Puppies are undoubtedly one of the most adorable things on the planet. Raising a new puppy, however, is not a walk in the park. Here is a guide to help you take care of the new addition to the family.
When the time comes to finally bring your new puppy home for the first time, you can count on almost three things: unbridled joy, cleaning your puppy’s accidents and an important lifestyle adaptation. As you will soon learn, a growing puppy needs much more than a bowl of food and a cabin to thrive. And even if it can be a lot of work at first, it’s worth it. Establishing good and healthy habits in those first few weeks of sleep deprivation will lay the foundation for many years of happiness for you and your puppy.
- Find a good vet
The first place you and your new puppy should go together is, you guessed it, directly to the vet for a check-up. This visit will not only help ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of serious health problems, birth defects, etc., but it will also help you take the first steps towards a good prevention routine. If you don’t have a veterinarian yet, ask your friends for advice. If you took your dog away from a shelter, ask for advice because they may have veterinarians they trust. Dog walkers and local hairdressers are also a great source of ideas.
- Make the most of your first visit to the vet
Ask your vet what recommended dog food, how often you should feed and what portion you need to give to your puppy.
Establish a vaccination plan with the veterinarian.
Discuss safe options for controlling pests, both external and internal.
Find out which signs of illness you should observe during your puppy’s first few months.
Ask when you should spit or neutralize your dog.
- Buy quality food
Your puppy’s body is growing critically, so you should select a food formulated specifically for puppies instead of adult dogs. Look for a statement from the Association of Food Controllers of the United States (AAFCO) on the package to ensure that the foods you choose meet the nutritional needs of your puppy.
Small and medium breeds can jump to feeding adult dogs between 9 and 12 months of age. Large dogs must stay with puppy food until they reach 2 years of age. Make sure your puppy always has plenty of fresh water available.
Feed several times a day:
Ages 6-12 weeks – 4 meals a day
Age 3-6 months – 3 meals a day
Ages 6-12 months – 2 meals a day
- Establish a bathroom routine
Since puppies are not friendly with diaper use, home training quickly becomes a priority on the list of tricks that most puppy owners should learn. According to experts, their most powerful allies in research to train their pup are patience, planning and a lot of positive reinforcement. Furthermore, it is probably not a bad idea to implement a battle plan to clean carpets, since accidents occur.
As long as your puppy has not received all his vaccines, he would like to find an outdoor place inaccessible to other animals. This helps reduce the spread of viruses and diseases. Make sure you give a lot of positive reinforcement whenever the puppy manages to go to the bathroom and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing it when it has accidents inside.
Knowing when to pull out the puppy is almost as important as congratulating him every time he takes it out in the open. Here is a list of the most common moments for bringing your puppy to the bathroom.
When you wake up.
Just before going to bed.
Soon after, your puppy eats or drinks lots of water.
When your puppy wakes up from a nap.
During and after physical activity.
- Look at the first signs of illness
During the first few months, puppies are more susceptible to sudden outbreaks of diseases that can be serious if they are not detected in the early stages. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your puppy, it’s time to contact the vet.
Lack of appetite
Little weight gain
Swelling of the painful abdomen.
Shortness of breath or cough
Swelling, red eyes or eye discharge.
Inability to urinate or evacuate
- Teaches obedience
By teaching your puppy good manners, you will prepare your puppy for a life of positive social interaction. Furthermore, obedience training will help you create a stronger bond between you and your puppy.
Teach your puppy to obey