Adopting a dog entails major responsibility. However, adopting a puppy is a much greater one! Why? Puppies need to figure out how to do everything, and you’re the person who needs to show them how to do it. Having a puppy at home is both overwhelming and exciting.
Unfortunately, there’s definitely more to raising a puppy than merely teaching him to sit, fetch, and poop outside. Taking the necessary steps in raising a puppy to grow up as a healthy adult is very important, particularly in the first couple of months. Even though puppies can be a ton of work, rest assured that all the trouble would be worth it in the end.
Prepare a Balanced Diet
Like us, puppies need to consume every food group: fiber, water, vitamins, protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. However, the ratios and quantities they need are a bit different from our own. Also, every stage of a canine’s life requires a specific nutritional balance. There’s a great deal to consider, including the size and shape of the food. Thus, it tends to be difficult for a puppy to grow healthy through home-prepared food.
Although feeding your puppy is an integral approach to showing your love, overfeeding is potentially detrimental to your puppy’s health, especially when it comes to treats. To puppies, treats are irresistible. Thus, it’s your responsibility to oversee snack sessions carefully.
It is best that treats are only 10% of your puppy’s daily calorie intake, so regulate treats as an extension of a rewards-based training program. Tiny bite-sized treats that can be easily consumable are enough as a prize yet are appropriately portion-controlled. Check out Dog Lovers Pup to get a clear idea of which treats are best for your puppy.
Complete their Vaccinations
Assuming that your puppy is healthy, most vets suggest that they get their first set of primary vaccinations about six weeks old. A physical examination and deworming can start at an early age. Talk with your vet to plan your puppy’s preventive health program.
However, you should immediately contact your veterinarian if your puppy shows any of the following manifestations:
- Inability to pass urine or stool
- Lack of appetite
- Nasal discharge
- Poor weight gain
- Swollen eyes or eye discharge
- Pale gums
- Difficult breathing
- Constant crying
Puppy-proof Your Home
Puppy-proof your home, as they are innately curious and will try to investigate every little thing! Keep all food and chemical toxins far from your puppy’s access. You should store away synthetic compounds consisting of bleach, antifreeze, and other household cleaning products. Furthermore, note that the most well-known food toxins are:
- Xylitol (generally present in particular peanut butter brands and sugar-free gum.)
Give Your Puppy Some Time
You should not wean your puppy away from his mother and littermates until he is at least two months old. During these initial couple of weeks, your puppy requires food, affection, and love from its mom. Your puppy will stay busy with figuring out how to play and grasping social skills from littermates.
Its siblings will help your puppy understand not to roughhouse or bite too arduously. Your puppy will also learn frustration tolerance from its littermates. The first few weeks is also a period when your puppy will become accustomed to various individuals and finding out about pack dominance.
Start Early Grooming
While your puppy is still young, beginning the grooming process will make it a lot easier on you in the long haul. Grooming includes brushing his coat, trimmings, brushing his teeth, bathing him, and trimming his nails. While you can opt to hire an expert groomer for haircuts or the veterinarian for nail trimming, you’ll need to get your puppy used to sitting still while you groom him.
Get your puppy accustomed to the feel of brushing his hair; this is particularly crucial for puppies that are prone to matting and sheds a lot. Washing your puppy is a bit challenging in the first few tries. However, as he begins to become more comfortable, bathing will become much more manageable. Lastly, although brushing your puppy’s teeth may appear strange, it will be good for your puppy’s dental health in the long run.
Schedule Regular Veterinary Visits
Your puppy should come to the veterinarian a couple of times during his first 4-5 months, then yearly for the remainder of his life. Thus, it is crucial to establish a good relationship with your vet, for he will be your puppy’s best promoter for proper behavioral and health care.
Socialize Your Puppy
The pinnacle time of puppy socialization is 8-12 weeks, so you need to act fast the moment you take your puppy home. Make each new experience good by utilizing play or treats to enable your puppy to make positive associations.
Allow individuals of varying colors, ages, shapes, and sizes to handle your puppy gently while you give him treats. Avoid leaving your puppy in situations with aggressive participants or overzealous handling. If your puppy appears to be scared or shy, allow him to withdraw to safety, then urge him to try again at his own pace.
Incorporate Daily Playtime
As we all know, puppies are brimming with energy, regularly ready to run around like crazy for quite a long time whenever given the opportunity. However, running about too much can put pressure on his joints. Thus, you need to ensure you regulate their daily physical activity.
Proper exercise is vital to help develop a healthy and cheerful puppy. Daily exercise is an unquestionable requirement, yet it is significant not to let your puppy exhaust himself.
Don’t push your puppy to keep going if he’s worn out, and don’t merely allow him to run wild for hours. Keep track of how much your puppy exercises daily. An ideal rule to follow is five minutes of physical activity two times per day. Ensure you keep their locations and activities varied to help develop your puppy’s problem-solving capability and urge discovery.
Keep in mind; your dog is still a puppy. Your puppy depends on you for protection and making smart and healthy choices. Making healthy choices while your dog is still young can have a tremendous effect as your puppy develops. It will help your puppy have a healthy and long life. Raising a puppy is certainly not a walk in the park. However, it’s an undertaking full of rewards as you build up a profound bond with your puppy that will last for the duration of his life.
Courtney John is a freelance writer for animal and pet care for over a decade now. She is also a volunteer dedicated to animal rescue and welfare, working for different organizations all over town. She lives with her two adopted cats and rescue dog.