Getting a puppy is one of the most exciting things we can think about right now, especially if it is your first time getting one. Even though puppies are definitely the most adorable animals on the planet, they do need some special care and a lot of attention. Not only that you have to walk your puppy multiple times a day, but you also have to prepare for other responsibilities such as training them or taking them to the vet. It is essential to know how to take care of a puppy to ensure they are living a happy and healthy life. To help you stay on track with your tasks, here is a list of things you should do when you get a puppy!
#1 Puppy-proof the house
I’m sure you’ve heard of baby-proofing the house but now get ready for a puppy-proofing. During their development, puppies tend to chew on pretty much everything they can find, from old socks and slippers to straight up furniture. To avoid more significant damage or your puppy being injured, before you let them into your house make sure to complete a few simple tasks to ensure a safe environment. If you have low windows in your house, keep them closed at all times. Keep all electrical cords raised or protected, as you definitely don’t want your puppy chewing on those! In fact, if you see them munching on anything besides the chewing toy you spent money on, stop them right away!
Next up, you’re going to need a taller trashcan to stop your puppy from eating leftovers, which are bad for his health! Besides making the house hazard-free, you also have to make it welcoming for your new family member. Make sure the puppy has enough space to run around and play, as well as a separate area with a bed for sleeping or napping. Don’t forget to go shopping for basic essentials such as shampoo, brushes and combs.
#2 Find a good vet
After you’ve puppy-proofed the house, you should look up some vet stations and find a good vet for your little buddy. In fact, it is recommended to do a vet check-up as soon as you get your puppy to make sure it is healthy and ready for all the adventures to come! Besides, vet check-ups are useful for ensuring the preventive health and keep your puppy safe from viruses and diseases. As you probably know, your new dog is going to have to be vaccinated. Talk to your vet regarding a vaccination plan and discuss safe options for keeping your dog protected from bugs and parasites. If you’re a first-time pet owner, ask the vet to let you know more about the things you need to know when it comes to your puppy’s health and life in general. Learn the signs of different illnesses to be able to recognize when your dog is not feeling okay, as this will be crucial for his well-being!
#3 Choose the right food
A puppy needs high-quality food to develop and grow into a healthy and active dog. Therefore, you must learn how and when to feed them, depending on its age and breed. The first thing you should know when it comes to food is what not to do! Never feed your puppy the food you eat or the leftovers on your table, since those are harmful to their health. When choosing dog food, go for high quality, nutritious meals that are going to help your puppy gain strength and stay healthy. Depending on the breed, the puppy can switch to adult dog food in a couple of months. Small and medium-sized breeds can do so between 9 and 12 months, while larger dogs need to stay on puppy food for the first two years of their lives. When it comes to feeding, dogs from 6 to 12 weeks old should be fed four meals a day, 3 to 6 months old three meals a day and 6 to 12 months old only two meals per day!
#4 The bathroom routine
As soon as your puppy comes home, you need to start teaching them the bathroom routine, that is, instructing them only to do their business outdoors and never indoors. This house training process requires time and patience. Lots of it! Be prepared for accidents to happen that is normal, and no dog learns the bathroom routine so quickly. Reward your puppy when they do potty outdoors but don’t be too harsh when they make a mistake indoors. It is better to be more positive and rewarding for good actions than being too punishing for strict ones. When your puppy grows up you can take him out for a walk only twice per day, in the morning and in the evening. However, while they are still a puppy, you need to walk them more often, that is, when you wake up, before you go to sleep, after they wake up from a nap or immediately after they eat or drink a lot! Besides teaching them the bathroom routine, you can show your puppy the basic commands such as sit, stay or down, which can help you stay in control in dangerous situations.
#5 Observing behavior
As we have already mentioned above, you’re going to have to learn the symptoms of different illnesses to be ready to react if your dog is in pain. You can learn these symptoms from the vet or look them up on the internet. Either way, the most critical symptoms you should be aware of are poor weight gain, lack of appetite, vomiting, swollen abdomen, tiredness, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, coughing or red eyes and pale gums. If you notice any of these symptoms in the early days or throughout the life of your dog, make sure to take him to the vet immediately. Some of these symptoms are quite common symptoms of flu or a temporary stomach virus, and they are nothing to worry about, but it is essential to have the puppy checked for serious health issues.