Congratulations, a new dog has just joined your family. The dog will very quickly become part of your family, and you must bear the responsibility for his health and welfare.
Whether this is the first time you raise a puppy or not, certainly there are many questions about the raising process. We shall try here to provide you with initial information.
A pup should be brought home when he has already reached the age of 6-8 weeks. At this age, he is weaned of breast milk, which gives him a defense against environmental dangers and enables transferring him to a new house. It is not recommended to take a puppy away from his mother before this age.
It’s also desirable to know who the puppy’s parents were and where he was born in order to ensure that we receive a healthy puppy. If the source of the puppy is unclear – he should be brought to a veterinarian even before the formal date of vaccination arrives..
The first days in the new house are hard for the young pup. On the one hand, he has just been separated from his mother and maybe from his friends, to be brought to an unfamiliar environment. During the first few days the puppy might whine more than usually, and be restless. If he is a newborn, you may try to soften the transition by putting him in a small basket, covering him with blankets, and putting a clock near him. The clock beating simulates the mother’s heartbeats, and helps soothing the young puppy.
What should you prepare for your new dog?
1. Appropriate size collar and leash are essential.
2. There should be suitable bowls for food and water. It is important that these vessels are clean and placed where the puppy can see and reach them without difficulty. The water should be always fresh.
3. A rug on which he can sleep.
4. Furthermore, a hairbrush and toys (for dogs only) would be nice.
What should your dog eat?
Food is especially important in this early stage of life. During this period, the dog grows up more rapidly than later, so his nutrition needs are also different. Your puppy needs to eat “baby food” only. There are many companies that market special food for puppies at different standards of quality and a wide range of prices. No matter what company’s food you buy, it is important to make sure that this company is well known and reliable and that the bag carries a guarantee that it contains “complete and balanced dog food”. There are foods that are adjusted to dog sizes (large / medium / small). The food may be “dry” or “liquid”, or another composition. Whatever option you choose, it is important that this will be the only food your dog gets.
Please, do not give your dog your family leftovers! They may cause gastrointestinal problems and tooth plaque.
There is no need of vitamins and food supplements (unless your veterinarian recommended otherwise). The food you bought contains them already. The fact that your dog gets the same food repeatedly should not worry you, though there are ways to produce some delicacies for him.
The daily food ratio is determined by the dog weight. It is usually written on the food bag. It is recommended that a young puppy get 4 meals a day (take the bowl away a few minutes after he finished eating a meal). At the age of 6 months, he should be given 2 meals a day.
1. Make sure that the puppy has fresh water 24/7 in a suitable bowl.
2. Do not give him supplements (such as calcium and vitamins) without a veterinarian’s prescription. Such additives might impair his skeletal development.
3. Never give a dog (of all ages) – bones, chocolate, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, spicy and fried foods. Generally speaking: kitchen leftovers are not recommended.
4. Remember: milk brings about diarrhea.
5. Keep children toys and cleaning materials away from your dog. They might block his intestines or poison him.
6. Do not give your dog drugs that were not prescribed by a vet. Some free drugs we take are toxic to dogs.
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