Finally, there’s a holiday that you can celebrate with getting a new puppy, and you don’t have to worry about traumatizing your new pet. March 23rd is National Puppy Day, and it’s not nearly as crazy a time as, say, Christmas. But let’s make sure you’re all set with a primer before you purchase or adopt a new puppy–and we’re warning you, there’s going to be a lot of organizations parading around cute puppies on National Puppy Day. Here’s a detailed guide to getting ready courtesy of a guest post from our friends at GreatPetHealth.com…
Taking care of a puppy is a full-time job. It’s almost like having another toddler in the house, so there are several things you should do to make sure your new pet is safe, happy and well behaved. Read on to discover how to prepare yourself, your new puppy and your home for the fun-filled road ahead:
Puppy-Proof your Home
As we said before, a young pup can be like a toddler: very curious about his surroundings and tends to put everything in his mouth. The only difference with this young one is he has tiny needle-like teeth that can destroy just about anything, and he’s not afraid to use them. It’s important that your house be puppy-proof so he doesn’t get a hold of something he can destroy or that could make him sick. Look around your house and remove things that might be a temptation, and be sure to keep an eye on him when he’s exploring.
It may take a little while for your new puppy to become accustomed to his leash and learn how to walk on it correctly. In the mean time, you might want to use a head collar or a harness to prevent trachea damage from your puppy pulling too hard on the leash.
Puppies love to play with toys, and it’s a good idea to have several on hand to train him not to chew on things he shouldn’t. However, be picky about which toys you give your new puppy, especially if he’s a larger breed dog because some dog toys are not recommended for larger, stronger dogs. Be sure that your puppy can’t chew his toys to pieces, as it could be a choking hazard. If you notice a toy has begun to tear or fall apart, replace it immediately.
Playtime with Other Dogs
Your new puppy may be rearing to run and play with other animals, but it’s a good idea to refrain from letting him interact with them until he’s had a couple of rounds of vaccinations. Your young pup’s immune system isn’t fully developed yet and he could get sick from exposure to other animals.
Just like babies and toddlers, puppies need regular doctor’s visits, too. Be sure to make these appointments and stick to them. Your veterinarian may have his or her own preferred practice, but usually, puppies are dewormed at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. He can be neutered at 6 months and will receive a monthly heartworm preventative. These visits are very important to the health of your new puppy, so be sure to get him there.
Although your puppy has many endearing natural instincts, he probably also has several that aren’t so endearing. You may want to consider enrolling him in behavioral classes to ensure he’s well behaved and sociable with other animals and humans. It’s also a good idea to get him used to a crate. If your puppy gets used to being in one, you’ll have peace of mind knowing he is safe when you are away from home.