Are you ready to bring a new puppy into your home? Although a pet will certainly bring much joy to you as a newfound and loyal companion, you will have to remember that taking care of a puppy is no simple matter. Here are some tips to help you become aware of what you’ll need to do.
Puppies need specially-formulated food just for them as they grow into maturity. This growing stage will be fundamental to their health in later years, so the right diet is essential to help them live their healthiest. Small to medium dogs will need puppy food up to 9 or 12 months, and large breeds will need it up to at least a year. Younger puppies will need meals 3-4 times a day, slowly reducing to 2 times a day when they reach 6-12 months of age.
Puppies love to live orderly lives. A schedule will help keep both you and your dog organized and expectant of the next walk and potty break. Puppies will need more breaks than older dogs. Common times to take your pet outside are:
- When you or your pet wakes up
- After mealtime and 20 minutes after
- After exercise
- After a puppy’s nap
- Before bedtime
Teething is an important part of a puppy’s development. It happens during the rapid phase when its baby teeth come in. Be sure to have appropriate toys for it to chew, and gently train it to not teeth on people.
Spaying or Neutering
Don’t forget to spay or neuter your dog if you do not plan to breed it. It is the responsible way to prevent an overpopulation of pets without owners and prevent certain cancers.
Grooming includes brushing teeth, clipping nails, and bathing. Clipping puppy nails and brushing puppy teeth is best done generally as soon as you are able to receive the puppy, which could be between 6-8 weeks old. The sooner you can begin, the more your pet will be used to it. Bathing frequency depends on the dog, and haircuts often happen at the vet’s.
The vaccination schedule is an essential part of taking care of a puppy, as these will prevent it from getting life-threatening illnesses of all kinds. Vaccinations begin at 6-8 weeks of age.
Signs of Illness
Vaccinations can only do so much for keeping your pet well. Be sure to know the signs of illness, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- No weight gain
- Pale gums
- Painful or swollen abdomen
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, etc.
- Swollen, watering, or red eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Inability to discharge urine or stool
Other behavioral training will help your dog live a happy, fulfilling life. Training it to love its crate, for example, will help keep it from getting into trouble when you’re not home. Other commands, such as heel, walk on a leash, sit, stay, and so on will help maintain a balanced life. For more information, contact Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!