Getting a puppy is a big step. It’s true that a new, furry member of the family can bring a lot of love and joy to its new home. However, not all potential dog owners realize that a small puppy means big responsibilities. Just like babies, young puppies need special care and attention to develop all the necessary functions.
How you take care of your pet in its first weeks and months will significantly affect its future. So, how can you make sure you’re doing it right?
Of course, the most important thing is to stay in touch with your veterinarian and follow their advice. A lot depends on your dog’s breed, size, or roots, but there are some general rules that will help your dog thrive throughout its whole life. Below, we present some of the most significant ones.
Establish the Right Diet
Similarly to people, dogs need proper nutrition to thrive.
First of all, you always have to be sure that you choose dog food according to your Fido’s breed, age, and size. If you have a puppy, it is an energized little creature, so you need to provide it with energy sources.
Plus, it is still growing and developing essential functions, and it needs nutrients to do it properly.
Then, all dogs have their own unique requirements. Sometimes they are appropriate to the whole breed – some are more prone to joint problems, while with others, you will have to focus on the eyesight. But that is not all.
Just like people, dogs can suffer from a variety of health problems. For example, puppies with kidney problems may have to switch to low phosphorus food; others can be allergic to grains or have sensitive digestion.
It is essential for you to do your research properly, know how different Wellness, Blue Buffalo or Simply Nourish dog food are, to be able to decide what will be truly best for your pup.
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Dogs get many issues with age, but some may strike early due to genetics. However, if you start taking care of these problems when your furry best friend is still a puppy, it shouldn’t affect its future life significantly.
Last but not least, you shouldn’t skimp on dog food. It’s true that you can find quality products for affordable prices, but you always have to put your dog’s health and needs first. It is even more vital when you take care of a puppy because if you neglect its health now, your dog will have more issues later in life.
It will not only lead to discomfort and suffering but can also result in high veterinary bills.
Stay up to Date with Veterinary Recommendations
● Annual Checkups
Scheduling a visit with a veterinarian once a year, even if everything seems to be going well, is an absolute minimum, but some vets may recommend more frequent meetings, especially in the case of a puppy.
Vaccinating your pet is essential if you want to significantly decrease the risk of your canine getting some preventable diseases – you can find special clinics where specialists vaccinate various pets at lower costs.
● Preventive Heartworm Meds
Your vet will surely know if there’s a heartworm risk in your area. If that’s the case, don’t ignore their recommendations, and be sure to get your puppy on the right medications. Heartworm disease can be extremely dangerous not only to your dog’s health but even to its life.
Spay or Neuter Your Pets
Unless you grow a dog for breeding, you definitely should spay or neuter it as soon as possible. This is recommended for many more reasons than simply to prevent pregnancies.
Spaying/neutering lowers the risk of developing mammary tumors and prostate disease. Additionally, after such a procedure, your dog will be way less likely to wander around and risk injuries.
You might want to do some research first, as many areas offer cheap or even free spay and neuter programs.
Exercise with Your Puppy
When combined with the right diet, exercising is crucial if you want to keep your dog in good shape, support weight control, strong heart and immune system, and more.
You can ask your veterinarian how much exercise your dog’s breed requires and whether there are any specific recommendations. For example, bigger dogs will need more space to run, and you will have to provide it to protect them from joint issues or melancholia.
You should also consult a specialist to know your dog’s ideal weight and try to keep it within the norms to avoid obesity and excessive weight loss, as both can be harmful to canine health.
A lot of pet owners use it as a chance to get some exercise themselves. You can develop your own healthy routine that will bring benefits to the health of both of you. Daily walks and regular jogging provide not only much-needed physical activity but also fresh air and exposure to the sunshine. It can work wonders for both people and dogs in the long term.
It is best to start exercising as soon as your vet says that your puppy is big enough. The sooner, the better, as it will help your dog get used to this active routine.
Remember to never make any big decisions on your own. If you want to change your dog’s food or introduce some new activities into its lifestyle, you should always consult with a veterinarian, especially when it still is a puppy in need of the necessary nutrients.
A trained veterinary care specialist will be able to determine your dog’s individual requirements and you won’t have to worry if you do everything to ensure that your Fido will stay with you for long.