Congratulations – you have a new puppy!
You’ve anticipated the new arrival by ‘puppy proofing’ your home and had lots of fun choosing the carrier, bed, blanket, toys and other supplies he or she will need. This frisky little creature is sure to bring you much joy. In return, you can make a major contribution to your pet’s longevity, happiness and quality of life by providing him or her with good nutrition, giving attention in a safe, sanitary environment and regular checkups at your veterinarian.
Your new puppy should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible!
The first visit will probably include:
- Thorough physical examination to determine his or her state of health.
- Check for internal parasites (tapeworm, roundworm, etc.), if you can bring a stool sample for analysis. Blood tests may also be done.
- Initial vaccination and/or a discussion of the types of vaccinations your puppy needs and when they should be scheduled.
- Discussion about whether your puppy should be sterilized (spayed or neutered) and when.
This first health check will give your veterinarian the information he needs to advise you on your puppy’s immediate diet and care. Plus, it will give him a “knowledge base” from which, on subsequent checkups throughout your pup’s life, he can better evaluate, monitor and manage your pet’s health.
Make your new puppy feel at home!
Show your puppy the special places where he can eat, sleep and eliminate and, since he’s probably quite overwhelmed, give him some quiet time to himself to let him adjust to the unfamiliar sights and sounds of his new home. Be sure, if there are also young children in the home, that they are taught that a puppy is not a toy, but a living creature who must be treated with gentleness and respect. As early as 8 weeks old, your puppy is capable of learning specific lessons – so start house-breaking and teaching simple obedience commands the day you bring him home. Your veterinarian can suggest the best training methods and, if you wish, recommend a good obedience school. Your pup will find learning fun and easy, and with your positive reinforcement, he should remember his lessons well!
|If your dog is…||In human terms, that’s|
|6 months||10 years|
|8 months||13 years|
|10 months||14 years|
|12 months||15 years|
|18 months||20 years|
|2 years||23 years|
|3 years||26 years|
|4 years||32 years|
|5 years||36 years|
|6 years||40 years|
|7 years||44 years|
|8 years||48 years|
|9 years||52 years|
|10 years||56 years|
|11 years||60 years|
|12 years||64 years|
|13 years||68 years|
|14 years||72 years|
|15 years||76 years|
|16 years||80 years|
Spaying or Neutering your puppy
Many veterinarians believe that spaying or neutering not only helps solve the serious problem of unwanted pet overpopulation but also makes for friendlier, easier-to-live-with pets. Spayed female dogs are more relaxed, while neutered males are less likely to roam, ‘spray’ or urine-mark their territory, or fight with other males. Plus, sterilization has health benefits – it helps to minimize the risk for cancers of the reproductive organs and the mammary glands in females and reduces the incidence of prostate problems in males.
Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female dog, usually after the age of six months. A major surgical procedure, it is performed under general anesthesia and most often involves an overnight stay at an animal hospital. Complications are rare and recovery normally is complete within two weeks.
Neutering, also carried out under general anesthesia, removes the testicles of a male dog through an incision at the base of the scrotum. Usually performed when the puppy is about six months old, it necessitates only a brief hospital stay. Full recovery takes about seven to ten days.