Puppies are more or less like babies, except fuzzier and more effective at chewing on furniture. Just like babies, they need protective vaccines to take them out of the running for contracting common and avoidable illnesses. The vet can insure that all of these preventative measures are put in place. Even if you believe your puppy has already had their shots, an initial visit to the vet is essential as soon as possible after you’ve initially brought your puppy home. In addition to administering to your puppy’s health, the veterinarian can provide answers to all of your puppy care and puppy training questions.
2. “No, I don’t want no bugs”: Pest Control
Puppies are great. Fleas and other pests, not so much. Although an itchy puppy might just be a nuisance for us, fleas, ticks and other unsavories can pose a legitimate health risk for them. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and stop pests from moving into furry pastures before they attempt to. Start your puppy on flea, tick and heartworm preventative measures as soon as possible, and avoid potential strife for both you and your pal down the line. They’ll thank you for it when they’re older.
3. Puppy Proof is in the Putting
Although puppy training will eventually go miles towards making your dog a more self-sufficient housemate, these little guys don’t come pre-programmed for in-house civility. When you can’t be home, puppy daycare can be an effective solution for keeping your dog under kind guidance and supervision. But even when you’re both hanging at the pad, their curiosity can still get them into trouble. The important thing is to literally think on their level. A great rule of thumb is to make sure that there’s nothing within a puppy’s reach except for their food, water and toys. Although chocolate is a commonly known no-go for dogs, other dangerous substances include macadamia nuts, the poisons left out to deter pests, and many common houseplants. Although you might enjoy your philodendron’s feng shui, your puppy might want to give them a taste, and that’s no good. Make sure you hang them well out of reach or on a high counter away from climbable furniture.
4. Chow Time
So, what’s for dinner? This is an aspect of dog care where the answer can vary greatly depending on the breed and temperament of the furry rascal in question. Talk to your vet to ensure that the menu, portion and frequency of meals are all in line with their professional recommendation. If it turns out that your puppy runs solely on thrice-daily poached eggs and caviar, well then sorry. But the main thing is, feed them what you’re supposed to, doctor’s orders.
5. Open Mouth, Insert Hand
Their mouth, your hand. Get your puppy used to you touching their mouth and paws, areas that may naturally be sensitive for them. Chomper upkeep is an integral part of dog care. When you go in with the doggy toothbrush, you want Sparky to be ok with it being there. Start out building trust with your puppy by putting your fingers in their mouth and on their teeth while they’re still young and impressionable. Take a similar approach to their delicate little paws by touching them and applying gentle pressure. Over time, this’ll make the process of trimming their nails more comfortable for both of you.