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Thinking of getting a new pup and want to know the basics? Not sure what to look for in a healthy pup and confused about things like exercise and training? Look no further. In our two-part special we debunk some myths and give you some real advice when it comes to raising the perfect pup.
Who doesn’t love the snuggly notion of the pitter-patter of tiny paws bouncing through the halls? But there is a lot more to owning a dog than the very cute and cuddly puppy stage.
Choosing a Healthy Pup
When considering purchasing a new dog it’s important to know what you are looking for. It is always best to purchase your new family member from a registered breeder or a shelter. If you are going to purchase on-line or from a pet-shop please ensure you know exactly where the pup has come from. Some questions to ask are:
- Where did the pups come from?
- Can we see the mum and dad?
- Can we visit the pup? If the answer is no, ask why.
- Are there any hereditary issues with your dogs?
- Do you hip-score your dogs? This is the score given to a dog to see it’s risk of developing hip-dysplasia, which is common in some breeds.
- How many litters do you have per year?
- How many dogs do you currently have?
- Record of vaccinations.
- Are they micro-chipped?
- Registration papers / club affiliation.
- Suggested diet.
Once you are sure you have found the right dog breeder, it is important to have a good look at your puppy.
- Clear, healthy and bright eyes that look straight ahead.
- Shiny coat, no hair loss or patches of dry skin.
- Damp nose with no discharge.
- Bright pink gums and white teeth.
- Straight well formed legs.
- Clean ears that do NOT smell.
- No unusual lumps or bumps.
- Thin or overweight.
- Is their tummy overly extended?
- Energetic and happy not sad and scared.
- You want a dog that is in proportion for their age and size.
Now you’ve chosen the perfect puppy, it’s time to bring them home. This can be a really exciting time for everyone involved. But it’s also the time to get prepared. Some basics to have are:
Collar and Lead – make sure they are size appropriate so avoid spending a lot on your first lead and collar. Go for a light and comfortable option until pup is bigger.
Newspaper – very good to have around for lining your dog area. This makes clean up for those little accidents super easy.
A dog pen – these are wonderful and allow you to have an area to pop your pup into when they need a sleep or when you go out. They are great for your pup to sleep in at night to be safe and sound. They can be changed to suit your sizing needs and then opened up to a large play run. Super versatile and will keep your little one safe and sound.
Toys – Don’t forget the cuddle teddy that will imitate their littermates. Plus some chew toys perfect for the teething pup. The trick with toys is to rotate them daily. So purchase a good few and take them away and swap them over. This will add life to your toys and will keep your pup interested.
Bedding – A comfortable and snuggly bed. Remembering that they’ve just come from a litter of snoring hot-water bottles.
Dinner Time – A small food and water bowl. Plus the same food the breeder has been feeding (to avoid tummy upsets you need to slowly change the diet). Also pick up some tasty tinned food as some pups do not like to eat once the ‘fight’ for food has ended and their siblings are not around.
Cleaning – pups will make mess until they are correctly toilet trained. Remember to go easy on the detergent or bleach as it can actually enhance the smell to a dog. Try purchasing a spray bottle and mixing a very small amount of clothes washing powder with water. This will 100% neutralize the smell to your pup and will safely clean up the mess.
Stay tuned for part-two and learn the art of basic puppy training and how to solve common and pesky problems.
A BIT ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Nadia Crighton is a well-known and accomplished Australian Journalist and pet magazine Editor. As a busy mum of four humans, two dogs, 50 sheep, three cats, three axolotl’s, a handful of chickens and a goat named Billy, she simply adores pets of all shapes and sizes. These are her personal thoughts and advice from many years of pet-ownership.