Having new puppies at home is an exciting addition to the family. Whether your dog gave birth to a litter or you’ve decided to adopt puppies – the responsibility of making sure they grow healthy is now in your hands.
From feeding, training, and keeping them healthy, are you fully prepared to be a pet parent? Molding your puppies into good canine citizens is a huge responsibility that requires a considerable amount of time and effort.
To guide you in raising your pups and ensure that they grow healthy, below are some vital tips to consider:
1. Give high-quality food
Feeding them high quality puppy food will make a whole world of difference in the health of your puppies.
And although it’s quite tempting to give them an inordinate amount of treats because they are just so cute and adorable, it’s never a good thing to overfeed young puppies (or grown dogs, for that matter) as their small stomachs may not be able to digest them all properly.
Give food according to your vet’s recommendations to ensure that your puppies get optimum health benefits.
2. Bring your puppies to the vet
If you got your puppies from a breeder or pet shop, the ideal time to bring them to the vet is within the first week.
It’s totally fine to bring your pups to the vet the moment you got them, however, you won’t get any insights yet about their individual personalities. In this case, you won’t have any specific behavior of your puppies to report to the vet.
Allow your new puppies to settle into your home for a day or two before you go for a vet visit.
The main point is, once you do go to the pet clinic, to let the veterinarian check on your puppies to determine whether they have any health issues. On the other hand, for puppies born at home, you can bring them to the vet after they reach six weeks of age, assuming that all are healthy.
Regardless of age, bring your pup to the vet ASAP if he or she shows any of the following symptoms:
- Little or no weight gain
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive vomiting
- Coughing, wheezing, or any difficulties in breathing
- Constant yelping
- Pale gums
- Nasal discharge
- Eye discharge or swollen eyes
- Inability to urinate or poop
You shouldn’t stop going to the vet after the first visit. It’s important that your new furry friends undergo regular wellness exams and receive all necessary dog vaccinations.
3. Teach the right pet attitude through training
As early as eight weeks, start training your pups before they develop bad behaviors. Focus on making training about reward and not punishment. This way, you can instill the right dog attitude instead of fear.
When your puppies are well-trained, you have more opportunities to keep them safe from harm. Moreover, you have a chance to improve your pups’ physical health through fetch play, walks, and other training.
As a pet parent growing canines, don’t forget to give your puppies some dental bones or chew toys such as the best puppy dog chew treats to help with their teething.
4. Maintain the right weight
It’s easy to think that it’s okay to feed puppies a lot of food just because you think they will still grow. When your puppies can’t maintain a healthy weight until adulthood, they can become prone to diabetes and joint problems.
If you can’t tell whether your pups are overweight or just fluffy, touch their backs, and if you feel their ribs without having to press hard – your pups are at an ideal weight.
Start exercises early through leash walks.
However, make sure you don’t start hiking or running until your pups have already built the endurance required and have developed strong legs.
Take note that not all pups love to run or play fetch, make sure to choose the right exercise that catches your pups’ interest.
5. Allow your puppies to socialize
It’s crucial to socialize your puppies during their first three months as this is the period when friendliness outweighs fear.
At this age, your puppies’ brains still accept new experiences which then help mold their behavior, temperament, and character.
Dogs which lack early socialization experiences are at risk of behavioral problems such as fear, avoidance, and aggression. Take advantage of puppy playgroups and expose them to unfamiliar sounds, sights, and smells so that they can get used to new environments. By doing so, your pet can grow confident, balanced, and well-mannered.
For puppies to grow into well-socialized dogs, they need to be:
- Encouraged to investigate and explore a new environment.
- Handled from birth to accept touch from humans.
- Exposed to many animals, people, places, and situations.
- Allowed to play using a variety of toys and games.
- Taken along often on car rides to get comfortable with riding vehicles.
Simply staying inside the house or backyard is not enough to socialize your puppies.
Proper socialization for your pups involves exposure to many different animals, people and environments without them getting overwhelmed. But keep in mind that over-stimulation may result to avoidance behavior or excessive fear so make sure you know how much socialization is enough for your pups.
At a young age, development and good health are crucial for puppies. Follow the five tips above and keep a close watch on your pups to ensure that they grow into healthy, happy, and loving dogs.