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Choosing The Right Puppy & The First Weeks

Choosing the right canine for your household is very important.  Will the dog get along with kids?  Will the dog get along with other animals in the household?  Does the dog have a good disposition?  These are some of the questions you might ask when deciding what kind of dog you want

 

  1. Are you looking for a purebred or mixed breed or just a plan old mutt?  Mixed breeds can be more affordable, whereas purebred can be quite expensive.  Don't dismiss the mutt option either from the local pound.  Mutts can be just as lovable, energetic, and loyal as the other breeds.
  2. Size matters.  Think about how big or small the dog is that you want.  Do you have room for the pup to run and play or will it be cooped up because you don't go outside a lot.  If so, do you have a room where the pup can run free?
  3. Personality for a puppy develops around seven weeks of age.  Spend a little time picking and choosing your dog, and you both will reap the rewards.  Make sure you can hold the puppy and cuddle him.  Drop a book during a quiet moment and see if the pup runs and hides.  Get on your hands and knees and play with the puppy to see if he responds in kind or is aggressive toward you.

There are several places to start your search.  Asking friends or your vet are good places to start.  Also, you can contact your local shelter or ASPCA for their selection of animals.  There is also a website that can help in your search – www.petfinder.com. 

After you select the puppy of your dreams, you get to take him home without a manual to tell you how to succeed at raising him.  The first night is always hard because the puppy will start to miss his Mom and other siblings.  He may cry or whine through out the night.  One can hardly blame him for his actions.

     The pup will need a soft, dry, and safe place to sleep.  Perhaps throw in a cloth or toy that has his litter mates or Mom's scent on it.  If you run to him when he cries, you will be reinforcing the habit.  Placing a sheet over the box or crate will get the pup used to going to sleep at that time.

 

 

     Puppies are mischievous by nature, and like their feline companions, get into everything.  Be sure hazardous items like marbles, wires, rocks, and any type of harmful plants are far out of the puppy's way. 

     Scolding your pup should be just like telling a child NO.  However, when you tell him NO, you should show him the correct behavior.  For example, if he is chewing up the newspaper, take it away and replace it wit one of his toys.  Praise him for chewing his toy.  Reprimands should be sharp and short.  Hitting or spanking may create more problems down the road.  The pup can become fearful, shy, or aggressive.  Always reward for proper behaviors.  Treats make a great reinforcer.  So is a simple scratch between the ears and a hug,

     Feed him a dry food especially made for puppies.  Watch out for very high protein and extra vitamins as they may be harmful to your growing puppy.  Feed him two or three times a day.  Usually after fifteen minutes, the pup will have eaten all they want, so you can remove the dish.  As thy grow, after ten to twelve weeks of age, feed them one in the morning and once at night.

     All of these should help your new pup get through those first horrible weeks away from his family.  The bond forming between you will last a lifetime. Feel free to reach out to our team on Facebook, Instagram, E-mail, or in the comments section for any other questions!

 

About the Author:

Dr. Zonram Liao D.V.M.

Dr. Zonram Liao D.V.M. is a Southern California native, and earned his undergraduate degree from University of California, San Diego before obtaining his veterinary degree from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is not only a firm believer in the use of supportive care supplements to improve the health and happiness of his patients, but also is a strong advocate of the benefits of preventive care medicine for his patients as well. During his free time, Dr. Liao enjoys spending his time outdoors fishing and hiking, playing basketball, watching movies, cooking, traveling, and trying new foods.

 

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