It takes a lot of love to make a family and nothing is more lovable at home than a puppy. Raising your own puppy to become your pet dog is always the best way to go as the puppy becomes a member of your family and you get to watch them grow. Raising puppies is a tough job though since it becomes more like raising a baby. You have to be there for them every second of the day even when you are not and that means preparing everything from medication to food and bedding. Once you get the basics right, you will enjoy being a parent and these 10 tips will help you get just that.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
The moment you bring your puppy home, you have another baby which means that all those dangerous naked cables have to go. You have to choose whether you will have the puppy roaming around or crated. If you choose a crate, you need to keep the door open and give the puppy enough room to move around and sleep. You also need to train the puppy to know its designated sleeping place. Plants that can be toxic to the puppy as well as leftovers and pesticides should be kept out of your puppy’s reach. You also need to keep your floors clean and have a puppy’s viewpoint to comb the house off any threats that may harm your puppy.
Get Nutrition Right In The Early Days
The breeder or rescue centre will give you your first bag of food and that is what your puppy will feed on for the first few days. You then have to choose whether your dog will need a special diet and whether you will have to change from the food offered by the breeder. Puppies have high energy and protein needs which is why you need to rely on your breeder and vet’s advice on nutrition and stick with the best quality food you can find. If you are changing the puppy’s diet, you have to do it slowly to prevent dietary shocks.
Make Sure They Exercise
You may not have enough time to play with your puppy but for it to grow into a healthy adult, it needs to play. You have to limit the playtime because exercise is needed for your dog to grow strong and sharp and tugging games won’t deliver that. The exercise should not be limited to only walks though. Take your dog to different places every time so that it can learn new things and interact with different people and dogs. Scratching at different types of grass, chasing birds, swimming and other activities help your dog develop a better understanding of the world and learn more skills all the time.
Get Your Puppy Starter Pack Right
You have your leash and collar with ID, the bed for your puppy, poop bags and have secured your puppy food and now you think you are done but you are not there yet. You need to switch to a puppy safe cleaner in your home and ensure that your puppy has a feeder well suited to their portions and freshwater to go with the food. You also need a harness for when you are leash training your dog and don’t forget the toys unless you want your puppy to use your kitchenware during playtime.
Groom Whenever Necessary
A grooming kit is one thing that many dog owners forget when doing shopping for their puppy until they notice that the puppy’s hair is out of control and the nails are scratching at everything. Depending on the breed, you may have to cut your puppy’s hair and brush it regularly, so make sure you have a brush that is well suited for that. You also need a toothbrush and toothpaste for your puppy because they are still vulnerable and failure to brush their teeth puts them in danger of infection. Your puppy also needs a bath to prevent ticks and fleas so make sure you get a gentle one.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits
Once you get your puppy from the breeder, you need to make your first visit to the vet for its first check-up and that is just the beginning. The vet will check its respiratory health, heart and stomach and other vital health checks before telling you whether you need meds and special diets as well as general directions for keeping the puppy healthy. You should also ask for nutritional advice from the vet and make sure you schedule visits with them at least once every month.
Introduce New Foods And Medication Slowly
Puppies need time and patience and that includes everything new that they are supposed to eat. You should be very careful about the medication used on your puppy and if it is changed, it is advisable that you keep it to a minimum. The same goes for flea and tick treatment. You should also incorporate new foods slowly into your puppy’s usual diet to prevent bloating and diarrhoea.
Don’t Allow Them To Overeat
Eating too fast hurts your puppy because they take in too much air alongside the food resulting in bloating. The stomach upset and pain caused can cause them to shy away from food and that won’t help their growth. The worst thing that you should never allow is overeating. You should avoid kibble for puppies at all costs and if you have lots of food, you can mix smaller portions in water to help them fill up without actually overeating.
Make Sure To Vaccinate And Deworm On Time
You should not let your puppy go past 16 weeks without being vaccinated. You should also agree with the vet on a reliable deworming plan. While some people recommend using natural dewormers, we highly urge you to use the advice of your pet. Failing to deworm puppies every few weeks can cause worm build-up which results in disease and death. Some of the worms can also attack human beings.
Keep Off From Harsh Flea/Tick Control Chemicals
Fleas and ticks are bad but they won’t attack your puppy unless you allow it to wander into the mud and other unsafe places. You shouldn’t take chances though. You should keep up a regular cleaning and grooming routine and get tick/flea killers when your puppy is still young. Harsh chemicals can hurt your dog and cause disease because puppies tend to lick themselves and consume the chemicals. You should go for a mild one and only use it if you notice an actual flea or tick attack.