Welcoming a new puppy into your home is one of the most exciting experiences there is, in our humble opinion. Just as with a new baby, there are joys and happiness, and also may be a few bumps in the road as your new puppy joins your family.
Each puppy comes with its own personality, characteristics, and challenges each day. But regardless if this is your first puppy, or another addition to your crew, there are some things that should be kept in mind across the board when it comes to puppy care.
Your East Sacramento Veterinary Center veterinarians and staff are with you every step of the way as you navigate the pathway of puppy care!
Puppy Care 101
The basics of puppy care include having all the items and supplies you need ahead of time. These include a collar and leash, a cozy pet bed, appropriate chew toys, brushes and grooming supplies, and nutritionally complete high quality puppy food.
But one of the most important elements in puppy care is the first veterinary exam. In addition to nutrition, training and socialization, and other basics, your veterinarian will discuss the need for immunizations, parasite control, and disease prevention. Puppies are vulnerable to infectious diseases and so it’s important to learn about how to protect your puppy right away.
Most puppies will need 3-4 sets of vaccinations and annual boosters thereafter to prevent disease from affecting them. This first appointment is also a good time to discuss spaying or neutering, which can prevent unwanted litters, behavioral problems, and certain health conditions. Many pet owners also elect to have their puppies microchipped during one of these initial appointments.
At Home With Your New Puppy
As you bring a new puppy into your home, be aware that puppies learn about their environment through their mouths and are likely to chew on almost anything! To keep your puppy safe, puppy-proof your home and yard before your puppy arrives. This includes securing or removing the following:
- Human and pet medications
- Household cleaners and chemicals
- Poisonous plants
- Alcohol and cannabis
- Essential oils and pot pourri
- Human food
- Toys, shoes, and clothing
- Electrical cords
Check your fencing to make sure there are no gaps, and make sure all yard and garage chemicals are stored well out of reach.
Training and Socialization
One of the best gifts you can give your new puppy (and yourself) is to begin training and socialization early on. Positive reinforcement training at home and in a puppy class can ensure your puppy’s safety and success in your household. Training teaches your puppy how to behave and builds a strong bond with you.
Socialization is the process by which your puppy is gently exposed to a wide variety of people, places, and experiences. It increases your pet’s confidence and helps her learn about the world in a safe and calm way. This includes helping your puppy get used to having her body gently handled, which makes veterinary visits much easier and less stressful for her and for you.
Your journey into puppy care is likely to be fun and memorable. We are honored to be a part of your puppy’s pet health care team. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.