Monday, February 23, 2015

Puppy Vaccinations

Puppy Vaccinations

The puppy vaccination series is one of the most important aspects of your puppy's early life. Vaccinating pets has been a controversial subject for years. Many people worry that we are over-vaccinating out pets, possibly putting them at risk for auto-immune issues and vaccine reactions. That's part of the reason many vets are moving towards a three-year protocol (rather than annual) for adult dogs. However, when it comes to puppies it's a different story. Just like human babies, puppies (and kittens) need basic immunizations at the very least. Plus, the vaccine visits allow your vet to examine your puppy every few weeks and monitor his growth and overall health. Talk to your vet about the best immunization schedule for your puppy. More »
Boston Terrier Puppy - Photo of Boston Terrier Ace - Photo © Jodi Mallory
Ace, an 8 week old Boston Terrier. Photo © Jodi Mallory

Housebreaking your New Puppy

Housebreaking is one of the first things you will teach your new puppy. This process can sometimes be quite arduous, though some puppies catch on earlier than others. You should begin house-training as soon as you bring your puppy home, but it takes patience. Puppies are generally not able to control their bladders and bowels until about 12 weeks of age. If your puppy is younger than this, just be patient. Starting early can help get your puppy on a routine. As he grows and develops control over his bodily functions, he will already know what to do. As a general rule, you should take your puppy to the designated "potty spot" immediately after eating or drinking. However, accidents happen - so be prepared, consistent and patient. More »
Australian Shepherd Photo - Picture of Australian Shepherd Puppy Phin - Photo © Holly and Craig Southcott
Photo © Holly and Craig Southcott

Basic Puppy Training and Socialization

Beyond housebreaking, there are many more things you will need to teach your dog. Start by working on socialization. Leash training will set the stage for teaching basic commands, like sit, come and stay. These basic commands can help you curb some behavior problems. Just remember that puppies are curious, active and teething. They put everything in their mouths, including your hands! Work with this by replacing the inappropriate object with an acceptable chew toy. Distract your dog from mischievous behavior by offering something more pleasing, like a game, walk or other activity. Reward your puppy with treats and/or praise for shifting his attention. Puppy training can be a challenge, but the outcome will make your efforts worthwhile. More »
Puppy Kisses - Puppy Bonding With Person - Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Bonding With Your Puppy

The bond you have with your puppy begins the moment he comes into your life and never stops growing. You can nurture this bond though affection, training, grooming, playtime, general exercise and participation in various activities. You may want to join an obedience class, start training in dog sports like agility and flyball, or participate in dog shows. One of the kindest ways to bond with your dog and allow your dog to bond with others is to get involved with pet therapy. If your puppy is right for therapy, he can begin training to visit people in hospitals and nursing homes or help children to read and learn. Strengthening and preserving the human-canine bond benefits the health and well-being of both you and your puppy. More »

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