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Puppies Care

17 May 2013 | by Gauri Kulkarni | Posted in: Wellness

Getting a pup home is a bundle of joy and fun for the owner,but there are some basic things to be followed to make sure the pup remains healthy and comfortable with you...Like a baby, puppies need love and care.  Bringing up a puppy  may be a lot of work for a couple of months but it can be a lot of fun!  Here are some tips to help you and your new family member.

Feeding: Puppies need small frequent meals. Feed every 4 hours making it 6 meals a day. Vary the meals. Suggestions include fresh fruit like mashed banana/stewed apple, vegetable broth, cerelac, mashed potato, khichdi with dahi, rajma rice, chana chawal, broccoli/gobi and so on. Pups will eat whatever you get them used to. Dogs can be kept vegetarian. Give carrots to chew. Keep a bowl of clean water at all times.
Handling:  Resist the temptation to keep picking up a pup. Allow the puppy to walk as much as possible as this will strengthen his legs.  Do not allow children to pick him up as this could result in a fall. You can put a light collar of canvas on him but do not use a leash yet as it is not good for him to be tugged and pulled. Never tie him up. Make a little basket or a bed for him in your room as they hate to be left alone. Pups can sleep upto 15 hrs/day .
Bathing: Do not bathe your pup before he/she is 2 months old.  Dogs do not sweat from their skin but their tongues and paws so they do not need frequent bathing. Dog baths must be restricted to once a month or six weeks. More frequent bathing will result in skin disease.  If you do want to clean in between, just rub down with a damp towel. 

Vaccination: It starts when the puppy is 4-6 weeks old with ARV and canine distemper shots. Rabies is given at 3 months. Until then, ideally your pup should not be taken onto the street.  Exercise him in your own garden/compound/park.
Toilet Training: Cover the area where you pup lives with newspaper so cleaning becomes easy. Replace the paper as soon as it is soiled. After meals, take the pup to the area where you want him to ‘go’. Wait till he does potty and then pat and praise him before bringing him in.  In a couple of weeks he will learn to find his way there himself.
Teething: Your puppy uses his mouth to discover the world. Dog playing includes nipping. Do not encourage biting. When he nips you, make a yelping noise, he will understand that he has hurt you and will not repeat.  Should he get rougher, disengage. 
First Check Up: It is crucial to take the pup to the vet as soon as possible after adoption for a once over and deworming. Choose your vet as carefully as you would your child’s pediatrician, not necessarily going to the one that’s closest. Take the dog yourself as he/she will be frightened.  

Sterilization: This is strongly recommended. It protects your dog against several cancers plus against getting into fights or running away during the heat season. It saves you the hassle of finding homes and the guilt of perhaps giving pups away to face carelessness and cruelty.

Step By Step:

Step 1-
Have a veterinarian examine your new puppy right away to catch any potential problems early and get the necessary inoculations. Young pups are most vulnerable to disease as they haven't developed much resistance other than what they received from their mother. Parvo/Distemper (7 in one) can be given at 45 days. The first shot is followed by a booster dose in one month.  Rabies is given at three months.   

Step 2
Get your pup used to being handled right from the start. Brush gently, check between the paws, lift the ears to look and smell.  If handling is associated with comfort and love, your dog will be much easier to care for when grown.

Step 3
Bonding takes place from the moment your pup enters your life. Take the teacher’s role seriously and establish yourself as the loving, benign dictator. Give lots of positive feedback -- mostly pats and praise -- when the pup is not doing anything wrong. Silence and being shunned is a terrible punishment for a puppy (in nature it threatens survival) so save that for bad behavior. Since young dogs have short attention spans, try to correct poor behavior quickly and move on. Punishment should not be necessary with a young pup. Puppies do not plan to be bad or intentionally do wrong. They just need guidance.

Step 4
Socialize your pup. Expose him or her to a variety of people, pets, places and situations as soon as it is safe to do so. This will build confidence. Give your pup lots of exercise. This is good for the body and mind and will keep you laughing. Feed good healthy food and always make sure fresh food is available. Don't overfeed. An overweight puppy is likely to turn into an unhealthy, fat dog.

Step 5
Respect the growing pup's need to chew before during and after teething. One should limit the number of toys so a pup always knows what is and what is not okay for chewing. Too many toys can be confusing. And make sure all electrical cords are out of reach so tiny teeth don't stray into a lethal mistake.

Step 6
Puppies are never too young to start being trained. In fact, whether you are aware of it or not, you are perpetually training your pup with every action you do! Sitting, staying and other basics can be made into a game that even young pups enjoy playing. Just don't expect them to focus for very long with their short attention spans.

Step 7
Get used to grooming. Now is the perfect time to get your dog used to the brush. Make it soothing, fun and enjoyable. Again, your dog will have a short attention span so only do it for short periods of time or it won't be fun anymore. This is also the best time to get your dog used to have ears handled, teeth touched (for later cleaning), nails clipped (do not do yourself) and feet touched.

Step 8
Play a lot! It's good for both of you. Make training part of play and play part of training.. Train for exercise and good health as well as offering a way to burn off puppy energy. Give treats in the form of food, toys or even just fun. Train for fun. Train for bonding and establishing your role as top dog. Train for control. Train so you can become pals and partners.


Thanks for good suggestions advised step by step.

By: Saumya | 05 Aug 2013

vihar ramani
good helpful article... planning to get pup soon , glad to have read this.

By: vihar ramani | 17 Dec 2013

Gauri Kulkarni
Thank you Saumya... Glad you liked the article...

By: Gauri Kulkarni | 17 Dec 2013

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