Post by Lauren O.
Featured Image by Unsplash
Puppies are without a hesitation one of the cutest animals ever created. Between their soft coats of fur and cute, tiny paws, and droopy ears, they are a cuteness overload. However, taking care of a new puppy is definitely not an easy. If you end up getting a new puppy, you will learn how a growing puppy needs more than a just a food and water to be a healthy dog. It will be a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth the effort in the end. Here are some basic tips and tricks on how to care for a new puppy.
Choosing a Name
When choosing a name for your new puppy, try sticking with a shorter name. This will make it much easier for the dog to remember their name. The best type of name to stick with would be a two syllable name because the puppy won’t get it mixed up with their commands which are usually one syllable (ex. sit, lay, no, down.) You will have to shorten the name of your dog to a nickname if you give them a longer or more difficult name to recognize. Giving your dog shorter name will make it easier for you and your dog.
Find a Good Vet
Probably the most important thing you first do when you get a new puppy is take them to the vet. This visit is to see if your dog is healthy and doesn’t have any diseases or medical issues. This visit is also very beneficial because you can ask the vet about any concerns and/or recommendations for food, trainers, and more. You can ask friends, family, neighbors, and many other people for recommendations for veterinary clinics if you don’t already have one.
Other important things to discuss with your vet may include information about vaccinations and how to make sure your dog doesn’t contract fleas, ticks, or other major diseases found in puppies their age. Another thing you should definitely ask your vet about when you go is if or when you should spay or neuter your puppy.
Shopping for Food
Dogs grow the most during the early months of their lives. So, in order to ensure they are growing properly, you must be feed them the correct type of food for their breed and age. When shopping for their food, look for a food stamped with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) on the package so you know that the nutritional requirements for your new dog is met.
Small to medium sized breeds can start eating adult food between 9-12 months while larger breed dogs should be eating puppy kibbles until they are at least 2 years old. Feed them numerous times a day.
6-12 weeks need 4 meals/day
3-6 months need 3 meals/day
6-12 months need 2 meals/day
In addition to food, make sure your puppy always has access to fresh water
Things you will need to have at home
- Water bowl
- Food dish
- Doggy treats (these will be helpful when you are trying to train them)
- Stain remover (for when they might have an accident in the house)
- Leash, collar, or harness
- Toys (puppies teeth just like babies so they will need toys to chew on to ease the pain)
Potty Training your Puppy
A very important yet difficult part of owning a new puppy is potty training. Although it can be frustrating and messy at times, it is without a doubt the one of the most important things you must teach your new puppy. Some tips for potty training them is giving them access to places where they can go to bathroom often, reward them when they do go in the right spot, and know how many times they go to the bathroom each day (keeping a log is a good idea.) Some of the best times to take your dog out when you are potty training includes:
- When you wake up.
- Before bedtime.
- After your puppy eats or drinks.
- When your puppy wakes up.
- During/after physical activity.
Watch for Early Signs of Sickness
In the beginning, puppies are more prone to catching many different types of diseases and illnesses. These can be very dangerous for your puppy and can cost a lot of money in vet bills. If you notice any of these symptoms, the best thing to do would be call or contact your vet to get your puppy checked out.
- Pale gums
- Poor weight gain
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen or painful abdomen
- Wheezing or coughing
I recently just got a new puppy and I was a little surprised how much new puppies need. Its not just a matter of giving them food and water, there is much more to caring for a dog. They need attention, affection, medical care, training, and lots of supplies to be a happy and healthy dog.