Exciting times require preparation and, hopefully, these tips will help you!
Table Of Contents
- Exciting times require preparation and, hopefully, these tips will help you!
- 1. Is The Puppy Breed Right For You?
- 2. Don’t Overfeed Your New Puppy.
- 3. Give Your Puppy The Right Food
- 4. How to Keep a Puppy Healthy.
- 5. Training Your Puppy-Start As You Mean To Go On!
- 6. Parasite Control
- 7. Keeping Your Puppies Teeth Clean
- 8. Exercising Your Puppy.
- 9. Your Puppies Mental Health
- And it definitely does lead to bad behavior, and you’re not going to have a happy dog if they’re bored.
You’ve brought your new cute bundle of fluff home and your very next question is how to keep a puppy healthy so that they grow into a fit happy adult dog.
Well, taking these nine puppy care steps will help prevent the most common diseases, protect them from harm, as well as keeping your puppy mentally stimulated and happy.
And I’m going to jump straight into my puppy care steps to keep your puppy as healthy as possible while they’re young, but also as well when they grow up into adult senior dogs.
1. Is The Puppy Breed Right For You?
And step number one is very simple to start off with a healthy puppy in the first place and also a puppy of a breed that’s right for you.
So it’s really important that you research the right breed.
Do they have the right energy levels?
Are they the right size?
Do they have the right temperament to suit your lifestyle?
This is really important because mental problems behavioral problems are real issues especially earlier on in life and You know if you’ve got the wrong breed, and that’s more likely.
So that’s one thing.
But also you need to know the health problems that your new puppy is likely to face so that you can be prepared to monitor them to watch out for them and to take action when needed.
And then when it comes to actually buying that puppy, and researching where you’re going to get it from, you want to get it from a reputable breeder or a reliable source.
You want to visit the puppy when they’re young when you can see them with their mother. And you also ideally want them to have a vet check before you purchase them or soon after, just so that you know from the very outset that you’ve got to help the puppy.
2. Don’t Overfeed Your New Puppy.
So obesity is a massive problem. It can reduce life expectancy by up to two years and that’s with a dog being overweight, not even obese. And it also makes diseases like arthritis and kidney disease more likely in old age.
So obesity has a massive impact on reducing the quantity of life but also reducing the quality of life and overall body health.
So what can we do about this?
Well, we should know how to condition score your dog so that you can tell, are they a healthy weight?
Or are they overweight?
Or are they obese, also know how much you should be feeding that can be found often on the side of the feeding packet, although they do tend to overestimate the amount of feed in my, in my experience, and then you know, when you couple that with what that ideal weight is, you can also ask your vet team if you’re not sure about any of these things, you know, talk to them, what should the ideal weight be?
What, what should you be feeding them and how much should you be feeding them of that diet.
3. Give Your Puppy The Right Food
And so that brings me on to Step Three, which is to feed a high-quality appropriate diet.
So we want to complete and balanced puppy diet appropriate to your dog side. So small breeds are those that are less than 10 kilos or 22 pounds when they become adults.
So it’s all about adult weight here.
Large breeds are those that are over 25 kilos or 55 pounds when they’re adults.
And this is really important because for large breed dogs, especially if they do grow too quickly, then we’re more likely to get bone problems.
Problems with joints, which can cause a massive impact on their comfort levels and their quality of life later on in life as they get older.
The other thing we want to think about is maybe avoiding boutique diets with peculiar ingredients.
We’ve seen problems here when it comes to the grain-free diets causing heart failure concern that has been going on for the last 18 months.
The other thing to think about is that if you are thinking of raw feeding your dog, then you also need to check out my complete guide to raw versus kibble diets for dogs.
4. How to Keep a Puppy Healthy.
Vaccinate your puppy so parvovirus distemper in infectious hepatitis, there are core vaccines that all puppy killers and dog killers, and they are present worldwide.
So every puppy should be vaccinated.
We start this at six to eight weeks depending on a puppy situation and their lifestyle, that kind of thing.
And then we have three vaccines that and about 16 weeks of age, we also have vaccinations against rabies, leptospirosis limes kennel cough, or canine cough as well.
And these ones are more dependent on the region. So the area you are in the world, but also the lifestyle risks of your puppy socialization and training is number five.
5. Training Your Puppy-Start As You Mean To Go On!
And the reason this is that behavioral problem as I’ve already touched on, they’re one of the leading causes of euthanasia, and rehoming and young dogs and dogs less than three years of age socialization in that first 16 to 20 weeks of a dog’s life of a Puppy’s life is absolutely essential.
It helps prevent phobias. It helps dogs cope with strange situations later on in life, it helps reduce the likelihood of other behavioral problems.
So socialization is really vital. Training is also important you need to work on stay work on your recall, that’s a really big one for safety when your dog’s out.
Having a really reliable recall is very important.
Also, you want to get your puppy used to be examined, so having their mouth open, having their ears looked in having their legs poked and played with having their coat examined just so that when they go to the vet and they’re examined, it’s not scary, but also that allow you to look at them if they’ve got a wound if you’re checking them for ticks for any kind of things.
So, socialization and training are really important.
6. Parasite Control
And then at number six, we have parasite control. So intestinal worms, fleas, ticks, heartworm, they’re all problems in all ages of dogs.
But puppies, they are much more sensitive to parasites, partly because they’re smaller, but it also takes fewer to cause problems.
So I’ve actually seen puppies become anemic and die from really severe flea infestations, and lots of worms can cause intestinal obstruction.
Now ticks and Lyme disease are another problem.
That’s various other tick-borne diseases, heartworm might be a big problem, and that’s a killer as well. So we definitely want to make sure that our puppies aren’t carrying parasites that can really cause problems in their life.
7. Keeping Your Puppies Teeth Clean
The seventh way to keep a puppy healthy is to think about dental care.
So dental disease, it’s one of the biggest contributors to reducing a dog’s welfare is very, very common.
80% of dogs will have some dental disease by the time they get To the age of three.
So really, while your dog is a puppy, the best thing we can do is start brushing their teeth.
So obviously they’ve got baby teeth, they will fall out. But if we’re getting them used to the brush at an early age, they’re much, much more likely to accept it, they’re going to just accept that that’s part of daily life, they need to sit there for having their toothbrush.
It’s also a good bonding experience as well. There are other things that we can do like choose gels, different diets, but really toothbrushing is the best thing.
And so while your dog is a puppy, really get started on teeth cleaning is a must.
8. Exercising Your Puppy.
Following on from our recent article about Exercise, this is a vital aspect of caring for your puppy.
So as a rule of thumb, you really want to be exercising your dog for about five minutes for every month of life, twice a day, certainly while they’re a puppy.
Regular is better than being the weekend warrior. So you want that to be a regular everyday thing.
There’s nothing worse than a puppy or a dog who’s sitting in the house, getting bored not doing any activity in the week, but then at the weekends, they go and make up for that by doing a 10 kilometer run next to the bike.
So, you know, we really want to avoid that regular and frequent is much better.
So that rule of thumb for five minutes for every month of life really is a rough rule of thumb, some puppies will be able to do a lot more, some won’t be able to manage that.
And puppies will often self regulate, as long as they’re not being overstimulated to exercise.
So if you’re kind of really getting them wound up, you’re really getting them excited, you’re throwing the ball for them, and you just keep going or you’re running and they’re running next to you, then they’re just going to keep going until they drop.
But if we just let them go at their own pace, then they are going to self regulate, and they will, you know, stop running, they’ll stop walking their walk next to you, or they’ll just lie down and wait for you.
So you know, exercise is really important not just for fitness, but also for mental stimulation because they’re going to get lots of stimulation while they’re out.
And they’re also going to be much happier when they’re back home kind of left to their own devices because they’re going to be tired, they’re going to be happier sleeping, or they’re not going to have so much energy to burn off.
So it’s also important from a mental stimulation point of view as well.
9. Your Puppies Mental Health
So boredom and a lack of stimulation, they’re very common, especially if you’re going to be out of the house at work all day or your dogs going to be left by themselves all day, especially if you’re not exercising them as well.
And really, boredom can lead to pent up energy, it can lead to destructive behavior, and other problem behaviors.
So, to tackle this, you know, consider actually not feeding your puppy in a food bowl, consider using activity toys, coms, treat balls, that kind of thing. licky pads, sticky mat, snuffle mats, all things that just cause your dog to have to think to use their brain and to take up more of that time as well.
But, you know, boredom is a really common problem that I see.
One great way of keeping your dog entertained and their mind active is to undertake this brilliantly simple training package. Brain Training For Dogs is one of the very best systems I have used. Check it out below.
So those are my nine steps for how to keep a puppy healthy.
You know, let me know what you think.
Let me know which ones you’re doing and drop us an email to let us know how these tips are working put for you.