Are you thinking about buying a puppy? Then first read our blog about the things you need to know about getting a puppy! In this blog, we will help you to see if you are well prepared to buy and raise a healthy and happy puppy.
Is Your House Puppy Proof?
Do You Have A License For Your Puppy?
Most states have some version of leash laws and license laws. Check with your local authorities for what you need in order to legally keep your puppy. Most dog licenses are reasonably priced, need to be renewed annually, and come with a tag that should be on your dog’s collar at all times. In many counties, the cost of the license goes back to the local animal shelter, so your money helps provide homes and services for other pets in need.
Do You Have An ID For Your Puppy?
One of the first purchases for your new puppy should be a Personalized well-fitted collar and leash with a tag that includes their name and your contact information. And a permanent microchip is also a great investment. The chip is coded with a unique number that is linked to your puppy’s name and your contact information and gives lost dogs a far greater chance of being returned home.
The microchip gets inserted with a needle under your puppy’s skin between their shoulder blades and can be read by a special scanner so that veterinarians and animal shelters across the U.S. can scan stray animals that are brought in.
Do you know your puppy needs to get vaccines by law?
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your veterinarian, at least for the first six months of your puppy’s life. So take time picking your vet; find someone you (and your puppy) happy with.
The legal minimum for puppy vaccine requirements in most states is a rabies vaccine, usually given at 12 weeks old. This also comes with a rabies tag (for your puppy’s collar) and a certificate for your records. After the first year, your dog will need a booster every three years.
But there are lots of other (easily preventable) contagious diseases, like parvovirus, distemper, influenza, and kennel cough, that are deadly for your pup, and they should be vaccinated for those too. Most puppies can get their first set of shots around six to eight weeks of age and will need boosters every three weeks until 16 weeks. Talk to your veterinarian about which vaccines are right for your pet.
Do You Have Time To Give Your Puppy A Social Life?
Not to psych you out, but you can really influence your puppy’s emotional development at a young age. The period roughly between three to 12 weeks of age is called a puppy’s socialization period. This is the time to show your puppy the world — take them into stores, to parks, for car rides, and let them meet other dogs and people. Also, this is a great excuse to host one of the cutest things in the world: a puppy party.
Puppy socialization classes are helpful for making sure your puppy is getting the right kind of (controlled) pup-on-pup interaction. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, generally, puppies can start socialization classes at as early as seven to eight weeks old. To make sure they don’t catch anything from their new friends, your pet should have had at least one set of vaccination boosters seven days before the first class.
Keeping your puppy entertained will keep them out of trouble.
It’s probably an amendment to Dogs Law that a bored puppy will cause destruction. Of course, they don’t mean to destroy, but since their means of exploring the universe are to taste everything, this may involve chewing on your couch or your mother-in-law’s vintage leather handbag. Therefore, keep your puppy busy. This includes lots of outside exercises as well as providing the right toys. Sturdy chew toys like an Indestructible Toy or a thick rope are great for busy puppy mouths.
it’s important not to give your puppy too MUCH exercise.
For some larger breeds, it can take up to a year of age before their joints and bones are fully developed. So take into account your pup’s breed and size, and don’t force them on long hikes, jogs, or agility training until they’re at least a year old. Relaxed, natural movement and play outside, however, is fine at any age.
Patience and consistency are the keys to puppy-training.
One of the biggest challenges of owning a puppy is training them not to use your kitchen rug as their latrine. Routine trips outside are key to help them form the connection that outdoors is the right place to relieve themselves. Key times to take the puppy outside for a bathroom break are right after meals, in the morning, and right before bed. And about 45 times in between.
In all seriousness, every two hours for the first few weeks is a good guideline. Obviously, the time between breaks will increase as your puppy gets older, their bladder gets bigger, and they start to learn how to let you know when they need to go.
It’s important for your puppy to get the right food — and to eat often enough.
Puppies grow fast. And just like children, they need properly balanced nutrients in order to foster healthy growth and development. Most brand-name commercial puppy foods are solid choices. A general rule of thumb is to feed your puppy three meals a day until three months old. Between three and six months, you can decrease meals to twice daily.
And while you’re sure to be giving treats to your little one frequently (because you’re training, right?), make sure the treats are very small amounts of food and are safe for your puppy. Feeding human food and table scraps is a habit that’s better never started. If you start giving your puppy treats from the table when they’re little, it’s very hard to discourage a full-grown dog from begging at every meal.
Your puppy should go to school.
Puppy training classes are designed for puppies around eight to twelve weeks old, and allow them to socialize and begin learning basic commands like “sit” and “down,” and to walk on a leash. Puppy classes are great for owners, too, since you’ll be the one interacting with your pet. These classes help both pet and owner learn basic commands and consistency with training.
Ask your vet for recommendations for a good local puppy class; some clinics even hold their own. If you find a class on your own, ask for references before signing up.