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Caring for a Puppy

When you decide to get a puppy, it can be a wonderful, fun and exciting experience. However, caring for a puppy is a large responsibility and it is essential you put in the time and effort to give them the best start in life. 

Preparing to bring a puppy home

Getting a puppy should not be an impulsive decision. You need to think about how it will affect your life and make adjustments where necessary. Research different dog breeds to find which will best suit your family and lifestyle. You will need to consider factors such as whether you prefer an indoor or outdoor dog, grooming and maintenance, the size of your home and yard, if it’s securely enclosed, exercise and so on. Generally larger dogs require more activity and attention so before you commit, make sure that you can fit your dog’s exercise into your daily routine.

Desexing

If you are not planning to intentionally breed your dog, it is essential to do the responsible thing and arrange to have your puppy desexed with a local vet. Too often unplanned pets become neglected and end up in shelters or are abandoned altogether. Your puppy can be desexed from the age of 8 weeks with a straightforward operation and quick recovery. Desexing can also have a positive impact on health and behaviour of pets.

Vaccinations

Puppies are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases, some of which can be fatal so it is important to bring your puppy to the vet to arrange their vaccinations and worming. Keep in mind that many boarding facilities won’t accept pets that have not been vaccinated. It is also recommended to bring your pet in for annual check-ups to monitor their nutrition, weight, dental care and overall well-being.

Microchipping & Registration

Mircochip your puppy to stop them from getting lost, no matter how far they wander. Microchipping is a permanent form of identification and is a legal requirement for owning a pet. The process is very quick and easy as your vet inserts the tiny microchip between the shoulder blades of your puppy. You then register your details with the council so if your pet if found, they can get in contact with you. Be sure to keep your details current.

Puppy Training

Puppy training should start as soon as you arrive home, and introduced in a gentle, brief and fun manner. When puppy training, make sure that everyone in the house uses the same commands and you will need to be patient with obedience training. Training and socialisation is important for your puppy as it provides mental stimulation, interaction with you and others and new experiences. The most important aspect of puppy training is to keep it consistent and base all training on positive reinforcement rather than punishment.

As part of puppy training, daily walks and plenty of different toys are essential for your puppy’s socialisation and development. The best way to begin socialising and training your pet is to take them to puppy school classes.

Diet

When you first bring your puppy home, it is a good idea if possible to continue feeding them the same food as they were getting from the previous owners, then slowly introduce other food to make the transition smoother. The most convenient way to feed a balanced diet to your pup is by using a combination of ‘puppy’ tinned/semi-moist and dry foods. Good quality foods generally contain all the necessary nutrients for a growing pup.

Before you become a pet owner, make sure you are aware of all the responsibilities and can fully commit to ensure them the best care. If you have any further questions about caring for a puppy, please give us a call on 02 9476 3307.