How to raise a healthy puppy
Healthy puppy, happy life
You're your little pup’s lifeline and the best person to keep him happy and healthy. Spending every day with your puppy, and being responsible for the all-important task of overseeing his healthcare, means you are best positioned to be your vet’s eyes and ears' between visits. After all, nobody knows your pup like you do.
Dental care and hygiene
Dental disease is sadly common in dogs. Thankfully, regular teeth cleaning can help care for your puppy’s canines. You can buy canine toothbrushes and toothpaste from your vet. Getting the right toothpaste is critical. Unlike us, your pup will prefer meaty flavours to mint. What’s more, human toothpastes aren’t ideal as they end up foaming too much.
Bleeding gums and foul 'dog breath’ are two things you should look out for and report to your vet, as soon as you can. Young pups love to chew but adolescent chewing does differ from the chewing that happens before all needle-like puppy teeth are lost. Adolescent dogs are almost always chewing so if you want to save yourself a few trips to the pet store for slippers, getting your pup a few chew toys might be your best bet.
Puppy Ear Cleaning
Once a week, the insides of your pup’s ears should be cleaned. You should use a fresh piece of cotton wool for each ear. Make sure not to use cotton buds as these can easily damage your puppy’s ears. You can consider your puppy's ears clean when the following are absent:
Don’t hesitate to take your puppy to the vet if you have any concerns about ear problems such as an infection, canker or ear mites.
Signs of a healthy puppy
Unfortunately, your pup can't speak to you so it's up to you to recognise when he’s doing well and when he’s poorly. You can consider your puppy happy and healthy if he has bright eyes, a shiny coat and is full of energy.
On the other hand, the following are signs that should raise concern:
Whenever in doubt, trust your instincts and contact your vet.
Remedies for puppy stress
While it may not be a physical condition, seeing your puppy exhibiting signs of stress can be equally heavy on the heart.
It's not out of the ordinary for a puppy to whimper during the first few nights in your home. However, once past the initial stages, other factors can lead to stress. Separation anxiety, for example, is relatively common. As always and as in any relationship, love and reassurance will go a long way. If the problems persist or worsen, contact your vet.
Better safe than sorry, better prevented than cured
Before your pup came to you, he should have already started his course of vaccinations. In addition, your breeder or rescue centre should have given you the vet’s certificate detailing this information. Staying on track with your puppy’s vaccination schedule is easily one of the most vital things you can do for his health. Similarly, a regular worming programme and flea control should be in place too.
Last but certainly not least, we can’t forget the role of exercise and a healthy diet. Hill's Science Plan Puppy Formula is specially formulated to meet the needs of growing little pups to give them an excellent start in life.