Few things in life are more exciting than bringing home a new puppy! Adding a furry new member to the family sets you up for years of cuddles, playtime, and precious memories.
But taking on a new pet also brings about considerable responsibility. Dogs require great care, from training to socialization to vet visits. Even the most cared-for puppies are at risk of being affected by common puppy health scares, and it’s up to you to avoid those whenever possible.
Here are some simple ways to avoid new puppy health scares.
Do connect with a vet ASAP
A trustworthy and reliable licensed veterinarian will be your first line of defense against sickness and disease. Regular trips to the vet will be essential throughout your dog’s life. But these appointments are particularly critical when your pup is still young.
Your vet will make sure your dog receives all required vaccinations and boosters. It’s essential to follow the recommended vaccine schedule carefully so your dog receives complete immunity against potentially harmful illnesses.
Don’t have a vet yet? Finding one is easy! Click here for tips on finding a veterinarian’s office in your area.
Don’t go to the park until your puppy is fully vaccinated
It’s tempting to take your new puppy everywhere, from the pet store to the local dog park. But don’t get too excited about bringing your pup along for the ride!
Until they’re fully vaccinated, puppies should avoid public areas. And then, once your pup’s new immune system is fully developed, you’ll be able to show them off all you want!
Getting your puppy the vaccines he needs is one of the best ways to prevent puppy health scares.
Do understand basic pet safety guidelines
Whether you’ll be spending most of your time at home or on the go, health and safety hazards are everywhere you look. There’s no need to be paranoid, though—with some quick and easy education; you can be aware of the dangers and take measures to protect your pup.
Start by puppy-proofing your home. Here are some of the most important things to take care of before bringing home your new pet:
- Put away all medications, personal care items, and toxic chemicals from dogs.
- Hide or cover any electrical cords and outlets within the puppy’s reach.
- Ensure all doors, windows, and gates are securely closed and locked.
- Know which human foods are toxic to dogs and keep these securely put away.
- Move furniture around to prevent any areas where a puppy could get stuck.
Don’t overfeed your puppy
Puppies are growing creatures who need plenty of nutrients and fuel! But that doesn’t always mean your dog needs access to a full bowl of food.
Many dogs — especially young ones — don’t have the self-control to stop eating when they’re full. Overfeeding your puppy can put them at higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and more.
Reduce your risk of puppy health scares by providing a healthy balanced diet. Talk with your vet to ensure you’re feeding your dog appropriately using the right food and feeding schedule.
Do take flea and tick protection seriously
Fleas, ticks, and other external parasites are a severe threat to all dogs, regardless of age, breed, or location. Yes, even indoor dogs are at risk! Thinking about flea- and tick-borne diseases can be overwhelming, but luckily, keeping these pests off your pet is easy.
Start your puppy on a flea and tick prevention regimen as soon as they’re old. Your vet can recommend the best treatment to prevent potential puppy health scares.
Don’t ignore the signs of common health concerns
You can’t watch out for common puppy illnesses if you’re unsure what to consider. By educating yourself on the signs of common canine ailments, you’ll be prepared to catch any conditions early on. Research and talk to your vet to learn how to spot fleas and understand heartworm symptoms in puppies. That will help you detect potentially dangerous health scares before they turn serious.
David Cruz and his travel nurse girlfriend are the happy parents of a beautiful Samoyed named Bosco. Together, the trio travels the U.S., enjoying hikes and other adventures.