This week is puppy awareness week from the 4th – 11th of September and we will be giving you our top tips.
1. Choosing your puppy.
Do your research. Research prevents dogs from ending up in rescue centres. Are you compatible? Does your lifestyle have the flexibility for a puppy? These are things to seriously think about before committing to a puppy.
2. Can you afford it?
Will you be able to afford the unexpected vets bills, annual boosters and regular flea and worming treatments? Can you afford the insurance, monthly payments as well as an excess? Owning a dog is expensive. With an average lifespan of 10-13 years, would you be able to look after your furry friend for that long?
3. What to look for in a good breeder
Have you checked the Kennel Club register? Is the breeder legit? Have you seen the paperwork? Ask to visit the breeder’s house to see the bitch and pups together in their natural environment. Always ask to see the bitch. An unwell/poorly kept bitch can be the first sign of trouble.
4. What does my puppy need?
Is your puppy microchipped? By law, all dogs should be microchipped by 8 weeks with current information.
A crate is a useful investments for all puppies as it gives them their own private safe place where they can go if they need some time to themselves. Puppy pads for toilet training are also essential to get your puppy used to toileting in an appropriate area.
5. How do I start socialising and training my puppy?
Puppies can be socialised in their home environment with vaccinated dogs and young children for short periods of time whilst under supervision. Puppy classes are also widely available for socialisation and basic training.
Positive reinforcement is key to training. Treats, toys or general praise help puppies to learn what behaviour is expected from them. Negative reinforcement such as hitting and shouting can make your puppy nervous and fearful around you.
6. When does my puppy need vaccinations, worm and flea treatment and neutering?
Keeping on top of Worm and flea treatment can save you lots of money in the future. Flea treatment is monthly (depending on the product) but keeping on of it can save on flea infestations in the home and other pets but also can prevent flea related skin problems in your pets. Worming should take place every 2 weeks until your puppy is 12 weeks old and then every 3 months to prevent worm infestations. Vaccinations can start from 8 weeks of age with a second vaccination at 10/12 weeks. Annual Boosters are required after to maintain an immunity to a variety of diseases. Neutering can be done from 6 months of age when dogs become sexually active. Neutering at an early age can help to prevent various health problems, especially in bitches, at a later date.
7. How often should I feed and exercise my puppy?
Never exercise your dog on a full stomach! Puppies should be fed 3-4 small meals daily. The amount they require will depend on breed, age and diet but most complete puppy foods have an easy to follow feeding guide.
Puppies should be exercised for 5 minutes per month of age twice daily. Once fully grown, they can be exercised for longer. Try mixing up your walking route to keep your puppy stimulated and introduce them to a number of different places.
To find more information about puppy awareness please check out the link below!