Puppies are adorable creatures that need love and care, just like humans. Taking care of your puppy is no easy task. Once you bring your puppy home for the very first time, you can expect a major lifestyle change. So, here is a guide to assist you in parenting the newest member of your family.
As you will find out soon, nurturing a puppy needs more than food and shelter. Initially, it will require a lot of work but it is well worth the effort in due time. The key is to establish a healthy habit in the first few weeks as this will be the foundation of your puppy’s behavior inside and outside of the house.
Look for a Good Veterinarian
The first thing you need to do is find yourself a veterinarian and schedule a check-up for your new puppy. Visiting a vet will ensure that your puppy is free from any disease. And even if there are some serious health risks, this step can help prevent further risk to your puppy’s health. Ask your friends for recommendations if necessary. If you got your puppy from a dog shelter, heed their advice on the vets they swing by.
Maximize Your Time for Check-up
Make the most out of your first vet visit, be specific on things such as recommended puppy foods, the amount of dog food to feed and how often to feed your pup or if it’s necessary to subscribe to a vaccination plan for your pet. If possible, discuss safety choices for controlling parasites on your puppy. Know the indicators of health risks, especially for your puppy’s first months. Get advice from your vet on when you should spay or neuter your puppy.
Usually, the following are the signs that your dog is not feeling well: lack of appetite, vomiting, poor weight gain, swollen abdomen, diarrhea, tiredness, wheezing or coughing, difficulty of breathing, pale gums, nasal discharge, difficulty urinating and swollen eyes.
Buy Quality Food
The first few months of your puppy is crucial. It is changing in a variety of unpredictable ways. Because of this, you need to pick the right food that is specially formulated for puppies. Check out the packaging and look for Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regulations to ensure that they are at par with the nutritional requirements necessary for your puppy.
For small- and medium-sized breeds, they can consume dog food between 9 and 12 months of age. For large breed dogs, puppy kibbles are recommended until they get to 2 years old. Keep your pet hydrated with fresh water at all times. Feed your puppy multiple times a day. Puppies with age six to twelve weeks are required to have four meals a day. For those aged three to six months, three meals per day is recommended. At the range of six to twelve months, you can limit them to two meals per day.
Start Establishing Bathroom Habits
It is not recommended for puppies to wear diapers because it’ll prevent your puppy from learning bathroom habits quicker. It is important for owners to establish bathroom routines as early as possible. This requires patience, planning and optimism as you need to provide positive reinforcement to your pet as they learn tricks and habits to follow. Accidents happen all the time but there is a need to minimize risks, especially if your puppy hasn’t undergone vaccinations yet. You’re likely to look for a place outside which cannot be easily accessed by other animals. This greatly helps in minimizing the spread of disease and viruses.
To establish bathroom habits, you need to engage them to the most common times you need to take your puppy out for a potty. This is usually when you wake up, just right before the bedtime, whenever your puppy eats a lot or whenever it wakes up from a nap.
Engage your pet to obey your instructions. Tech the good manners to set up a life full of positive social interactions. Additionally, obedience training will keep your bond stronger. Teaching your dog commands such as sit, stay, down and come will keep your dog under your control and stay away from danger. Obedience classes are available for dogs at age four to six months. The key to successful obedience training is positive reinforcement by giving your pup small treats.
Lastly, train your dog to engage and communicate with other animals. By two months, they are already accepting to people, places and experiences. There are also socialization classes available to help prevent behavioral problems in the future.