Bringing a dog to your home for the first time is very much exciting. Every member of the family is happy to meet the new family member but not everyone knows the basics of dog health care. In this article, we will talk about dog health care, starting from preparations you need before bringing a puppy home, to introducing it to your family and all the health care requirements you need to know for your dog.
Choosing a breed that suits your lifestyle
Raising a puppy is just like raising a kid, they need your time, love, affection and attention all the time so you should get a dog that can fit easily in your activities and routine life. It would be better if you choose a breed that requires less introduction time and suits your lifestyle because when you bring a pet home, you are responsible for all of its needs and health care. A Pug or Golden retriever can be the best choice if you want a relaxed and peaceful dog. If you want a small-sized puppy as your first pet, you should go for one of the three varieties of Poodle or a Brittany.
Preparations before bringing the dog home
Before bringing a new puppy to the house, you have to make some arrangements and preparations for it. Get premium dog food, stainless steel bowls for feeding, identification tag in case your puppy goes missing, brushes and combs that suits your dog’s hair coat, nail clippers, dog shampoo, toothpaste and brushes, flea and parasite controls and of course a room or a cage to call his home. You should start these preparations long before the actual day. If there are some rooms you don’t want your dog to enter, install a baby gate or keep the doors closed until your pet is more reliable and trained. Getting playpens for your puppy is a good idea too, you can put them anywhere in your home while working, it will make the puppy feel like a family member, rather than locking him in a room alone.
Introducing the dogs to your family members
After bringing the puppy to your home, introduce him to the family members and your other pets. Give them some time together, but watch them while they get along for the first few days. Restrict child-dog playtime to 20 minutes two to three times a day because puppies need a lot of rest just like the growing babies. Also, educate your kids about what to do and what not to do with the dog.
Health care needs of young puppies
The most important thing that you need to do after bringing your new pet home is to visit a veterinarian for an initial examination and then regular visits to vet so your pet is in a good health and shape, and any disease or illness is diagnosed at an early stage.
A dog is considered a puppy until the age of two. If your new pet is a small puppy, you need to vaccinate him during the first few months of his life. During the first visit to a vet, the puppy will get its first series of vaccination that will continue until the age of four to five months. This vaccination will protect your puppy from hepatitis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and rabies. Another important healthcare need is to prevent unwanted pregnancies of your pet by spaying and neutering. It will prevent health problems like mammary cancer in female dogs and marking in male dogs. Other health care necessities for dogs include brushing their teeth daily and once a year by a veterinarian. Protection against parasites, such as fleas and heartworm is also important in the early years of a dog’s life.
Health care needs of Adult dogs
Your dog is considered an adult if his age is between two to seven years. During this period, dog health care consists of a yearly visit to the veterinarian for a physical examination to look for any health problem or disease they are having. The vet will see if your dog needs any vaccination, he will also repeat the heartworm tests if needed. After age 7, your dog becomes old and starts having health problems like kidney disease. In this case, you need to visit your vet more than once per year.
Getting a dog as your new pet is quite demanding sometimes so it is really important to be prepared and informed about the need of your pet before you bring it to your home. Apart from feeding, grooming and loving your dog, you need a yearly check-up of your dog by a veterinarian for parasite control, dental care, vaccination. Protecting your dog from household hazardous items is also important for dog healthcare.