Puppy Care: Advice From Your Lexington Veterinarian

advice from your veterinarian in LexingtonListen to the advice from your Lexington veterinarian when it comes to bringing a new puppy home.  You will find there are many things to consider before you decide to get a new puppy.  Once you bring a puppy home, it is your responsibility to provide the best care to your new family member.  On average, dogs live to be around 12 years old, so the decision to get a new puppy is a big commitment.

Choosing A Breed

I heard a story today about a family that had spent tons of money fencing in their yard.  They also waited 6 months for a large dog to be born and join their family.  They did everything they could to help this puppy adjust to their family.  5 months later, they had to re-home the puppy because it couldn’t be trusted with their kids.  They decided to look for another dog and found a two year old golden retriever who fit their family perfectly.  It seems this puppy was also being re-homed because he had too much energy for the small apartment he lived in.  The point is, you really should make sure you choose a breed that will be appropriate for where you live and your lifestyle.  Don’t pick a Vizsla and expect him to be calm and happy cooped up in an apartment all day.  Vizslas need a lot of room to run and exercise.    You can get advice from your Lexington veterinarian about which breeds would be best for your family.

Once you choose the perfect breed, you will want to make sure the puppy you choose is healthy.  Your veterinarian in Lexington can help you choose a healthy puppy.

Prepare To Bring Your Puppy Home

Puppies are naturally curious and like to explore and get into things.  It is important that you take the advice of your Lexington veterinarian and puppy-proof your home before your puppy arrives.  Make sure there is nothing that could harm your puppy lying around.  Puppies like to chew so make sure there are toys and chew toys for your new puppy.  Hide or cover any cords that your puppy might chew.  Put up any chemicals or cleaning solutions that might harm your pet if they got into them. Block stairs or other areas where your pet may fall.

Provide Your Pet With Everything He Needs

Your pet will need good quality puppy food.  This should be food formulated for puppies, not adult dogs.  Puppies are growing and need good nutrition to facilitate their growth.  You will need 2 bowls, one for food and one for water.  They will also need a bed and a crate if you plan to crate train your puppy.   You can get advice from your veterinarian in Lexington on the best food to buy and if you should crate train your puppy.  You will also want to buy toys, treats and grooming tools for your pet.  A good leash and collar or harness is important too.

Puppy Health Care

You should bring your puppy to the vet around 6-9 weeks of age for vaccinations.  Be sure and get advice from your Lexington Veterinarian about distemper, parainfluenza, canine hepatitis, parvovirus and other vaccinations.   You veterinarian will also want to check your puppy for worms and deworm him or her.

At 12-16 weeks your pet will be ready for his or her first rabies vaccination.  Your veterinarian in Lexington will be able to tell you when he wants to see your puppy and how often the first year.  You will also want to keep a close eye on your pet.  A puppy that is healthy will have bright eyes.  You shouldn’t notice any discharge coming from his nose or eyes.  Diarrhea is also a concern because your puppy can get dehydrated quickly.   Keep an eye on your dog’s coat.  It should be shiny and free of rash, bumps or inflammation.  If you notice a problem with your puppy, bring him into the veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

At about 20 weeks it is time to neuter or spay your pet.  Unless you want to breed your dog, you should get them spayed or neutered while they are young.  Your Lexington veterinarian can tell you when this should be done.

Best Advice From Your Lexington Veterinarian – Enjoy Your Puppy

Your puppy will come to you with lots of energy and curiosity.  Enjoy times with your puppy, playing and taking him or her for walks.  At first, just walking around your house is enough but as your puppy begins to walk and run better, it is a good idea to take your puppy on outings and socialize your pet.  Spend lots of time petting your puppy.  Make sure you spend time grooming your puppy and get them used to baths and having their nails trimmed.  You will also want to begin taking care of their teeth with a canine tooth brush and special canine toothpaste.  Starting these routine grooming procedures when your dog is a puppy is the best way to get them used to it.

Having an adorable puppy in the house is an enjoyable time for your family.  Raising a puppy to be a good dog is a responsibility we hope you won’t take lightly.  If you have any questions or need advice from your veterinarian in Lexington, Call Locus Trace Veterinary Clinic today.