Having your own puppy is like taking care of a baby - you must feed him regularly, play with him, give him attention, bathe him, etc.
If you forget one important task, then you might be putting your puppy's health at risk. This sounds ominous for any first-time pet owner, but once you know the things you need to look out for, it becomes part of life and you don't even think of it anymore.
Puppies' health is a little more fragile in the beginning and hence you need to pay closer attention, but later on you can relax a little more.
Here are some of the tips that will help you take good care of your puppy:
1. Make a Trip to the Vet for Your Puppy's Vaccinations
Dogs need to have their regular vaccinations just like babies. Your dog should be vaccinated especially to avoid these diseases: parvovirus, adenovirus, canine distemper, rabies, etc. Other vaccines are also available - but your vet will be best suited to recommend the right course of action.
2. Groom Him Regularly
This includes regular baths, brushing teeth 2 to 3 times a week, cleaning his ears, brushing his coat and so on. Not only for aesthetic reasons, but to also prevent him from getting ticks or fleas. Although these types of pests are common to dogs, they can be fatal too.
Remember, fleas suck blood for food. As a result, your dog might get malnourished if you don't get rid of his fleas and ticks soon. You can buy pest flea collar for your dog, or bathe him using a anti-flea shampoo.
3. Feed Him Healthy Food
Your puppy's diet should not consist of table scraps. You should resist the urge to feed him your leftovers because your dog's biological make-up is very, very different from yours.
Table scraps usually contain fat and oil, and these can pose harm to your dog later on. Give your dog a healthy meal which contains nutrients appropriate for his growing body and healthy mind.
4. Exercise Regularly
Dogs need regular exercise or they will suffer from obesity when they grow older. Worse still, if they don't get enough exercise they get bored and boredom breeds destruction. Boredom can easily lead to destructive chewing, barking obsessively and most of all it will be bad for your puppies health.
Jogging or even strolling in the park can be a form of exercise for your dog. Make it a regular habit in the morning or in the evening - but do it at least once a day - ideally twice. It will also greatly affect his psychological well-being.
5. De-worm Your Pup
No matter how healthy your dog is, parasites are still present inside your dog's body. They may come in the form of a tapeworm, hookworm or roundworm. When your dog starts to lose his appetite or becomes lethargic, bring him to his vet to check if he needs to be de-wormed.
6. Know Your Puppy
This one sounds a little like a play on words, but it's not. What I mean by this point is that you should know how he is usually. What's his appetite like, what are his habits, what he likes and dislikes to do, and how he looks.
This is by far the best way to spot if something is wrong with your puppies health. If you know how he is usually, you will immediately know when he's not ok - further investigation, will help you stop most illnesses before they become a more serious cause for concern.
At the end of the day - a healthy puppy is a happy puppy - is a happy you! It makes sense - when your dog's happy, he will be more responsive to you and your commands, thus making life easier for you both.