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Can We Get A Puppy, Can We, Please?
The Basics Of Puppy Care
They are cute and cuddly and everyone loves them. Their eyes are bright and curious, and their tails wag 100 miles an hour. Who doesn’t want a new puppy? Getting a puppy can be a great addition to the family, but it’s important to remember that they are just babies and will require a lot of puppy care. Puppies depend on you to feed them and teach them the things they need to know as babies. They will need a lot of attention and patience.
It is a good idea to prepare your house well before the new puppy comes home for the first time. Stock up on all the supplies your puppy will need as a new member of the family. The first items to buy will be feeding supplies, and these include bowls for water and food, as well as high quality dry food specially formulated for puppies. It’s also a good idea to get a crate for your puppy, as most puppy care information touts the benefits of crate training dogs. You can cover the bottom of your crate with an old blanket or towel that your puppy will find comfortable to sleep on.
A collar and leash are other good supplies to buy before you bring your puppy home, as well as some chew toys and grooming supplies like shampoo and nail clippers. To make sure your chew toys are safe for your new puppy, avoid items like raw fur that can break and get lodged in a small dog’s throat, and choose durable items like a Nylabone playtime chew toy instead. Having a few of these toys on hand will hopefully keep your dog from biting other items like your favorite shoes or the living room chairs.
Feeding Your Puppy
Feeding your puppy is a very important part of puppy care as he develops bones and muscles as he grows. Remember that you should feed your puppy food that is formulated for puppies and not for adults. Puppies grow quickly and have special nutritional requirements.
Growing puppies should usually eat twice a day, but don’t leave dry food out so they can eat when they want, or “graze”. You can’t depend on your puppy to stop eating when he’s full. Some will, but others will eat until they get sick. It’s also a good idea for his future health to let your puppy get used to regular feeding times. Canned food is optional but not necessary for good nutrition. It is more of a special treat.
Housebreaking and the New Puppy
A very important part of puppy care is housebreaking. This requires patience, and lots of it. This will be one of the first training goals you will have for your puppy. Make sure you have plenty of cleaning supplies, because accidents will happen.
Many puppies will need to go right after they eat, so this is a good time to get rid of them. Other times they will give you some kind of sign, sometimes they sniff around, or turn around looking for a place. Watching their signal can tell you when you and your puppy need to hit the door running. It will take some time for your puppy to get the hang of this routine. Remember that dogs naturally want to leave their home base to eliminate. They will eventually get the message, but not before they have had a few accidents. The key is not to give up. Don’t get mad at the puppy because he’s just trying to learn what you want him to do. For best results use loving patience while he gets the habit.
Puppies and Children
Puppies and children are usually great together but it is never wise to leave small children and puppies together unsupervised. Sometimes a puppy is too wild for children, and sometimes the child is too cheerful for the puppy. Either way someone could get hurt. Most parents want a puppy specifically as a companion for their children, so monitor puppy and child interactions while simultaneously teaching both the puppy and the children the boundaries and rules for safe, fun play.
Taking Your New Puppy to the Vet
One of the first things you will need to do with your new puppy is take him to the vet. It is very important that your new puppy gets all of his shots. Shots are a necessary part of puppy care as they prevent many potentially fatal diseases. Your vet will also check for worms, and discuss the best option for flea and heart worm protection, and advise you when to bring your new pet in to be spayed or neutered. Your vet will provide the best information on food, sleep and care for your puppy’s health.
Many vets will recommend obedience classes as part of your puppy care. These courses will teach you how to train your dog to be an obedient and acceptable member of your family. You can find obedience classes through your vet, breeder or local pet store. Puppies grow up to be dogs and the care and training they received as a puppy will determine the temperament they have when they are adults.
There are any number of websites that will offer the puppy care information you will need. Other good sources for information on puppy care include your veterinarian’s office, the local library, or the shelter you are adopting your puppy from.
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