Taking care of a puppy is a joyous, enlightening, and truly rewarding experience. Within just a short time together, your new pet will become your strongest defender, favorite cuddly toy, and best companion. Just like people, animals must adopt healthy habits to live long and happy lives. Since your pet can’t do this for themselves, it’s up to you to take care of them. Dogs benefit our lives in many ways, so it’s only fair we repay the favor by ensuring theirs are the best they can be. With that in mind, here are thirteen essential tips you must know to keep your puppy healthy.
- Feed A Balanced Diet
Feeding your furry friend the right type and amount of food will help them to maintain a healthy weight. This is one of the very best ways to prevent obesity and therefore extend their lifespan. Good nutrition will also aid in digestion, increase immunity, and promote heart health. If you’re unsure which food to give your puppy, then speak to your vet. Whatever type you pick, make sure you feed the right amount for their weight. You must also wash out their bowl each day.
- Walk Together Every Day
While different breeds require different levels of activity, all puppies need exercise. This is especially important during growth and when your furry friend is going through adolescence. For this reason, you must make sure that you take your pet for daily walks. If harsh weather stops you from going out, then find activities to do inside instead. Gage what types of activities your puppy enjoys by trying out a few different ones and seeing how they react.
- Leave Out Fresh Water
Regardless of the situation, your dog must always have access to fresh water. When at home, you should leave out a bowl for them, but you must take drinks out and about with you too. While some pet parents carry a bottle of water and a collapsible bowl for ease, there are other options you could try. Dogs will try to drink any water they have access to, even when it isn’t clean. Therefore, if you’re visiting a pond or lake, for example, you must try to deter them from doing so.
- Teach Them New Tricks
All dogs need training, and it’s best to start this in their youngest years. This provides mental stimulation, which is crucial in keeping your dog happy, but it will also enhance the relationship you share. Having a dog that listens to your commands could save their life one day too. Continued teaching is the key to long term success, so don’t quit your training sessions when your puppy reaches a certain age. Instead, teach them new tricks, while you go over old lessons.
- Attend Regular Vet Checks
Every pet parent knows they should take their dog to the vet when they’re sick. However, it’s vital that you do so even when yours isn’t. Attending a pet clinic will provide your furry friend with all of the vaccinations they need to fight off common health problems. You must also schedule regular check-ups, which allow your vet to monitor your dog’s health. Without these checks, a health issue could develop and get worse for some time before it is noticed and can be treated.
- Invest In Pet Insurance
Although you will surely do your best to keep your puppy healthy, there is still a chance they could become sick or injured. If this were to happen, the treatments required to help your dog could be costly. Because of this, you must invest in pet insurance. Failing to do this means that you may not be able to cover treatment expenses, which would leave your furry friend suffering. This is a relatively small cost in comparison to the benefit it provides and the stress it can save you from.
- Pet-Proof The House
Most houses aren’t safe for a puppy before they arrive. Exposed wires could cause shocks, loose carpeting could cause falls, and open chemicals could cause poisoning. Rather than expect your furry friend to navigate these risks, you must pet-proof your home. Make sure that all toxic substances are locked away and that flooring, wires, furniture, and all else is secure. It can take some time to make your home safe for an animal, but the effort is more than worth it.
- Switch Up The Toys
As you work to make your home safer, you will likely add dog-friendly extras, like beds, bowls, and toys. Rather than give your pet all of their toys at once, you should lay out a small selection. This allows you to switch up their options now and then. Animals get bored just like we do, but if you keep changing which toys your pet has available to them, they will continue to find them exciting. This will also provide mental stimulation, which is essential in keeping them happy.
- Find Them New Friends
Dogs are pack animals by nature. They need to socialize, or they won’t ever be truly happy. Although your pet surely loves spending time with you, they need to have fun with their own kind too. For this reason, you should visit a local park to see if there are any other dogs looking for a playmate. You may also want to take your furry friend to puppy parties or doggy daycare. This gives them the opportunity to meet and interact with lots of other dogs at the same time.
- Get Your Pet Fixed
Unless you plan to breed your pet, it makes sense to get them fixed as soon as possible. There are many benefits to having this procedure done, including preventing certain diseases and cancers. Neutering will also reduce aggressive behavior in males, which is crucial if you have other pets or young children in the house. For females, spaying prevents them from going into heat, which will reduce the behaviors associated with doing so, like spraying and yowling.
- Look After Their Teeth
Stinky dog breath isn’t pleasant, especially when your pet loves to give you puppy kisses. The good news is, you don’t have to put up with it. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help to prevent the nasty smell, as well as many oral diseases and other dental problems. However, you must make sure that you use the right toothpaste. Human toothpaste is toxic to dogs, but there are products for canines. Giving your pet chew toys and chewy treats will also protect their teeth.
- Keep Their Coat Clean
Grooming is much more important than just mere appearance. By regularly trimming, brushing, and washing your pet, you can keep an eye on changes to their skin and fur. For this reason, it’s vital for every breed of dog and type of coat. This is also an ideal time to check for any lumps and bumps. Many people hire groomers to clean their pets, but you don’t always have to. As long as you have the correct tools, there’s no reason why you can’t groom the dog yourself at home.
- Spend Quality Time Together
Keeping your puppy healthy requires more than exercise and nutritious food. Your furry friend must also know that you love it, which you can only show if you spend quality time together. This means taking daily walks, playing in the yard, and cuddling in front of the television. Pets are a part of the family, so make sure you treat yours as one. Even if you can’t spend all of your time together, you must make sure that the time you do have is special for both of you.
With the advice above, you can ensure that your puppy stays happy and healthy.