While settling your puppy into your home could be a bit daunting, it’s certainly worth every bit of your time or money. They can bring tons of affection and joy to your life, so it’s only fitting you provide them with the same. Aside from giving them your companionship and love, you should also take measures to keep your puppy safe and healthy. Unfortunately, puppies are pretty vulnerable to diseases and accidents, so it might be more challenging than you may think.
If you’re struggling with fulfilling this particular responsibility, this guide could help. From puppy proofing to grooming, the following tips would keep your new puppy healthy and safe.
Table of Contents
1. Puppy Proof Your House
There are countless objects in your house that may be inherently hazardous to pets. Chemicals, knives, ovens, stove—these are just a few examples. For that reason, you must make sure your new puppy would be safe inside your home, and what better way to do that than by puppy proofing your house. Below are a few pointers to get you started:
- Take away electric cords. Puppies are curious little things. If they happen to find an unfamiliar object, such as an electric cord, they’d undoubtedly explore it with their mouth.
- Install gates on your stairs. Falling down the stairs isn’t so uncommon for puppies. Since it may lead to a severe injury, it’s best to block your stairs with a gate of some sort.
- Stash away human food. Various human food could be poisonous for dogs, especially puppies. It’s mainly because they contain numerous ingredients and chemicals that could be harmful when ingested. As such, make sure you stash away your food in places unreachable for your pet.
- Keep your medications in a safe place. Medications could be poisonous to pets if ingested incorrectly. They may even be fatal in case of overdose. So it’s essential to keep medications away from your new pup.
- Block your backyard with a fence. Letting your pet run around in your background is an excellent activity. But before you let your puppy out of your house, you should first ensure there are fences blocking the way out of the backyard. These fences should also have no weak spots or small gaps that your puppy can break or wriggle out of.
2. Consider Microchipping
For years, microchipping has been one of the hottest trends in the pet industry. It’s a procedure where you insert a microchip on your pet’s collar and get them to wear it. With this microchip, you could track your pet whenever they get lost. This could be quite a handy feature if your house doesn’t have a fence around the vicinity or if your puppy likes to get to narrow spaces you normally don’t look at.
This and the previous tip should do well in ensuring your pup is safe at all times. Next is how to keep them healthy.
3. Feed Your Puppy Right
When it comes to keeping a pet healthy, proper nutrition would be at the top of the list, especially for puppies, since they’re still developing. But what should you feed your new pup?
You can give them milk—one that contains the same nutrients as those in the milk coming from female dogs. When they reach six weeks old, you can stop providing them mummy milk. Until then, they should only stick to milk as they won’t be able to digest solid food until they’re four weeks old. But at that point, they’d need many calories, even more so than an adult dog.
On that note, here’s a list of food that should be excellent for pups:
- Cooked or raw vegetables (e.g., broccoli, asparagus, carrots)
- Meat (e.g., chicken, beef, turkey)
- Bread and other starchy food (e.g., potatoes and rice)
You should feed them three times a day during their early days, typically until they’re six months old. It’s mainly because puppies usually require twice as many calories as needed by an adult of the same breed. So, for instance, if an adult Labrador retriever needs 350 calories a day, a Labrador puppy would require around 700 calories.
After that, feeding them twice a day should be sufficient. If you’re unsure what and how to feed your puppy, you can always ask your veterinarian for tips.
4. Get Your Puppy Vaccinated
It’s also crucial to get your puppy vaccinated to ensure they don’t catch any serious yet preventable diseases. Since there are vaccination clinics that provide shots for free or for a low price, you should be able to do this without much trouble. Below are examples of shots your puppy would need:
- Rabies shots: Taking a rabies shot should be one of your priorities when getting a puppy. This not only ensures you won’t get rabies when you’re accidentally bitten by your pup, but it also immunizes your dog, so it’s a win-win for you both.
- DHPP shots: Although not as familiar as rabies shots are, DHPP shots, also known as ‘distemper shots,’ are excellent vaccines for pups. This vaccine protects dogs from four different conditions: distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parainfluenza, and parvovirus, hence the name.
5. Take Your Puppy To Checkups
While vaccination certainly is an excellent way to ensure puppies don’t catch illnesses, it’s not guaranteed your pup would be sick-free from infancy to adulthood. For that reason, it’s still a good idea to take your puppy to the veterinarian regularly so they can keep you up to date with your pup’s condition. Who knows, your puppy may have an unknown condition or an allergy that can prove fatal to their health.
6. Groom Your Puppy Regularly
Aside from making your puppy look better, grooming is also an excellent way to maintain your pet’s hygiene. In grooming your furry friend, you could avoid serious issues that may arise from poor hygiene. Here are examples:
- Infections could result from improper ear, nail, and eye hygiene.
- Constant pain could be caused by the accumulation of dirt in the pup’s nails.
- Dental disorders may result from poor oral hygiene.
- Injuries may happen when dogs have dry skin, which may result if your pet is left unbathed for days.
- Ingrown nails, which could be painful, may be acquired if you fail to trim your puppy’s nails.
7. Take Your Puppy Out For An Exercise
Ensure your puppy gets enough exercise every day. Not only does it keep your pup limber and healthy, but it could also reduce behavioral problems, like excessive barking, digging, chewing, and licking. Also, it would allow your puppy to explore your house or neighborhood, which could essentially build up their trust in you and their environment. This could go a long way in making sure your puppy would grow to be a happy and healthy dog.
When taking your puppy out for a walk or exercise, the time should be proportionate to their age. To be precise, take your puppy for 5 minutes for every month of age. So if your pup is three months old, it’s best to get them to exercise for 15 minutes a day.
Keeping a puppy safe and healthy could be baffling, but the payoff is most certainly worth it. You get to have a companion for a huge part of your life. Of course, aside from keeping them safe and healthy, you also have to deal with numerous other problems. But with these tips, you should be able to secure a healthy and safe life for your pup just fine.