- Pets and Animals
So You Want A New Puppy?
I hope I can provide tips on selection and care of puppys
I hope I can give you some tips to help pick out a puppy that will be a joy to you. I have had dogs all my life, and I am puppy shopping myself right now. My old girl is nearing the end of her life, and I am hoping that she can help train the pup before she passes.
Are You Sure You Are Ready to Get A Dog?
I ask this, because I work with a lot of shelter animals, and I see so many situations where dogs, cats and other pets become disposable, just because someone got them on a whim without thinking things out.
Dogs can make excellent companions, but they can make some things in life more difficult. If you are a renter, you need to look for properties that allow dogs. With smaller dogs, this is a bit easier, but if you have your heart set on a big dog, your rental options may be limited.
If you like to go for quick weekend getaways, unless you plan to take your dog along, you will need to find a petsitter or boarding kennel. It is best to find a situation where the dog feels like he is in a familiar environment and not in a doggie jail. In our situation, we have arranged for someone to come to our home and feed and water our pets. They also spend time playing with them.
Choosing a Puppy
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.
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.
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?
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. Many times you can find purebred animals in shelters because the owners don't have time for them. My daughter got a Rat Terrier pup from the shelter that was just as healthy and well developed as the one the pet store wanted $650.00 for.
Craigslist.com, Petfinders.com, or your local newspaper may be good places to look.
Cute Puppy Video
Finding a Vet
You wouldn't try to have a baby without involving a doctor or a midwife, would you? Your dog will need a vet. Hopefully he will only have to see him for an annual checkup, and shots, but you need a vet from the start. You can ask where you get your pup if they can recommend a vet. or research ones in your area.
Also find out if there is a 24 hour emergency vet nearby. If your dog has a medical emergency in the middle of the night, you don't want to have to waste time finding one.
Welsh Corgi Pup
Basic Puppy Care – First Weeks
Crate Training for the Puppy
More Cute Puppy Videos
Body Condition and Temperature
Exercising Your Puppy
Exercising Your PuppyPuppies can be quite active and they need exercise to keep them in good shape. Usually a brisk thirty to sixty minute walk can be quite invigorating for them. If you are unable to do this every day, ensure your yard has more than adequate space for the pup to run around in and play. You can even take the dog to the high school's track and walk it there. Some people even train their dog to walk on the treadmill with them. This will afford both of you some great time together and good exercise too. Evaluate your dog's needs and formulate an exercise plan that will work for both of you. A young puppy might like to go for a run whereas an older dog may just enjoy a nice leisurely walk. Start out with puppies for about 15 minutes. Build up to an hour as they get bigger and can handle it. If you like to walk at night, use some reflective clothing so that cars will see you on the side of the road. You can also wear light colored clothing as well. The best time to exercise your puppy is right before or right after they have eaten. Also provide him with very small amounts of water, a full stomach may cause upset. Upon arriving back home, check the animal's paws to make sure there is nothing stuck in it. Items such as glass, burrs, ice, and rocks can be removed immediately. Teaching your dog how to play “Fetch” can also be great exercise. Start by rolling a toy a short distance away from the puppy and letting him go get it. As he gets older, increase the distance you throw the toy for him. Always give praise when he does go get the toy and bring it back to you.
First Aid for Puppies
French Bulldog Pup watches the Dog Whisperer
Getting the Puppy His Own ID
Fifteen to twenty million dogs were lost in the last year due to no identification on the dog. Even simple collar tags can help your pet to be returned. Without any form of ID in place, if your dog goes missing, there is no way to track him even if someone finds him. Take a moment and make it easy on your best friend if he gets lost. Make sure he can find his way back to you.
There are several ways to insure the animal will be returned. The first is an ID tag and Rabies Certificate which should be worn on a collar. The tag should have your address, phone number, and the puppy's name. The Rabies Certificate tag has a serial number that can be traced by a vet. You can also place a tag with any illnesses the animal may have such as Diabetes.
A new device is gaining popularity. It is a microchip they place under the dog's skin. A computer scanner can read the bar code on it and find where the animal belongs. The owner's name and address is entered into a national database. The only downside is the chip may move to other places in the body making it hard to find.
Tattoos are another option. They are placed inside the ear. It will cause a minor discomfort to the animal for a couple of days. In the long run, it's better to have some pain than to lose you best friend because he got away from you. They will tattoo a serial number and register it with the national database.
Licenses for dogs have gone up in the last few years. They used to be ten dollars and are now up to twenty to thirty dollars depending on whether the animal is spayed or neutered. Licenses insure the dog's rabies shot is up to date. Rabies is fatal 99% of thetime for both dogs and humans.