing puppies.
How you feed your puppy is not nearly as important as what you feed your puppy. Once a new puppy is weaned from his mother, you are responsible for giving your puppy food that will help him grow and stay healthy. It is recommended that you start off using the same brand your puppy was fed before you brought him home. If you choose to change brands, you should introduce the new brand slowly, over the course of 7-10 days. While there are three types of dog food available, dry kibble, semi-moist, and moist, most experts believe you should only feed your puppy dry kibble. More expensive foods generally contain higher-quality ingredients while cheaper foods contain poor-quality ingredients. Some brands also offer puppy chow that is formulated specifically for large-breed puppies.
Your puppy will benefit most by feeding a puppy on a schedule. Puppies who are allowed to eat as much as they want by having food available all the time are less likely to maintain their optimal weight as adult dogs. Puppies should be fed three times a day, but as adults, they should be fed twice a day. It will be easier to housebreak your puppy by knowing exactly when he eats. To know how much you should feed your puppy, consult the chart on the back of the bag. Your puppy may eat more or less, so use the chart only as a guide.
Puppies need water and lots of it. Because water is so important to the health, growth, and development of a puppy, ensuring that your puppy has clean, fresh water is the most important part of feeding a puppy. Growing puppies need more water, pound for pound, than adult dogs because of their rapid growth and development.
Properly feeding your new puppy is the best way to give him a healthy, happy start. You should feed your puppy a high-quality food that is specially designed for growing puppies. Establishing a feeding schedule and being consistent with that schedule will help with housebreaking. It will also help develop healthy eating habits as an adult dog. While food quality is important, the most crucial aspect of your puppy’s health and development is ensuring your puppy receives adequate water.
Puppy shots are an important part of ensuring your puppy grows up healthy and strong. Most veterinarians recommend a series of puppy shots beginning between 5-8 weeks old when maternal antibodies begin to wear off. Vaccines are important because they help to prevent common illnesses, such as distemper and Canine Parvovirus. Most cities and states have laws in effect that require dog owners to have their dogs immunized against several common, but severe viruses that effect dogs.
Just like many parents believe it’s important to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases, most dog-parents feel the same about vaccinating their puppies against serious illnesses. Puppy shots are crucial to your puppy’s well-being. The recommended vaccination schedule begins between 5 and 8 weeks of age when the maternal antibodies supplied in the mother’s milk begins to wear off. Most vaccines are given as combination vaccines that will protect your puppy against multiple viruses in one shot. Common vaccines are for Distemper, Rabies, Canine Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza. Your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines based on your region and puppy’s breed. Typically, your puppy will receive a series of three combination vaccines, plus a Rabies vaccine around 16 weeks old. You will need to bring your dog in annually so that your dog can be given booster shots to ensure continuous protection.
Vaccines help to prevent a number of common diseases. When it comes to vaccines, it is especially important to remember that some diseases do not have a cure. For example, if your dog is not vaccinated against the Canine Parvovirus and contracts the disease, her chances of survival are very low. What is worse, there is no cure for Canine Parvovirus. Your veterinarian will only be able to treat the symptoms while your puppy’s immune system is put to the ultimate test.
Vaccines are divided into two categories, core and noncore vaccines. Core vaccines are the essential vaccines that most cities and states require licensed dogs to have. Noncore vaccines may also be required by your municipality or recommended by your veterinarian, but the need for these immunizations are based largely on your specific location and breed. Certain breeds are more susceptible to specific illnesses than others. You should discuss with your veterinarian any breed-specific concerns you have for you puppy, or vaccinations that are particularly important based on where you live.
Puppy shots are an important part of proper puppy care. They are able to prevent a wide range of diseases that would otherwise harm your dog. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule that will probably begin between 5-8 weeks old. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain viruses so your vet may recommend additional vaccines based on your breed or location. In many areas, you will need to provide your puppy’s shot record to obtain a dog license.
PUPPY CARE GAMES
When you bring a new dog into your family, one of the most challenging aspects can be new puppy care. Games can help relieve some of the tension in the process, for both you and your puppy. As with humans, it is easier for a puppy to learn when they are having fun. Puppy games stimulate their mind, and have the added benefit of tiring them out, an extra bonus if you have a very active puppy.
Types of Puppy Care Games
One of the most common types of games you can play with a puppy is fetch and/or catch. This can also be incorporated into the training for your puppy. When beginning, start with a game of fetch. Grab a stick, ball, bone, Frisbee, anything that will attract your puppy’s interest. Throw it while saying, “fetch.” Have a treat in hand for your puppy when he successfully retrieves it for you and be sure to give him lots of praise. As you and your dog become more proficient in this game, progress to a game of catch encouraging him to catch it while the object is still in the air. This is good practice for agility training later on down the road.
Another good game to play with your puppy is hide and seek. The basic concept is to take a small object and hide it underneath an object, essentially a shell game. While you can buy dog game sets for this, my dog trainer suggested hiding a rubber ball underneath empty margarine tubs. Start with simply putting the ball under the container and setting it up. Let your puppy work through how to uncover the ball. When this gets too easy for him, then add in the other containers so that he not only has to uncover it, but also has to figure out which one it is under. This is an excellent game for an indoor dog that is extremely active. If he still has excess energy after your walks, add in this game to keep him mentally occupied while he is indoors.
PUPPY CARE After SPAYING
One important responsibility for every conscientious dog owner is the neutering 1 of their new puppy at the appropriate time. When a female dog is neutered the process is called “spaying.” As the process is more invasive for a female dog, there are certain steps that should be adhered to in puppy care after spaying.
Benefits of Spaying Your Puppy
Some novice dog owners are hesitant to spay their puppy. However, there are a number of benefits to neutering your dog. Besides the fact that it prevents the risk of unwanted litters and contributing to the pet population problem,2 it also decreases the risk of several medical problems such as mammary cancer, urinary tract infections, and reproductive tract diseases. Also, sterilized dogs are less likely to roam from home, are less restless and less aggressive than dogs that are unfixed.
When Should a Puppy Be Spayed?
The common wisdom for timeframe for spaying a puppy is between 5 to 8 months, and before the dog goes into heat for the first time. If your dog goes into heat prior to being spayed, it is best to wait until after it has passed to have the procedure done. While a dog can be spayed while in heat, it is not advised as there is a higher risk for excessive bleeding. Also, it will be harder to keep the dog quiet in the after care period as she will be more restless than usual. 3 Many shelters and rescue groups will spay a puppy as early as eight weeks to ensure that the procedure is done before adopting the dog out.
Preparing a Puppy for Spaying
Neutering a female dog involves removing the ovaries and is a surgical procedure. Your vet will consult with you on the procedure and how to prepare your puppy for spaying. As with humans, a puppy should not eat anything at least eight hours before the surgery.
Caring for a Puppy After Spaying
After bringing your puppy home after spaying, she will need some extra tender loving care. Check with your vet regarding pain medications. Don’t wait until she is in extreme pain. It is better to “head off” the pain with medication to keep the severity down.
Your puppy may want to lick or bite at her stitches. To prevent this, a cone or Elizabethan collar can be used to restrict her biting.
If your puppy is healthy, her activity will most likely only need to be restricted for a day or so. Check with your vet for recommendations. Also follow the vet’s instructions regarding food and water.
Most puppies will come through the spaying process with flying colors. However, there are few warning signs to watch out for. If the incision reopens, becomes discolored, excessive swelling, has a discharge or looks infected, contact your vet right away.
Spaying your puppy is the loving thing to do to protect her health and wellbeing, as well as preventing unwanted litter. By paying a little extra attention to puppy care after spaying, your puppy will just experience a little bit of discomfort and will bounce back as good as new.
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