Puppy Care

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Congratulations on the arrival of your new puppy!

Welcoming him home

Bringing home a new puppy is always an exciting event - after all you are welcoming a new member of the family.

At first he will feel a little strange in the new surroundings. You can help him feel at home by making sure that there is a warm place for him to rest and sleep. The bedding should be waterproof and easy to clean. The ideal bed for your new puppy is a purpose built puppy crate, which he will adopt as his 'den'. We will be glad to give you some advice on nutrition and how important it is to establish good feeding habits, training, vaccination, worming and other measures of preventative healthcare. (Please see the other sections on the website for further information in these areas.)

General Care

Grooming, training and a routine of regular exercise are all essential for the early health and happiness of your pet. So too is a visit to the Veterinary Practice. It is important to make an early appointment. Your puppy will then become familiar with the practice and the support staff and must receive his first vaccination, as he is susceptible to several contagious diseases. The Veterinary Surgeon will advise on the interval for "booster vaccination".

Grooming

Do ask the Vet, but regular grooming is essential, two or three times a week for short haired dogs, once a day for those with long or thick coats. It not only removes dirt and dead hair but also helps prevent skin irritation - one of the more common problems during puppy hood. Another bonus to grooming your new puppy is your puppy can hardly distinguish between grooming and stroking, so you will naturally be forming a strong bond together.

Worming

Just as with skin irritation, intestinal parasites are one of the commonest problems of puppy hood. The Veterinary Practice will advice on worming and a control programme - click on 'worming' above to obtain more in depth information. Modern de-worming medicines from the Veterinary Surgeon are effective and gentle.

Click here for detailed information about worming

Basic Training

You can start housetraining your puppy straight away. Exercise him frequently in the area you want him to "go". At first it will be coincidence. But if you consistently take him out as soon as he wakes, immediately after meals and just before going to bed, the coincidence will become habit. House training usually does not happen overnight but lavish praise for correct performance will bring the quickest results. You should find your puppy becoming house-trained within a few weeks. Incidentally, if he does go in the wrong place, do not scold him (and never rub his nose in it), as this is a very ineffective method of training. Praising the puppy when he has got it right is quite sufficient and effective training.

Exercise

Your growing puppy loves to play and exercise. The extra attention he gets when being out with you will help to form a strong bond between you. You should put your puppy on a lead and harness if you are walking near a road, near farm animals or other sources of danger. Your puppy should also start to wear an identification tag with your name and telephone on it as soon as you bring him home. It may also an idea to consider microchipping, as an effective and permanent form of identification at your puppy's first vaccination. Click here to find out more about microchipping.

A sound and properly balanced diet will give him all of the protein, calcium and nutrients necessary to fuel his playful exercise. Moderate exercise and a good feeding program will combine to help muscle development, prevent obesity and maintain vitality. The Veterinary Practice will advise you on the most appropriate diet for your growing puppy.

Diet

Dogs are omnivorous and can eat many types of food that has been balanced to meet specific nutritional requirements.

Rapid growth and development of bones, muscles and internal organs means that the diet is especially important during puppy hood. A puppy's nutritional needs are different from those of an adult dog because puppies need relatively more energy, calcium and phosphorus than a grown animal. They are after all building a skeleton. However Nutritionalist's such as experts at Royal Canin, believe that excess levels of nutrients can be harmful over time. Large breed puppies for instance grow very fast in the first few months of life as can be seen in the chart below.

If these breeds are fed on a food that contains too much energy, they grow so fast that skeletal problems may arise. Excess calcium may also initiate or complicate several skeletal diseases and bone deformities, especially in puppies hat will grow into large adults. Sodium, calcium and energy are essential to good health, but excess levels are unnecessary. The right balance of nutrients is crucial as not overfeeding your new puppy. A good start is so important in helping your dog lead a long and healthy life.

Click here for detailed information about nutrition for your healthy dog.

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