Getting a New Puppy

Kapi-Mana News Pet Health Column Article for 6 November 2012

Written by Dr Ian Schraa, 06/11/2012

Getting a new puppy is a fun, exciting time. They grow and develop from little bundles of fur into a wonderful part of many people’s lives.

To make sure this happens people need to do some homework before getting a new pup and to take proper care of the puppy after they decide on one.

Before getting a new pup

It is important to first decide if you should get a pup at all. They are a lot of responsibility and you should expect to care for them for their whole lives, which often is around 12 or more years. Too many people lose interest after the first few months.

Once you have decided that you can look after it for their whole life then choose a breed that suits your situation. What size dog, how much exercise, how much grooming? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself. Your vet can help. Find out as much as possible about the new pup and the pup’s parents. For this reason it is best to use a reputable breeder. Certain breeds have inherited problems such as joint deformities, eye problems and behavioural issues. Checking the breeder is the best way to avoid getting a pup with poor breeding. Good breeders provide plenty of information. It is best to see the pup in their original home. Seeing the pup’s parents will give you an idea of your pup’s likely temperament.

After getting your new pup

It is important to set the ground rules from day one and stick to them. Make sure they have a warm place to sleep that is draught-free and safe. You will need to feed them puppy food for the first year, or longer for larger breeds. Ensure they are de-wormed, flea treated, vet checked and vaccinated. Enrolling them in puppy pre-school to help socialise them early is a really good idea. They need to be registered with the local council by 3 months of age and microchipped by 5 months of age. Don’t hesitate to see your vet if you have any concerns about their health or behaviour.

If you do your homework before getting a puppy, choose from a good breeder, ensure they are well cared for, well trained and much loved you will find that fun little bundle of fur will turn out to be one of the best friends you could ever have.

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Elaine Clarkson

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Started at Rappaw in 2009

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