Congratulations on your new furry family member! Whether this is your first puppy or you’ve done this before, caring for a puppy includes helping your pet adjust to family life and establishing a foundation of care for a long and healthy life.
Vaccinations protect your pets from serious infections and diseases as well as promote wellness throughout the pet community by avoiding dangerous outbreaks. Essential vaccines cover the most prevalent and highly-infectious conditions. Lifestyle vaccines are not required but highly recommended depending on your pet’s lifestyle.
- Distemper – highly-infectious virus that affects respiratory, gastrointestinal system and central nervous system.
- Parvovirus – disease of the gastrointestinal tract
- Bordetella – bacteria contributing to inflammation of the upper respiratory system; known as “kennel cough”
- Leptospirosis – bacterial disease affecting liver, kidneys and other organs
- Rabies – acute viral disease of the nervous system transmitted by the bite of an infected animal
- Lyme disease – bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected tick
- Canine influenza – highly contagious virus affecting the upper respiratory system
Talk to your veterinarian about which vaccinations are right for your pet, when they should be given, and why quality vaccinations make a difference in protection.
CARING FOR A PUPPY: NUTRITION & EXERCISE
Nutrition is an important component for the healthy development of your puppy and overall wellness during the dog’s life. Good nutrition and exercise are essential. Obesity can result in medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and arthritis which can shorten the lifespan of your dog.
Choose a high-quality food formulated for puppies to promote healthy growth and development. Ask your veterinarian about the brand and type of food recommended for your puppy.
Nutritional needs change during your pet’s life due to growth and development, the aging process, and management of various medical conditions. The breed, size, energy level and environment of your pet are also factors in determining proper nutritional needs such as calorie intake and frequency of feeding.
“There is an obesity crisis in adult pets, with excessive calorie intake being one facet of problem. Proper nutrition and annual exams are vital in preventing obesity and managing medical conditions. Food quality and nutrient content influence weight gain. Some pet foods are loaded with cheaper carbohydrates. Lower quality carbs are no better for our pets than they are for us. This is why consideration of proper nutrition and offering quality foods to your dog, as early as possible, is important,” said Dr. Laura Weis.
CARING FOR A PUPPY: SPAY/NEUTER
Spaying or neutering your pet can be the difference between life and death. Spaying or neutering is a simple, low-cost procedure that can improve the health and longevity of your pet and decrease the overall cost of care. It also prevents overpopulation of stray/unwanted animals in a community.
For female dogs, spaying:
- Significantly reduces the development of malignant mammary gland tumors if spayed before the first heat cycle
- Eliminates uterine cancer, growths, or life-threatening infections that can develop in an intact female
- Avoids the mess and unwanted behaviors associated with twice-yearly heat cycles
For male dogs, neutering:
- Eliminates testicular cancer and prostate problems
- Improves behavior
- Reduces the desire to roam searching for a mate and unwanted sexual behaviors
CARING FOR A PUPPY: SOCIALIZATION & TRAINING
After adopting a puppy, training should start as soon as you arrive home! Read all about the importance of socialization and training in our sister blog post by Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center.