3 Ways to Raise a Healthy Puppy
Every puppy is adorable, but that is not a reason to bring one home! Make certain everyone involved understands and accepts the responsibility of bringing a puppy into your home. Puppies are completely dependent on their owners. Give them the right care and training so they grow into healthy, confident and obedient adult dogs and family members. The reward is great. Your canine companion will honour your efforts with unconditional love, pure joy, and devoted companionship.
Puppies, like children, need loving and patient guidance into healthy adulthood. To achieve that, focus your efforts on three critical areas.
- Your best ally is your vet. Take the puppy for a full check-up as soon as possible and keep regular appointments after that. While your vet keeps the puppy healthy they will keep you informed by making suggestions for care and answering your questions. It is helpful for you and the vet to know if the puppy comes from a healthy breeding environment. You are entitled to know the breeder and location where your puppy is born so you can research kennel conditions if you choose.
- Good nutrition is critical to puppy health. When you allow your puppy to eat table food you are teaching him to beg. Such bad behavior quickly ceases to be cute. You are also compromising his nutritional health. Choose a high-quality food, registered with the Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa (P.F.I.). Read the list of ingredients on the food package. You want food formulated for puppies that meet government standards for nutrition made from wholesome ingredients. Follow the label directions or ask your vet to find out the amount and frequency of feedings.
- Exercising comes naturally to your puppy. Just be sure the puppy has a safe place to play and stimulating toys. Always keep a leash handy to keep your puppy safe in unfenced or unfamiliar areas. Obedience training teaches you to handle the dogs’ behavior and is an important part of keeping him safe while exercising. You need to have confidence the dog will “stay” or “come” on your command. Exercise time is a great bonding time. Play with your puppy and reward him when he learns new tricks. Know his signs of fatigue and snuggle up for frequent naps.
A healthy puppy is a confident puppy. He knows he is safe with you and can depend on you for food, safety and affection.