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Bringing a puppy home is a big commitment. It comes with the responsibility of raising a pup and taking care of it. Puppies are no less than a child. Before bringing a puppy home, it is a smart move to know about the breed you are adopting along getting with the history of the pup. Other than that, there are few more things a to-be dog parent must know- to prepare their house as well as themselves for the new member of their family. Everyone knows the basics. The first questions are where the puppy will sit? What will the puppy eat? Where will the puppy eat? To move forward, first, get a puppy bed or cushion for it to sleep. A set of bowls for food and water then decide a dog food brand you want to feed your puppy. Let’s move on to the other important decisions you need to make as you bring a puppy home.

Things to do before getting a puppy

Puppy proofing

As we said before, puppies are no less than children. They love to sniff around things. They are curious animals. Their inquisitive nature makes them want to learn about anything possible. They will sniff, bite, chew, or even hide things. Like children, you need to be careful of what you leave lying around the house. Anything that can be swallowed by them should be out of their reach. Be careful, don’t leave any food lying around, especially sugary stuff like candies. Check your garden fences. They should not let your puppy run away. The trash cans are the tricky ones. Puppy proof your trash cans by keeping them at a secure place, or your puppy will dive in it to look for anything that might catch its nose attention. Remove the toxic houseplants from your homes. Some plants like ivy, aloe vera, lilies, and others are harmful to dogs.

Vet consultation

The next thing on the list is a vet consultation. When should you take your puppy to the vet for the first time? The answer is as soon as possible. You must schedule an appointment with the vet within 48 hours of getting a puppy. This way, if there is anything concerning, a vet can diagnose it at an early stage instead of finding later when it appears as a bigger problem. 

When you take the puppy to the vet, it gives you a chance to ask all the questions you have about raising a dog. You can ask your vet about anything from diet to vaccination. The vet will give you the right advice about all those things. You can even ask how much it is going to cost you to raise a dog. Vets have answers to all your dog-related questions.

Vaccination

Vaccinations usually start when a puppy is eight weeks old. The puppies inherit a natural immunity from their mothers. As they grow up, that immunity begins to fade. By the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old, they start getting vulnerable to all the diseases and illnesses that are out there. The vaccines work against different viruses and bacteria. They help your pup stay immune to the diseases.

Till they are 16 weeks old, they get a series of vaccines every three weeks. In total, they get three to four series of vaccines depending on breed and other factors. After the initial vaccines, they get yearly booster vaccines.

Food

Initially, you might want to keep your pup on the diet the breeder or whoever you adopted it from was feeding it. If you want to change the diet, do it gradually over a while. Any sudden changes in the diet are to upset its gut. Change the diet by mixing old food and new food. Later decrease the proportion of old food. This way your pup will adapt the new diet without any issues. You must feed your puppy a diet curated for puppies. Get puppy kibbles from the market as they are rich in nutrients.

Some puppies get sick with diarrhea in their first week at a new home. The reason is stress. The change of environment and exposure to new people makes them stressed. This gets over in about a week.

Collar and tag

Putting a collar and a tag is a good idea. The collar is good for identification purposes. The collar should not be too tight around its neck, or it may end up choking your pup. A good way to know to correct setting of the collar is- put your index and middle finger between the collar and the puppy’s neck; if it can move smoothly, the collar setting is okay. The collar should be just tight enough to have space for your two fingers- it should be breathable for the puppy. The collar should not be too loose that it slips off. You will have to keep a close check on the collar setting because in the puppy stage, they grow up very quickly, and before you know the collar will be choking the dog neck.

Diseases to look out for

There are some diseases the owner should be aware of so that they can prevent them. The most dangerous viruses that can affect a puppy are distemper and parvo. Puppies can catch these viruses at an early age, that is why they are vaccinated just when they start losing their natural immunity. These viruses are potentially deadly. Distemper is an especially severe one. Parvo, if caught early, can be cured.

The intestinal and colon related problems are common in puppies because their organs are still growing then. Intestinal worms, hookworms, roundworms, Demodectic mange, Gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, and vomiting are common in puppies. 

If the owners are dedicated and considerate, the puppies stay in good health. With proper care and diet, less than 10% of dogs fall sick. Otherwise, the dogs live a long, happy, and healthy life if the owners are dog people.