National Puppy Day is March 23rd, and spring is a time when many of us welcome adorable new companions into our lives - hopefully for many years to come. If you are considering adopting a puppy, there are many things you can do to ensure that they live a long, happy, healthy life with you. Here are our five best puppy care tips:
Start Training Early
You may think that puppies can’t be trained until they are at least six months old, but that is a myth. If you focus on positive reinforcement methods, your puppy can begin training at any age, and starting early has benefits: the sooner you start training sessions, the faster your puppy will learn.
Create a Regular Exercise Schedule
You don’t need to work on complex agility programs or invest in doggy day care to ensure that your puppy gets enough exercise. The simple activity of walking is often enough, and walking with your dog offers numerous physical and mental benefits to both of you! With enough exercise, your puppy will be healthy, relaxed, and much less destructive at home. Walking together also helps you and your new puppy bond, and offers a great opportunity to socialize them with other people and animals.
Keep them at an Optimal Weight
A chubby puppy may be cute, but being overweight can cause a lot of problems for adult dogs. Excess weight can make common conditions like arthritis worse, and increases their risk for serious problems like diabetes. Choose the right food (and the right amount) to feed your puppy, and make sure they are getting the exercise they need to maintain an optimal weight for their breed and size.
Partner with the Right Veterinarian
A great veterinarian can guide you through the different types of care your puppy will need throughout their life, from early vaccinations to more frequent check-ups in their senior years. Take the time to pick a vet who has the expertise and facilities needed to help your and your puppy throughout their lifetime. Don’t forget to consider factors like location, hours, and even the personalities of the office staff when you are making your choice.
Take Care of their Teeth
Don’t wait until your senior pet is suffering from serious dental disease - make dental care a priority from day one. Getting your puppy used to dental exams at the vet and tooth brushing at home can ensure that their teeth and gums stay healthy.
In between all of the snuggles and play sessions, make sure that you are establishing good habits with your new puppy’s overall care. Planning today will ensure that your puppy grows into a wonderful dog tomorrow.