By Akinluyi Jerry
I receive numerous mails and calls from different customers on how to raise a puppy. My articles won’t be complete without talking about raising a puppy because this is the first stage of having perfect pet and dogs.It’s well known that puppies are cute, little, lovable, innocent and ready to please. With your help and participation, your puppy can be raised healthily and balanced like they do in nature. No matter what stage of development your puppy is in, whether it’s a month old or 2 years old, it’s never too late to raise them as a balanced and happy dog. However, this article applies to fully grown dogs too.
If you’re going to get a puppy, ask yourself and your family some questions. Are you ready to make a commitment? Do you have enough time and resources on your hands for a dog? Remember, taking care of a dog is a full time job. They’re trusting you to make their lives fulfilled! Owning a dog can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it also carries with it quite a bit of responsibility. I hope this article will give you the information needed to make some good decisions regarding your puppy.
Stimulating play is important during the first week. Stalking and pouncing are important play behaviors in puppies and are necessary for proper muscular development. If given a sufficient outlet for these behaviors with toys and enough space, your puppy will be less likely to use family members for these activities. The best toys are lightweight and movable. These include rubber balls. Any toy that is small enough to be swallowed should be avoided.
Disciplining a young puppy may be necessary if its behavior threatens people or property, but harsh punishment should be avoided. There are many diseases that are fatal to dogs. Fortunately, we have the ability to prevent many of these by the use of very effective vaccines. In order to be effective, these vaccines must be given as a series of injections. Ideally, they are given at about 6-8, 12, and 16 weeks of age, but this schedule may vary somewhat depending on several factors. The routine vaccination schedule will protect your puppy from five diseases: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, and rabies. When the puppy nurses its mother, it receives a temporary form of immunity through its mother’s milk. This immunity is in the form of proteins called antibodies. (Thanks to my veterinarian for educating me on this).
Diet is extremely important in the growing months of a dog’s life, food recommended for puppies should fed until your puppy is about 12-18 months of age, depending on its size. Feeding a dry, canned, or semi-moist form of dog food is acceptable. Table foods are not recommended. Because they are generally very tasty, dogs will often begin to hold out for these and not eat their well-balanced dog food. If you choose to give your puppy table food, be sure that at least 90% of its diet is good quality commercial puppy food. In addition to table foods, it is also important that you not give certain other things to dogs. Like food with onions, chocolates and caffeine resulting in peritonitis and death.
There are several “right” ways to feed puppies. The most popular method is commonly called “meal feeding.” This means that the puppy is fed at specific times of the day. A measured amount of food should be offered four times per day for 5-12 week old puppies. What is not eaten within 30 minutes is taken up. If the food is eaten within 3-4 minutes, the quantity is probably not sufficient. Puppies fed in this manner generally begin to cut themselves out of one of those meals by 3-4 months of age and perhaps another one later. If a meal is ignored for several days, it should be discontinued. “Free choice feeding” means that food is available at all times. This works well with dry foods and for some dogs. However, other dogs tend to overeat and become obese. If there are signs of weight gain after the optimal weight is reached, this method of feeding should be discontinued.
Housebreaking should begin as soon as your puppy enters his new home. How long the training must continue depends on both the puppy and you. Some pups learn sooner than others. Your dog wants to please you. But a puppy’s memory is short, so your patience is important. A home with a badly trained puppy is not a happy home for you or the puppy. The Socialization Period for dogs is between 4 and 12 weeks of age. During that time, the puppy is very impressionable to social influences. If it has good experiences with men, women, children, cats, other dogs, etc., it is likely to accept them throughout life. If the experiences are absent or unpleasant, it may become apprehensive or adverse to any of them. Therefore, during the period of socialization, I encourage you to expose your dog to as many types of social events and influences as possible.
One of the characteristics of puppies is chewing. Puppies are trying their new teeth so chewing is a normal behavior. The puppy’s baby teeth are present by about 4 weeks of age. They begin to fall out at 4 months of age and are replaced by the adult (permanent) teeth by about 6 months of age. Therefore, chewing is a puppy characteristic that you can expect until about 6-7 months of age. It is important that you do what you can to direct your puppy’s chewing toward acceptable objects. You should provide items such as rawhide chew bones, nylon chew bones, and other chew toys so other objects are spared.
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About Akinluyi Jerry
Akinluyi Jerry is a young entrepreneur, Animal lover, Dog Consultant and expert, CEO of Jeak’s kennel and securities. Member of Africa’s young entrepreneurs(AYE) .A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile ife.