Your puppy will become a new family member
A puppy will become a family member, and they will be totally dependent on you to meet all of their needs in order for them to be happy, fit and healthy. This will include good nutrition, veterinary care, socialisation, training and regular exercise. With effort and patience, a new puppy will make a wonderful companion.
Before getting a puppy, have a really good think about the type of dog that will best suit your lifestyle. Some breeds of dog will look beautiful but they may have been bred for something which might not be suit your lifestyle, so look into it. If you are thinking of a pedigree, then remember that there are some hereditary diseases which can be passed from parents to pups so you’ll need to do some research.
It’s well worth considering getting a puppy (or adult dog) from a rehoming charity, even if you are looking for a pedigree. Pets available from reputable rehoming charities, including Blue Cross, undergone exams by a vet, behavioural assessment, vaccinated, neutered, treated for parasites and microchipped before they’re even made available for rehoming.
A healthy puppy shouldn’t be thin and there shouldn’t be any signs of discharge from the eyes or nose, the ears should be free from black wax and the puppy should not have a cough. The area under the tail should be clean. If the puppy is a pedigree, research potential health problems and ask to see proof that the parents have been screened. If there are health issues, immediately get in touch with the breeder or charity you got the puppy from.
Feeding your puppy
Puppies should leave their mothers when they’re eight weeks old. Feed the diet they are used to at first, and introduce any new food gradually, but always use suitable food for the puppy’s breed and size. Several small meals are better than fewer large ones. Always make sure fresh water is available. Never give milk. Always follow the instructions on the packaging when feeding, and do not allow your puppy to become fat – obesity is a problem for dogs just as much as for humans.
Toilet training your puppy
In the morning take your puppy straight out to go to the toilet and praise when the pup performs. Do not be angry, upset or frustrated if your pup has toileted indoors. House training is a delicate process and puppies are more likely to learn quicker if they are not frightened or confused. Pop them into the garden when they wake up, after they’ve eaten, after play and praise after they go.
Researched by Samantha Hallam.
For more information on caring for a puppy and other pet advice you can visit: www.bluecross.org.uk