License and IDs
Owning a puppy is a huge responsibility, and one of the most important responsibilities is registering your dog with the state or local government. It’s extremely important that you get a name tag and license for your puppy, and possibly even microchip to prevent them from getting lost or stolen. Some states even require the license for your pup. These licenses usually entail that your puppy has been spayed or neutered and is up to date on vaccines, and can be as little as $10. Don't forget to always have your dog wear their collar when outdoors.
Health is crucial
During the first six months with your new puppy, you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the vet. Your puppy needs vaccines including the rabies vaccine, usually given at 12 weeks old. There are a lot of other shots and medicines that can be given to your puppy for disease prevention, depending on the breed and what the puppy does or does not have. Fleas, ticks, and sometimes parasites are often common, and your vet will administer treatment and preventive medicine. Specific breeds have specific needs, so the more you research about your puppy before you get one, the better. Some breeds like King Charles Spaniels are more prone to heart disease, while Shelties are prone to joint and hip problems. The more you know about your breed beforehand, the more educated you’ll be on their potential health needs. It’s crucial that you pick a good vet and make sure you can afford all the expenses to keep your pup healthy.
Your puppy needs the right food
Just like children, your puppy needs a properly balanced diet with a lot of nutrients for healthy growth and development. Expect to feed your puppy at least three times a day in the first three months, until you switch to twice a day at six months. Most top-brand foods are packed with high-quality ingredients and sourced from better places for specialized diets, leading to overall better growth and development. We recommend this food. In your puppy’s first year, it’s important not to feed it human food, as some foods are toxic and could stagger their development as they get used to digesting food. Inconsistencies in their food can lead to poor nourishment and growth.
Socialization is very important for your puppy, especially in the first 4-14 weeks of its life. This is the time to take your puppy to parks, stores, and on regular outings besides walks. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your new adorable companion! Keeping them entertained will also keep them out of trouble, so make sure you put in a lot of play time and invest in some good toys. While playtime and socialization is important, make sure you don’t over exercise your puppy, as their bones and joints will still be developing.
When bringing home your puppy, you’ll need to puppy-proof the house. This includes tucking away wires, electrical cords, using gates to block off sections of the house with fragile items, and even putting away certain items like rugs and a nice pair of shoes. Puppies are infamous for chewing up anything in sight! Another challenge will be potty-training. The last thing you want is a soiled carpet, so make sure you take your puppy out frequently to teach them to use the bathroom outside. The best time for a bathroom break will be in the morning, right after meals, and about an hour in between. Puppy school is a great way to speed up the training for your beloved puppy, to get them socialized, and also teach them obedience. Training takes a lot of patience and consistency, but with love and effort, all the time spent is well worth a well-behaved puppy.