Puppies are little bundles of joy. However, taking care of them is not easy. If you are getting a new one, these new puppy care tips can help you keep your furry youngster happy and healthy.
A growing puppy needs more than a bowl of puppy food. He needs to receive his immunizations, get rid of existing parasites in his body, socialize with humans and other animals, be potty trained, and a lot more. Take the time to read the following new puppy care tips to keep your puppy safe and strong.
New Puppy Care Tip #1: Take Your Puppy to the Veterinarian
A visit to the veterinarian is one of the first things your new puppy needs. Your puppy should receive a thorough examination to ensure that he is healthy and ready to live in a new environment.
The veterinarian should also create a de-worming and vaccination schedule for your new puppy. Your new puppy needs puppy shots that will protect him from canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. A de-worming program is also needed for young puppies make sure their bodies are free from parasites, such as roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
New Puppy Care Tip #2: Prepare Your New Puppy’s Needs
Getting a puppy needs more preparation than you think. Your new pup will need a few things to live comfortably and safely in your home. Your puppy needs the following.
- Puppy Food
- Food and water bowls
- Collar with tag
- Dog bed
- Grooming products
- Chew toys
- Pet gate
New Puppy Care Tip #3: How Much, How Often Should You Feed Your Puppy?
Puppies and adult dogs do not have the same nutritional requirements. Young puppies need foods that are high in calories. A high-quality puppy food has around 445 kcal/per cup. Aside from that, puppy foods should be rich in protein, calcium, fat, and other nutrients.
Depending on your puppy’s age and size, he will need ½ to 1 cup of puppy food per day. Small breeds, such as Dachshunds, Yorkshire Terriers, and Chihuahuas, often need just half a cup per meal. Big breeds, such as Great Danes, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, need at least two to four cups of dog food per meal.
The frequency of meal times also varies according to your new puppy’s age.
- Age 1 ½ months to 3 months – 4 meals/ day
- Age 3 to 6 months – 3 meals/day
- Age 6 to 12 months – 2 meals/day
Small and medium dog breeds can switch to adult dog food by the time they turn 9 to 12 months of age. On the other hand, large dog breeds must remain on puppy food until they are fully grown – generally, when they reach 2 years-old.
Do not forget to give your puppy plenty of fresh water daily.
New Puppy Care Tip #4: Introduce a Routine and Schedule
Creating a routine and schedule for new puppy helps establish proper behavior in dogs. Routines help manage your dog’s expectations in food, exercise, playtime, and when going potty.
New Puppy Care Tip #5: Potty Train Your New Puppy
Potty training is one of the most important things you should teach your new puppy. By the time your puppy arrives home for the first time, it is a good idea to give him a chance to go potty in an area you have designated for that purpose. This gives him an idea that the spot is where he can safely relieve himself.
The trick to train your puppy to pee or poop outside is to take him to his pooping spot at the right time. Here are the most common times when puppies want to relieve themselves.
- After waking up in the morning
- After every meal
- Before bedtime
- During walk or exercise
But if your new puppy has not completed his vaccinations yet, do not let him set foot in areas that are accessible to other dogs and animals. Bacteria and viruses lurk in the soil – especially in areas where other animals or dogs have urinated or defecated in.
For this reason, it is a good idea to let your puppy go potty in areas – the porch or a fenced backyard –that are not accessible to other animals. You may also use training pads and teach your new puppy to relieve himself on them.
Puppies have really small bladders and tummies so expect accidents to happen during your new puppy’s first weeks. Be patient and remember that positive reinforcement is necessary to successfully potty train your new puppy.
New Puppy Care Tip #6: Let Your Puppy Sleep in the Crate
Your puppy’s first night can be grueling. Young puppies who are taken away from their mothers and siblings for the first time tend to become anxious and vocal. A crying puppy can keep you up all night. Make sure you have had sleeping arrangements for the puppy beforehand.
The best thing to do is to put your new puppy in a crate just outside your bedroom. You may put a soft blanket or a dog bed inside the crate to help him keep warm and comfortable. Leave the door open to let your new puppy know that you are nearby.
Most puppies are not used to being alone in a crate so your new puppy may tend to howl and cry as much as he can. Ignore these cries and wait for your puppy to settle down. If your puppy wakes up in the middle of the night, it means that he needs to go out to eliminate.
New Puppy Care Tip #7: Puppy-Proof Your Home
Puppies are adorable but they can be mischievous. They often get their paws on something they shouldn’t be touching. For this reason, you should keep out of your new puppy’s reach the following.
- Soaps and detergents
- Electrical cords
- Human food or even the dog food container
- Any chemical that may contain poison
Installing a pet gate helps keep your pup restricted to a safer place. If your puppy goes for potty outdoors, make sure that your fences do not have any escape route to keep him safe in the perimeter of your property.
New Puppy Care Tip #8: Socialize your puppy
The best age to start socializing your pup is when he is around 8 to 12 weeks-old. Let your new puppy meet dogs and human friends in obedience classes. This way, he’ll get introduced to different settings and environment while learning. Puppy obedience classes require their puppy students to have at least one shot of their vaccines to prevent the spread of different diseases.
Once your puppy has completed all his vaccines, he is ready to meet dogs apart from the ones in his obedience class. Socializing your puppy will help him get used to and be comfortable in the world outside your home. This helps him stay calm and react normally to different people, animals, and situations.
New Puppy Care Tip #9: Watch out for early signs of sickness
Young puppies are susceptible to different diseases because their immune system is not fully developed yet. Whether your puppy’s vaccinations are completed or not, check with your veterinarian if you see any of the following symptoms.
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Pale gums
- Labored breathing
- Green to yellowish eye or nose discharge
- Red eyes
- Blood in stool