During the first weeks of life, a puppy’s main activities are feeding, warming up, and developing social skills. Let’s say you have just bought a little lab puppy, and you have named him “Treacle.” Firstly, you will need to know what Treacle’s mother is providing him with, and in this way, you can learn a little about his temperament. If you’re brand new to having a puppy, you should always get some guidance about taking care of them. If you want to look into owning a puppy for the first time, here are some tips to get you started.
Introducing the Puppy to the Family
When brought home, your dog should calmly enter the family. Try to minimize the amount of noise in the environment so that it is stress-free. Children may be willing to pick it up, hug the dog, and pass it from hand to hand. Make them understand that the dog needs their love, and I should not bother him too much. This is a time when he will miss his mother, and he can be resilient and protest. If the dog shows signs of discomfort, let “Treacle” sit quietly in his comfort zone.
How Often Should I Feed a Puppy?
Puppies usually need to be fed every two hours during the first week of life. But as they grow, the intervals between feedings increase. At about four weeks, puppies can begin to transition from milk to solid food. When switching to solid food, the puppy should be fed high-quality dry food and croquettes, which will be soaked and mixed with hot water and a milk substitute to take the form of porridge. Gradually, in puppies from 7 to 8 weeks, the amount of milk substitute can be reduced until the puppies can eat dry food and croquettes. Consult your veterinarian for the exact amount to feed and create a long-term feeding plan tailored to the puppies’ developmental needs.
How Much Should a New-Born Puppy Weigh?
The average weight of puppies at birth depends on the breed. During the first weeks of life, a puppy’s body weight can double or even triple. When he gains 10 to 15% of his daily weight at birth, he is considered healthy. Puppies that cannot gain enough weight during this early period are difficult to survive.
When Should I Do the First Check-Up on the Puppy?
Assuming the newborn puppy looks healthy, most veterinarians recommend getting the first round of vaccinations at six weeks of age. This can vary, but you should be aware that this is the likely time frame. Disinfestation and a standard examination can be done at a younger age. Consult and call your veterinarian immediately if a puppy has any of the following symptoms:
- Slight increase in body weight
- Difficulty breathing
- Continuous crying
- Swollen eyes or eye discharge
- Pale color on the gums
- Unable to urinate or play as usual
Caring for Your Puppy Takes Patience
Caring for a small puppy is not an easy task. It must be trained, eaten, walked, seen regularly at the vet, and much more. But all these efforts will surely pay off because you will have a loyal friend who will love and protect you, and if you train your dog correctly, it will assist you in many ways in the future.
You’ll need a few of the following items before the puppy comes home: sleeping mattress for the puppy, collar, leash, muzzle, bowl for food and water, balanced diet, toys, bones for teeth.
Small puppies are very difficult and may be off mood during teething. They are able to unlock everything, so you have to remove all the wires to an inaccessible height, lock the shoes in the closet, lock the houses and keep harmful objects completely out of reach (the way you would a baby!). In addition, try not to scatter small objects and objects on the floor until you teach the puppy not to spoil every nice item you have in the house!
Provide your pet with a balanced diet. The diet should include vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats in sufficient quantities for average growth and development. Be sure to include meat, cereals, dairy products, and vegetables in the menu. There is a ready-made food specially designed for puppies, it already contains all the necessary batteries, but you should not feed the baby only with them. Animals, like humans, need a variety of foods, and in addition, puppies need to bite hard bones for normal tooth development.
Do not forget the hygiene of your dog. You will need to wipe your puppy’s eyes and ears with a damp cloth, bathe them regularly in warm water with a special shampoo, and comb through their coats. Watch your pet’s teeth very carefully; be sure that they are not developing any yellow tinges and that they look and feel healthy.
The daily walks of a puppy should be frequent and long enough; it is necessary not only for hygiene reasons but also to ensure normal physical activity without which the dog can not grow up healthy. A puppy under the age of one should be exposed at least four times a day.
From time to time, show your pet to the vet to ensure no illnesses or developmental disabilities. Make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations; this is something you will need to budget for in advance.
Training Your Puppy
A dog is indeed “man’s best friend“. However, we must accept that dogs are of the order of animals and different from humans. They do not socialize as human beings and, therefore, do not know how to exhibit socially acceptable behaviors. In their physical state, they come with behaviors that you will find irritating. With their noisy and persistent barking, a tendency to dig and chew everything, and their youthful enthusiasm for jumping on you in greeting, your puppy will exhibit unpleasant behaviors that will be difficult to live with, which is what makes training so vital.
Your puppy needs to learn some social ways to interact more positively with people as he or she grows up. It is important to teach him to see you as a leader at all times. The training will develop a closer bond between the owner and the dog. Also, with friends and strangers, they should be protected when they visit you, and you will be impressed that they learned to obey the commands “sit”, “wait”, “down”, and “come”, which can save your dog in dangerous situations.
Move from simple to more difficult situations to learn to obey commands. Incorporate difficulty by using a combination of time, distance, and distracting conditions in the challenge. Food treats are the best rewards. Dogs will rarely refuse food, and this method can drag them to where you want to go, but also obey the command. If food is not addressed to him, positive verbal approvals, a favorite toy, or a gentle caress under the belly or behind the ears will be appreciated! Be patient and calm. Your puppy will not respond positively to the training if it is abusive and demanding of him. Shouting, hitting, and making jerky movements on his leash will send him the message that you are not sure, and it is unfair in your communication with him.
It’s time to enjoy your life with your new pup! Don’t make it challenging to train and care for them; make it fun!