Perhaps puppies are so endearing and adorable to offset the madness that they can bring to a household. They are definitely lovable, sweet, playful, and fun, but they are equally messy, destructive, wild, and impulsive. It can be a monumental effort to simply keep up with their antics, but we can tell you with absolute certainty that the payoff is 100% worth it. Bringing home a new puppy is a huge life choice, and with a proactive approach to their ever-changing needs and desires, everyone involved can happily coexist.
A new puppy requires so much more than shelter, food, and water. To help them develop into a healthy and thriving adult dog, we recommend addressing the following:
- A veterinary appointment should ideally be scheduled within their first couple of weeks at home. We can help get them on the right path of wellness with deworming, the first round of vaccinations, and parasite prevention. We can also discuss diet, nutrition, socialization, training, spaying/neutering, and microchipping. Until they are fully vaccinated, we anticipate seeing them every couple of months.
- Supplies like a comfy bed, food/water bowls, leash, collar, chew toys, and a crate are all important to the life of a new puppy.
- The house must be a safe, enriching place for a puppy to grow. They love to chew on anything that crosses their path, so it’s essential to put items like socks and shoes away. Power cords, plants, and pretty much anything on the floor, must be contained before you bring them home.
- Housetraining can make or break you. They must have opportunities to go outside numerous times a day, or every 2-3 hours. If you cannot be there for your new puppy all day, every day, consider hiring someone to let them out.
- Meal planning is equally important. Depending on their age, your new puppy will need to eat 2-4 times a day. Purchasing a high-value, age-appropriate diet is necessary for proper development.
- Don’t be shy about brushing their teeth. Sure, you’re not trying to uphold the integrity of their puppy teeth (most of which will fall out when their grown up chompers come in), but you are exposing them early to the idea of teeth brushing. This will come in handy as they get older, as most pets over the age of 3 have some form of periodontal disease. Make it a game and keep rewarding them.
New Puppy Pointers
Young dogs go through a period of time in which they are open to everything. This impressionable period can help them gain valuable insight into future situations. When you reinforce positive experiences, your new puppy can learn to trust you and have confidence. Training and socialization helps young dogs become flexible around new people and in new places, and helps to ultimately keep them safe and happy.
Remember, your new puppy shouldn’t enter public places, like dog parks or the hardware store, until they are fully vaccinated.
Protecting Your New Puppy
Are you thinking of adopting a new puppy to join your growing family that includes multiple other pets? If so, there are certain considerations that must be in place to keep all pets happy, safe, and comfortable.
Alternatively, a new puppy in a small, quiet household may need additional attention and affection from their owners. Watch your puppy’s behavior closely and intercept any clues to make positive changes to the environment.
If we can assist you with any questions or concerns about caring for your new puppy, please give us a call at (704) 523-2996. Our veterinarians and staff members are always here for you at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center.