Wednesday, 15 March 2017

In the Dog House

Getting any new pet is an exciting time, but a new puppy potentially has to be the most exciting of all. There is something about getting a new dog; you don’t fully know their personality until they are well settled into your routine [and not the other way round, but more on that later], and they are always such quirky little characters that it’d be hard not to love them.

There are some things that need ironing out before you make the huge commitment of bringing home a new member of your family.


Classes

Just like children need to learn the rules, there is a certain amount of dog obedience that your new puppy will need to learn in order to make life a lot better for the both of you. Simple commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘lie down’ can make the world of difference in social situations, and your puppy will need as much socialising as you can offer to him. Taking them to an obedience class can massively help their confidence with strangers and other dogs, and taking them for regular walks won’t only be beneficial to their health, but is also a great chance to socialise them with the world around them. It can be quite scary taking out an unpredictable little bundle on a lead, but they are probably more frightened than you; they will have been in the world weeks compared to your years. Think back to what you were doing when you were only a few weeks old - bet you weren’t walking and running about!
 

Food

Again, just like children, the diet that you feed your puppy with will have a huge impact on their development for the rest of their life. Give them the best start and have a word with your vet as to what food they recommend. As tempting as it may seem, giving scraps and leftover food to your new puppy can be harmful to their health - especially if they are eating a human food that is actually poisonous to them, such as onions or grapes. Check over what you can give as a treat; carrots are a good option.
 

Health

Register with a veterinary surgery as soon as you get your new puppy, and even if they have had all of their relevant inoculations, take them for a general checkover as a “getting to know you” meeting. If you introduce the vets as a nice place for them to go, you are solving half of the problems that many owners have with their own dogs regardless of age - their terror of visiting the surgery. This can make it increasingly difficult for the vet to perform their job correctly, and you may even find that they can become hostile and aggressive if they’re forced into a place that they don’t like; while this may be completely out of character, if you are pushing them into a place they don’t like they will revert back to the only instincts that they know how to use in that situation.


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