Your Guide to New Puppy Care
Proper puppy care means a better and longer life for your pet.
To provide the best care possible, learn about vaccinations, dog diet, how to protect your pet from parasites, and how to keep your puppy's coat and skin healthy...
By the way, the suggestions that follow apply not only to young puppies but to older dogs too.
You just brought home your new puppy.
Congratulations! You probably feel the same way as I did when I got my first dog.
I was so excited that for the first couple of days all I wanted was to play with him. The problem was, what I wanted and what the puppy needed were two different things.
Before your excitement turns into aggravation, now is the time to learn some of the…
Basics of Proper Puppy Care
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
In my opinion, the most important part of dog or puppy care is vaccination.
Vaccinations protect your puppy from numerous diseases and can extend your pet's life. In the long run, by keeping your dog healthy, vaccinations save you lots of money in vet bills and medications.
It's very important that you discuss your puppy's vaccination schedule with your vet during your first visit. For a sample schedule, visit puppy vaccination schedule.
While vaccination is a very important part of puppy care, nutrition is just as important.
Good nutrition helps dogs grow correctly and fight disease. Without good nutrition, your dog can suffer from malnutrition, skin and coat problems, and allergies.
To find a formula that works for your puppy, ask your veterinarian. He can recommend a food that matches the needs of your dog.
Someone asked me about the differences between cheap, no name and premium brands of dog food. You can find complete answer in dog health questions, but here is the main difference:
- Cheap dog foods use low quality protein sources with lots of preservatives. Some dogs can't easily digest them. Because of that, the food just goes through their system with only small amount of nutrients being absorbed.
- To get the same amount of nutrients from a cheaper brand as from a premium dog food, your dog will need to eat more (and you will spend more).
For more information about commercial dog food, read this dog food report. You'll be shocked and angry after you find out what goes inside of dog food.
But even with premium brands, it will take some time before you learn what works for your dog. I did not say puppy care was easy!
Neutering and Spaying
I know it's a controversial subject, but since these procedures have big impact on dogs' lives, I feel it's important to include it in the section on puppy care.
Spaying involves removal of ovaries and uterus from a female dog while neutering involves removal of both testicles from a male dog.
These are painless procedures that can have huge impact on dog's behavior and health. While benefits appear to overweight the negatives, only you can decide if one of these procedures can benefit your dog.
Ticks and Fleas
No discussion on puppy care would be complete without mentioning ticks and fleas.
We all know that ticks are dangerous, but did you know that a single tick byte can cause death of your pet?
That's why it's so important to not only remove a tick as soon as you discover it, but to do it correctly – unless you remove the whole tick, you leave your pet exposed to numerous diseases. Visit removing ticks page to learn how to remove ticks from your dog's body.
While it's important to remove ticks correctly, it's much better to keep them away from your pet in the first place.
To accomplish that, I use a product called FRONTLINE Plus.
I apply it between Bo's shoulder blades once a month and it not only kills existing ticks but also keeps him protected for the whole month (I use it only during tick season).
Fleas are not as dangerous as ticks, but they can still cause great discomfort to your pet.
There are a lot of shampoos and flea collars available to fight fleas, but there are also plenty of home remedies that work just as well and are a lot cheaper. Visit home remedies for fleas for more information.
By the way, FRONTLINE Plus is extremely effective against fleas too –- it kills up to 98 – 100% of fleas within 24 hours after you apply it.
Dental And Skin Care
Believe it or not but dental disease is one of the most common health disorders in dogs. Bad breath, tooth loss and gum disease are all signs of poor dental health. Fortunately, it's very simple to keep your dog's teeth healthy.
Dog's skin and coat can tell a lot about his health. Dry and flaky skin, hair loss (I am not talking about normal shedding) and excessive scratching are some of the signs of skin problems.
Here are additional tips on puppy care...
Learn more about How to Care for your Puppy
Explore the rest of this site for more information about the topics covered in the above puppy care video.
You may also wish to explore the following articles:
|How to Protect your Dog from Ticks||Caring for your Dog's Skin||How to Remove a Tick from Your Dog||How to Clean your Dog's Teeth|
|Using Home Remedies to Fight Fleas||Should I Spay my Dog?||Should I Neuter my Dog?||When Should I Vaccinate My Puppy?|
Want to learn more?
As a dog owner, you are responsible for your puppy's health. A good source for dog health information, including puppy care and preventive medicine, how to protect your pet from worms and ticks, dog food, and how to recognize if your pet needs immediate medical attention, is the Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.
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I hope you will find this information useful and it helps you to recognize some common dog health problems your pet may be experiencing. However, if you suspect your pet is ill, immediately contact your veterinarian. He or she will be able to help you decide the best course of action when it comes to caring for your pet.