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Five Things to Know Before Getting a Puppy

Updated on November 28, 2015
sagolia profile image

I am a vet tech with my B.S. in Animal Science and a passion for animal health, dog training, fitness, organization, and always learning.

1. You're Puppy Will Probably Have Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites can include anything from roundworms to tapeworms to whipworms. It's completely normal for a puppy to have worms. They typically pick them up from their mother either in utero or via their mother's milk.

The most common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, and it should be treated as soon as possible. Luckily, it's easily treated using an oral dewormer (i.e. Strongid or Droncit), which you can get at your local veterinarian clinic. Most puppies are treated at least twice, two weeks apart, regardless of if the veterinarian is seeing worms.

Just because you're not seeing worms in your pups poop doesn't mean their not there. These parasite eggs are microscopic, meaning you can only see them with a high-power microscope. If you've ever wondered what a "fecal exam" was when you went to the vet clinic, this is your answer. The stool sample you bring in is manipulated and suspended so that the doctor can see the eggs that may exist in your pup.

Check out my in-depth article on what to expect at your puppy's first veterinary appointment!

2. Potty Training Can Take a Long Time

Potty training sucks, and it's tiring and time-consuming. Don't get concerned if your pup is six or more months old and still having occasional accidents; there's a variety of reasons for this.

  • Submissive-urinating - this is when a pup is scared are startled, so urinates as a reaction. **I'll be posting another article soon on how to deal with this problem.**
  • They haven't learned how to ask to go outside. A good idea is to teach your dog to ring a bell to indicate when they need to go out. **Another article to be posted on this soon.**
  • They may also urinate when left home alone, otherwise known as "separation anxiety".

If your pup is straining to urinate, you should see your veterinarian. This could be indicative of a urinary infection.

Check out my article on training your pup to sleep through the night!

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3. They'll Probably Try to Eat Everything

Puppies are curious creatures, and they have to get into everything. You'll have this problem even if you provide your pup with a bunch of toys. They want to sniff, lick, and chew on pens, sticks, and just about everything that isn't theirs. Some simple and consistent training can help reverse this!

Put a leash on your pup, surround them with things they like to chew on, and correct them with a leash-pop every time they try to chew on something. Be consistent with this, and reward them when they choose to chew on toys.

This is a long and tedious process, but you have to keep at it if you want to make a difference. Another thing to consider is the number of toys you provide. Many owners think they should provide twenty toys, so their pup will have plenty of their own stuff to destroy; chances are, doing this will just be overwhelming and they'll get bored of their own stuff. The solution is to buy many toys and rotate them out as your pup gets bored.

4. They're Stronger than You Think

Puppies are like children. When children fall on their rear, then cry, even though we all know it didn't hurt that bad. Puppies cry sometimes, when they're getting shots, being restrained, etc. They're just uncomfortable, not hurt, and they will be okay. You don't need to panic every-time your pup yelps or whines.

If your pup ever hurts them-self (i.e. falls down the stairs and starts crying/limping), take them to your vet to make sure they really are okay and haven't actually been injured.

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5. Bad Puppy Habits Will Turn Into Bad Dog Habits

When puppies find their voice, it's cute. It's also cute when they jump up on you and nibble on you. You must keep in mind that these puppy habits will soon become dog habits. That sweet puppy bark won't be so cute coming out of a yappy Chihuahua or 100 pound German Shepherd.

Teach them when they're young what behaviors are acceptable, keeping in mind what behaviors will be acceptable six months or a year from now.

Getting a new pup can be a lot of fun, but you want to make sure you're prepared for what you're getting yourself into. Doing plenty of research and talking to a veterinarian can definitely help get you ready for your fur-baby.

Do you feel ready to be a pup-parent?

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© 2015 sagolia

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