New puppies require specialized care. Feeding, training, socialization, and veterinary care are just a few of the things which are essential to caring for the new puppy.
Puppy Care Information for New Pet Owners
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time for a pet owner. However, proper puppy care requires preparation and planning.
Feeding the New Puppy
Young puppies have nutritional needs which are different than those of more mature dogs. In order to meet these nutritional needs, the food for the new puppy must be chosen carefully. Puppies require foods which are formulated for growth. The food should be a high quality growth or puppy food which will provide all of the new puppies’ nutritional needs without supplementation. While homemade diets may be appropriate for mature dogs, homemade diets are very difficult to balance to meet all of a growing puppy’s nutritional needs and are not recommended for puppies.
Puppy Proof the Home to Protect the New Puppy
New puppy care requires careful planning and preparation to protect the new puppy from hazards in the home. These hazards may consist of chemicals (cleaning products, rodenticides, insecticides, pool chemicals), medicines (human or pet), electrical cords, toys and other items which can be swallowed, and plants which may be toxic if ingested. These items should be secured out of reach of a curious puppy.
Socialization – An Important Part of New Puppy Care
For young puppies, the first three to four months of age are extremely important for preparing the new puppy for his life to come. Proper socialization is critical as these early months are the most important time to imprint experiences and teach the new puppy that nothing is to be feared. During these months, new puppies should be introduced to as many new experiences and new people as possible. It is also important to make certain these experiences are pleasant for the new puppy, as negative experiences can be imprinted on a puppy’s personality as well and leave the puppy fearful for the rest of his life.
Puppy classes are a good way of socializing young puppies and allowing them to interact with other animals. However, care should be taken to protect the puppy from infectious diseases during these experiences as well. Any other animals introduced to the new puppy should be healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite control to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
The Role of Training in New Puppy Care
Caring for a new puppy involves teaching the new puppy manners. Proper training should be started at an early age. Training methods used for new puppies should focus on positive reinforcement, using treats and other rewards to encourage proper behavior. Confrontational training methods and those based on punishment should be avoided. Young puppies should never be physically punished.
Veterinary Care for the New Puppy
Proper health care is essential for the new puppy. The new puppy should have an examination performed by a veterinarian to make certain the puppy is healthy and free of congenital diseases. In addition, vaccinations will be necessary for the new puppy. Heartworm preventive medicines should be started at a young age, as should flea and tick preventive medications. Having a sample of the new puppies feces examined for parasites is advisable as well.
Introducing a new puppy to the household requires a great deal of planning and preparation. New pet owners are well advised to do a bit of research about the proper care of new puppies before the adoption. New puppy care information is readily available through veterinarians or other pet care providers.