Everyone wants to take care of their furry baby puppy’s, they are a beautiful new addition to our families. Caring for them is our highest priority as puppy parents. This also might be the first time you are becoming a puppy parent and you are not sure where to begin.
The basics are most likely taken care of already. The soft cozy bed, the food and water bowls, dog steps for your puppy, the collar, leash, and your veterinarian is already picked out. All systems are a go for your puppy’s arrival. While we all do our best to prepare for the arrival of the puppy, sometimes we don’t know some very important facts that are useful and will benefit our experience as pet parents.
Here are ten facts that can affect your puppy’s health:
1- Nutrition is the most important thing you can do for your puppy. You want them to grow up strong and healthy, finding the best food that will provide the ultimate nutritional value is top on everyone’s list. Without good nutrition it can severely affect your puppy’s health and cause long term damage.
2- Sleeping is one fact that many pet parents don’t think about. While we are excited to play and train our puppy, we also need to let them sleep and nap when they want to, this is imperative to their health and will help their bodies get the rest they need.
3- Vaccinations are practically mandatory to get after bringing your puppy home. The vaccinations will protect them from serious illnesses. You can make it even more effective when you know your dog’s breed. Puppy’s love to explore and lick and chew on everything in their site. Germs in a public space can be everywhere and unless you plan to carry your puppy in your arms for his entire life, he will come into contact with many germs. His immune system takes care of most of the germs, however direct contact with other infected animals feces and saliva can make your puppy very sick with some really bad and sometimes irreversible diseases. So make sure you get your puppy vaccinated before bringing him outdoors near other animals.
4- Since puppies love to explore and put everything in their mouths and like to chew or eat everything in sight, you want to provide a safe environment. This means cleaning up any items that will make him sick or may be toxic if ingested. The best way to puppy proof your home is to crawl around on the floor and see what your puppy sees and has direct access too. Remove any sharp objects that he can bump his head on, all small items that he can choke on and any valuables that you want to keep, because they think everything is a toy. Also make sure you remove any items on the sofa or bed that your puppy can reach, also train your puppy to have boundaries and what is acceptable behavior and not.
5- Socializing is a crucial part of your puppy’s life. They are use to being part of a pack and you have just removed them from their litter, so they will be looking to you for comfort, love and guidance. They love to socialize with other dogs and getting them use to being around people are also very important. They need to get use to being touch petted and being told in those high pitch voices, “he’s so cute”. Socialize your puppy as soon as you get home, allow him to get to know the family first for a few days and wait until after they have their vaccinations to introduce them to the world “dog park or neighborhood” so to speak. Vaccinate your puppy almost immediately after you bring him home.
6- Energy galore! Puppies have bundles and bundles of energy that needs to be used. If you don’t exercise or play with your puppy and help him burn the oodles of energy, they may begin to have sleeping and eating problems and it can affect their health tremendously. So make sure they have plenty of toys, exercise, play time, family time, play fetch and all of the fun things they enjoy.
7- Some people don’t believe it, but puppies do have emotions. That’s probably one of the reasons you got your puppy. You most likely had an emotional bond with them and took them home with you. They need to feel comfortable in their surroundings otherwise it can cause them stress and that can cause a negative effect on his well being. You want to create a small room for them with their bed, food and water bowls and toys. It might be just a corner of your home blocked off with baby gates, but they need their own space to call their own. They need to feel safe and secure and happy. Creating this is one of the best things you can do to help your furry baby to feel at home and relax.
8- After 8 weeks, it’s safe for a puppy to be spay/neutered. If you choose this option you will be benefiting your puppy’s health in the long run because it actually helps fight the risk of infections and other more serious diseases such as kidney disease.
9- Hydration and plenty of water is another way to keep your puppy healthy and full of energy. Make sure you provide him with plenty of water, when outdoors on hot days you can even carry a portable water bowl and a water bottle to fill it in case he looks overheated.
10- Find the best veterinarian you can, interview them if you have too, research them and get familiar with them. Not all veterinarians are the same, you may get along better with one rather than the other. You will also want to try to keep the same veterinarian throughout your puppy’s life time, so they are completely familiar with your puppy’s medical history. Maintain a professional and friendly relationship with your veterinarian. They will help you achieve all of your puppy parenting goals.