Dog Information Centre » Caring for your new puppy
Caring for your new puppy
The breeders of the puppy should give you a diet sheet detailing what the puppy’s current dietary needs are and when to gradually change them to a more adult based diet. Stick with the diet sheet and gradually introduce new food, the pup’s stomach will be very sensitive at this time in their life. Always use a diet suitable to your dog’s size and breed – we always recommend a vet’s opinion as this is the most important stage of your dog’s life. Several small meals are better than one or two large meals – always make sure fresh water is avliable with any meal.
Vaccinations and worming
It is very important to ensure your puppy is wormed and vaccinated. If your puppy isn’t already wormed and vaccinated you will need to do this ASAP. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PUPPY OUT YOUR PROPERTY BOUNDARIES UNTIL THIS IS COMPLETE. It has never been more important to vaccinate your dog or puppy; there are currently lots of nasty diseases around. Puppies are very susceptible to catching illnesses, some of the viruses that your vaccination will protect against are listed below:-
· Canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV2, colloquioally parvo) is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. The disease is highly infectious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. It can be especially severe in puppies that are not protected by maternal antibodies or vaccination.
· Canine Parainfluenza Virus This virus is an important component of `kennel cough’, a highly infectious upper respiratory tract infection of dogs which causes a dry hacking cough.
· Infectious Bronchitis – otherwise known as ‘Kennel Cough’, is a very contagious disease of the respiratory system, which affects dogs of all ages. The disease is caused by a mixture of viruses and bacteria, which pass easily from dog to dog as a droplet infection, wherever dogs congregate – in boarding kennels, dog shows, training classes, or simply out on walks.
· Leptospirosis this disease is caused by bacteria from the family Leptospira. Two types of disease are seen but both can be protected against. The first is passed on in watercourses from the urine of infected rats and this strain can also affect humans. The second is caught from the urine of infected dogs. Whilst antibiotics can help to treat Leptospirosis, cases can often be fatal or cause lifelong damage to the kidneys.
This is one of the first and most important parts of your new dogs training schedule. Try to let your new puppy out as often as possible and reward them if they do their business. Try not to tell them off and shout if they do go in the wrong place i.e. your house. This results in the dog thinking that if they do their business it’s bad. If the dog looks like they’re going to go, quickly take them outside – they will soon associate going outside with doing their business.
Puppies need to chew, its natural – the key is, for it to be a chew toy, not your best pair of shoes or the skirting board. Give your puppy a plentiful supply of chew toys, rawhide’s and treats, that should keep them entertained and away from your valuables.
Exercising your puppy
Exercise will soon be your new puppy’s favourite activity, it is a great way for them to keep fit and explore the outside world. It is important to regularly walk your dog to keep it healthy. When puppies are young it is a good idea to do 2-3 small short walks per day (puppies only have small legs so a small walk to us is a marathon to them), as the dog grows you can increase these walks in distance. Stamina normally builds up at around 9 months. We recommend a short lead, where the owner is in full control all the time.
At www.thedogdirectory.co.uk we strongly recommended having a good level of pet insurance, policies start from as little as £5/month and are well worth it. We have heard stories of some injuries and illnesses costing thousands of pounds at vetenary surgeries. Could you afford to lose/or not be able to treat your best friend for this small sum?
This article is just a guide; we recommend you seek veterinary advice about the care of any new dog or puppy.