New Puppy Ownership

Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibility.  Think of it as getting a new car. After you get it home, you are excited to show them off and take them out, but maintaining them is SO important.  Totally understandable, but here are a few things that many people forget that come with having a dog:

When taking your puppy out, there are some things to keep in mind in order to be a responsible owner.

  1. Tick and flea protection
  2. De–worming, and vaccinations
  3. Pet Insurance
  4. Quality dog food
  5. Puppy/Dog training
  6. Exercise
  7. General responsibility

Tick and Flea Protection


Ticks and fleas can cause a lot of problems for puppies – and even grown dogs. Ticks can transmit diseases like Lyme disease, while fleas can carry parasites such as tapeworms. Both can cause itchiness and discomfort, which is why it’s important to use tick and flea protection products on your puppy – and keep up with regular treatments even as they grow into adulthood. Ticks are around 12 months of the year, and it’s vital that protection is provided as it can be fatal in some cases.  That is why we recommend Bravecto – it works after 12 hours and lasts three months!

Deworming and Vaccinations

Newborn puppies have an underdeveloped immune system, meaning it’s susceptible to a range of illnesses and diseases if a proper deworming and vaccination schedule is not followed. Immunity is slowly introduced then they suckle on their mothers. However, when they reach 20 weeks, these maternal antibodies disappear, which is where vaccinations and deworming come into play.

 

My recommendation is to speak to your vet, but the typical time frame is:

 

  • Vaccinations at eight, 12, and 16 weeks then an annual refresher onwards.

Deworming Your puppy needs to be dewormed every two weeks until they reach three months, monthly until they are six months and then every three months going forwards.

Pet Insurance

Owning a dog is an enjoyable but critical responsibility. Apart from the scheduled vet visits such as immunisation and sterilisation, there are also other out-of-pocket and emergency expenses for unforeseen illnesses and accidents. The importance of pet insurance should never be underestimated.


I strongly recommend looking into MediPet’s range of service offerings for a price plan that suits your budget.

Quality Pet Food

Reputable pet food retailers such as Hill’s Pet Nutrition have spent years developing canine food for all life stages that are veterinary-recommended. Providing your puppy with high–quality dog food suited to its needs will ensure a healthy, happy pup.  

 

One of the frequent mistakes new dog owners make is adding more things like gravy, chicken, yoghurt etc., to the dog’s food.  Unless advised to change your dog’s food by a vet, there is no need to add anything to quality food as any addition will be unbalancing the food.  

 

Also, new puppy parents must be aware that puppy food is mainly provided for three different anticipated dog weights – 

 

  1. Small – up to 10kg (Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, Pug etc.)
  2. Medium 10-25kg (Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Beagle, Spaniel etc.)
  3. Large 25kg and up (Labrador, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Great Dane etc.)

 

Puppy / Dog Training

Puppy and dog training is very important and should be at the forefront in raising a well-socialised dog with no behavioural problems. This should start with puppy classes aimed at learning to be comfortable with other dogs, learning appropriate play and having gentle exposure to a variety of people, places and experiences in a positive way to prepare them for adulthood. Investing in training classes with Puppy Power, which offers a variety of courses for puppies and adult dogs of all ages.  It’s never too late to learn!

Excercise

Exercise is often only thought about as distance walking/running. It isn’t. Exercise can be found in three main areas:

 

Walking/Running – this is where you go with your dog on a walk or run – from point A to point B.  The distance covered is dependent on the age and breed of the dog.  Research this as over exercising your dog in this way can lead to major health issues later in life.

 

Environmental – This is where your dog gets to experience new places.  It doesn’t always have to be ‘dog areas’ like parks, forests and the beach.  It is also important (especially for pups under four months of age) to go to as many places as possible to make them comfortable and confident in these places when they are older.  Start with local sniff walks in your neighbourhood and then take them with you to as many places – the school run, filling the car up at a petrol station, walking around a car park.  Getting their nose on the ground (compared to distance) is a great form of exercise.


Mental – This is like when we do a crossword or similar.  We need to use our brains!  This can be done in many ways with our dogs.  You can purchase some really good puzzle games for them, or maybe instead of feeding them their food in their bowl, rather scatter it on some clean grass, so they have to use their senses to locate it. A beef Achilles chew is awesome, too, or an ostrich sinew.  A stuffed Kong with peanut butter and kibble always go down well! Even a few ice blocks on a hot day is fun and keeps them busy!

General Responsibility

Get them quality toys and rotate these every other day, so they feel like it’s Christmas morning with a new toy!  When walking your dog, there is no such thing as a ‘Poo Fairy’, and it is your responsibility to pick it up and dispose of it in a bin or take it home with you. When you attend a class with Puppy Power, we answer all the questions that go hand in hand with having a new dog and provide you with the tools to deal with each challenge. Our training courses include puppy socialisation, High School for adolescent dogs and then adult course for any age dog who has had little or no previous training.

The Final Yap!

Owning a dog has certain responsibilities that need to be addressed. However, this is one of the most rewarding experiences. Having a healthy and happy pup will ensure a lifelong companion; that’s just too happy to provide an endless supply of slobbery kisses.  Giving your time and love is the way to every dog’s heart.  We will show you how to get the best from them.

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