Puppies are adorable, lovable, and playful creatures that bring joy to any household, and while they are super sweet and fun to have around, owning a puppy requires a lot of responsibility and care.
As their owner, it is your role to ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved, happy, and healthy dogs that you and your family can spend many happy years with.
So, while there is seemingly an encyclopedia of tips and ways to help keep your puppy well and balanced, here are 5 of the things you need to consider when you are looking to add a puppy to your family’s life.
Starting at the top, just because they are young, it doesn’t mean they don’t need medicine! Puppies require regular health care, such as vaccinations, check-ups, and parasite prevention. If your puppy is a specific breed of dog, like a pug or a dachshund, you may need to look into preventive medicine, such as testing for illnesses that are common to these breeds. So, you should establish a relationship with a trusted veterinarian and follow their medical guidance; head to a well-respected vet, like the Saltwater Animal Hospital, where your puppy will get the highest level of care.
Puppies need a balanced diet to grow healthy and strong. So, be sure to give them high-quality puppy food, preferably one that is hypoallergenic and has a lot of protein, fat, and nutrients. Also, while it is common to give older dogs 2 or 3 meals a day, puppies prefer smaller amounts of food closer together, so be sure to give them more regular meals and space this feeding out more as they get older.
Puppies are energetic and playful, so they need regular exercise and playtime. Daily walks, interactive toys, and playdates with other dogs are great ways to keep puppies active and entertained. However, too much exercise can also harm a growing puppy, so you should consult with your puppy’s vet about appropriate exercise levels.
Also, puppies love mental stimulation, especially if they are border collies, German shepherds, or one of the other working dog breeds. So, aim to get them toys that encourage them to solve puzzles and work to get a treat.
Training is essential for puppies to learn good behavior and basic commands, as well as avoid future behavioral issues or scraps with other dogs. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, is an effective method for training. Consistency is also important, as puppies respond well to routines and structure. If you aren’t sure where to begin, there are multiple dog training books and videos that you can look through or, if you have the budget, hire a professional trainer.
Socialization is crucial for puppies to learn how to interact with people and other animals. Early socialization can prevent behavior problems in adulthood, so owners should expose their puppies to various experiences, such as meeting different people and visiting new places. But be sure that you only introduce your puppy to other dogs when they have been fully vaccinated and it is safe for them to do so.