Hi everyone! So I usually see an influx of puppies to the animal hospital right after the holiday season. I love this time of year. The hospital is filled with playful, happy, and healthy puppies and kittens. Whenever clients bring in new family members, my associates and I give our “puppy talk” to get them ready for this fun new adventure. My sister, Carrie has my speech memorized because I have given it to her 50 million times to help with her puppy, Newman.
New Puppy Survival Kit:
- Find a trainer early, as early as 8 weeks old. It is always better to have a professional trainer show you the proper tools and methods to work with your puppy. As dogs get older, they develop habits and become more difficult to train.
- Crate training is the easiest way of house breaking your puppy. Here are some great articles on how to get started- Crate Training and House Training.
- Puppies chew and tear apart everything in sight. Choose toys at the pet store that are indestructible and avoid stuffed animals with stuffing or noisemakers inside. I like products from Nylabone and Kong.
- Put away your garbage, make sure they can’t get near the toilet paper, and pick up anything from the floor that is not a toy for your puppy. Puppies eat everything and surgery to remove a foreign body is not uncommon in puppyhood. I promise this one small tip could save you a lot of stress and money.
- Speaking of eating everything, make sure to pick up a high quality diet with the best ingredients. I cannot stress this one enough. I absolutely love and trust Wellness CORE and it is what I feed my own dog. Wellness CORE is a balanced diet that is grain free, contains all the highest quality ingredients, added supplements (omega 3 fatty acids, and glucosamine), and higher protein for lean body mass and muscle tone. Wellness Core has all stages of life from puppy to senior.
- Play with your puppy’s paws and nails, clean their ears weekly (ask your veterinarian to show you how) and use a dog toothbrush set to get them used to cleaning their teeth at a young age. Getting them accustom to having their nails, ears, and teeth fussed with will help them be more comfortable with the process when they are older.
- Bathe your puppy every week or 2 to get them used to bathing and grooming.
- Stay informed on parasite control and place your puppy on monthly flea and tick and heartworm preventions. My picks are Heartguard for heartworm prevention and Nexgard for flea and tick prevention.
- Spay or neuter your pet (please see my previous blog- Why Should I Spay or Neuter my Pet?).
- Make sure your puppy is on a vaccination protocol recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Discuss with your veterinarian what is needed for your puppy based upon demographics and where you live.
- I highly recommend pet insurance! One of my favorites is ASPCA.
Puppies are THE BEST! They are fun, adorable, loveable, and definitely entertaining. I hope these tips help you get started into your journey of becoming a pet parent. Although puppyhood is hard and can be stressful at time, it goes by in a blink of an eye. Squeeze your cute pup and takes lots of pictures! All the work and dedication in the beginning will be worth the lifetime of love.