A Healthy Puppy is a happy family
A few tips to help keep your puppy healthy and to ensure those first months are filled with playful days and peaceful nights:
- Feed the best quality puppy food you can afford. Know the difference between large breed and normal puppy food.
- Have fixed meal times and not a free for all regime.
- Never give your puppy (or kitten) milk, always only give them water and always have fresh water available for them.
- Ensure your pup receives three sets of vaccines in the first four months of life together with rabies vaccine.
- Give a broad spectrum de-worming remedy as often as prescribed by your vet.
- Socialise your pup with other pets and children in the first 16 weeks of life but wait with public appearances until after the second vaccination to give time for immunity to develop.
- Start with basic discipline at home and enrol in formal training classes when 6 months old or when recommended by your vet.
- Use an age appropriate flea and tick treatment to keep your pup free from external parasites.
- Address problem behaviour with the help of your vet and a behaviourist as soon as it develops – do not think she will outgrow the snappy phase.
- Several skeletal abnormalities like hip and elbow dysplasia may start showing symptoms in the first year of life, do not delay in seeking veterinary help if your pup is limping.
- Puppies are at risk of dehydrating quickly. If your pup shows repeated vomiting/diarrhoea or refuses to eat or drink do not delay getting veterinary help.
- Spaying and neutering have medical and behavioural advantages – discuss this with your vet during the first visits. Spaying before the first heat cycle decreases the risk for developing breast cancer later in life by almost 100%. But watch her weight – sterilisation decreases the metabolic rate up to 33 % and if weight gain is not managed they will be at increased risk for obesity.
- Never leave small puppies with adult dogs without supervision. Rough playing can result in serious injury.
- To prepare for unforeseen medical expenses consider a good medical aid from the age of 8 weeks.