Adding another member to your family doesn’t always mean you need to start passing out cigars in a delivery room. Deciding to get a puppy is very much a life-changing decision and certainly counts toward growing your family. Be sure that you know what you are in for and what to expect before bringing your new bundle of fur home.
Health and Wellness
Like babies, puppies require shots and medications in order to keep them as healthy as possible. If you got your puppy from a breeder, it’s likely that he has already had his first and maybe second round of shots already. In any case, find a vet in your area who can help you vaccinate your new best friend and advise you on how best to keep him healthy.
- Puppies are almost always born with worms passed down from their mother’s milk; roundworm or hookworms to be specific. It is advisable that all pups are treated for worms whether you think that yours has them or not. The vet can offer these services or you can do them yourself. Shop with Vet Products Direct for dog worming products.
- The parvovirus, or simply “parvo,” is a very infectious virus specific to dogs. It is a nasty illness that attacks the gastrointestinal system, causing discomforts like bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and in some tragic cases, death. All dogs can be infected, but puppies four months and younger have a much higher risk of contracting it. Vaccinating your pup will protect him and raise his chances of fighting off the virus.
- Did you know that dogs can hear four times better than a human with normal hearing? With that in mind, it’s especially important to keep Fido’s ears clean and healthy. Your vet can do this, but you can also clean them at home between visits.
Baby humans need different food than adults, and the same rule applies to dogs. You wouldn’t feed an eight-week-old baby a burrito, would you? Look for food that is made for puppies. Since they are still developing, puppies need extra nutrients and vitamins that are not as important in an adult dog’s diet. If you aren’t sure which brand to give your pup, ask your vet for recommendations.
- Adult dogs usually eat two meals a day, but puppies need to eat twice as many times as adult dogs do. The older they get, the fewer meals that they will need to eat, but it’s important to remember that pups need to eat a lot more often than older dogs.
- Premium foods can be tough on the pocketbook, but they often have higher-quality ingredients than bargain brands. Compare the labels at the pet store and do research. Remember that you can always swap brands as your puppy gets older.
- Human food can be given to dogs, but there are certain ones that are toxic to them. Check the list before giving anything to your friend but his treats and food.
Dogs are denning animals by nature, meaning that they feel safest when they have a cozy, secluded place to sleep. Consider crate training your puppy. This serves the purposes of satisfying his wild instincts and giving him a safe spot to relax in, but also is a convenient safehold while you’re at work during the day. It’s important to note that the crate should never be used as a punishment. You want your puppy to learn to feel safe inside of it, not dread going in. Don’t put him on “time out” in his kennel.
Getting a puppy is an amazing, wonderful endeavor that brings joy for many years as he becomes a dog. Start your new best friend off on the right paw by knowing what he will need when he arrives at his new home.