Proper Puppy Care
Getting a puppy is exciting! They are adorable, they smell so good, and they make you smile. But as cute as they are, puppies require a lot of work. Properly setting your puppy up can mean the difference between a mild, well-mannered dog and a wild, out of control dog. Here are some tips for proper puppy care.
Puppies, just like infants are born with antibodies passed from the mother through milk. These antibodies provide the puppy with immunity to certain diseases. However, the antibodies only last a couple of weeks, which means your puppy needs vaccinations to protect them from deadly diseases. Puppies are vaccinated every 3-4 weeks starting around 6 to 8 weeks of age to increase the likelihood that as the level of antibodies from the mother are falling to activate the immune system’s response to the vaccinations. Puppies should have a fecal sample checked for parasites. Depending on the results, they may need to be treated every to prevent the spread of hookworms, roundworms and other intestinal parasites to humans and other pets. It is important to bring a new puppy to the veterinarian to get them on a vaccine schedule, get them dewormed, and to get them started on the right foot (or feet we like to say!).
Puppies need certain nutrients as they grow. Feeding them a puppy food or diet with all the necessary nutrients is important for proper growth and development. Feeding your puppy adult dog food or food without the proper nutrients will deprive your puppy of what it needs. Ask our owner Dawn, who has taken a 100-hour course on canine nutrition, what diet she recommends for your puppy by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also remember, puppies need to eat at least 3-4 times a day depending on their age.
The most important part of crate training to make the experience positive for your puppy. Start with purchasing a crate with a divider that will be big enough for your puppy when it is full grown. Use the divider to give your puppy just enough room to lay down and turn around. The divider will need to be moved as your puppy grows. The space you give your puppy is important. If it is too small, your puppy will not be able to move around comfortably. If it is too big, it will give your puppy a place to go potty inside the crate which will encourage future accidents both inside the crate and in your home. Making the crate comfortable is important so be sure to line it with blankets and provide toys. Covering the crate with a blanket also helps give the crate an “den” like environment. Just be sure you leave some open space to prevent the crate from getting too hot. Making your puppy’s crate a safe and comfortable experience is key. Place the puppy in the crate for small increments of time and work your way up to longer periods of time. Offer treats as a reward for going into the crate. It is important to take your puppy outside each time you remove it from the crate so it will get used to the routine and know that after crate time is potty time. To see a video on crate training visit our puppy info page at http://www.kencarylpetspa.com/puppy-inf/ .
Puppy obedience training will make for a well-rounded adult dog. It is recommended that all breed, even ones as small as a Yorkie attend puppy classes or at the very least are taught basic commands. Teaching your puppy basic commands like sit, stay, and down. Those classes also give your puppy socialization. Puppies start learning from the moment they are born and can begin training as early as 6-8 weeks of age. Waiting until your puppy is older can be detrimental to the learning process as most dog 6 months and older have already solidified adult behaviors. Waiting too long to train your puppy may cause you to have to reteach behaviors that were improperly enforced at a younger age.
Getting your puppy used to being groomed or bathed is important! You can start at home when they first come home by touching your puppy’s front and back feet every day, brushing them gently, and massaging their face. This will get them used to being handled. Breeds that require grooming should make their first trip to the groomer around 16 weeks of age after they had their final round of vaccinations. Starting early will get your puppy accustomed to being handled and used to strange noises making their experience as a juvenile and adult more pleasant. Visit our appointments page to make a grooming appointment for your puppy if give our shop a call at (720) 981-7387 for more information on our puppy grooming protocols.
Pet Sitting & Dog Walking
Getting your puppy set up with a professional pet sitter and dog walker early is important. Puppies need potty breaks every 4-6 hours during the day depending on their age. A dog walker can provide midday potty breaks to your puppy while you are at work which will benefit you and your puppy by reinforcing potty training. It will also allow your puppy to stretch their legs and receive mental stimulation while you are away. Hiring a pet sitter will allow your dog to stay in the comfort of their own environment while you are out of town. Head over to our sister company, Distinctive Pet Care, to find out more about their pet sitting & dog walking services.
Puppies are a lot of fun, but they do require work. Be sure to do your research and find a breed that is right for your family. Be prepared before taking your new addition home. It is always a good idea to have a veterinarian, groomer, trainer, & pet sitter researched and lined up before your new puppy come home.
Would you like to take an on-line class to learn about “all things puppy”? Visit http://www.robinkbennett.com/raising-your-puppy/ and ask us about local puppy trainers that we recommend for you!
Written by Julie Gajewski. Julie has been pet sitting and working in the veterinary industry as both a Veterinary Technician and veterinary hospital administrator since 1997. She founded her pet sitting company, Fuzzy Friends Pet Care, at the young age of 16. She was nominated as one of Pet Sitters International’s Top 5 Pet Sitters in 2016 and is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She is a pet business consultant and a guest blog writer for pet sitters across the world. She lives in Florida with her husband and furry children, 2 Pugs and 4 cats.