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Five Things Puppy Buyers Should (and Shouldn’t) Be Doing For Their Dogs

There’s an awful lot to learn and take in if you’ve just got or are about to get a puppy, and everyone has their own ideas about dog care too, which can make it hard in some cases to get reliable information and advice.

However, doing your research goes a long way in this respect – but there are a few aspects of puppy ownership that should be mentioned a little more often than they are, to help new dog owners to start as they mean to go on, and avoid doing things that could be a problem alike. This article will tell you five things you should (and should not) be doing from when you get your pup. Read on to learn more.

You should be conditioning your dog not to fear fireworks far ahead of November

It should come as no surprise to even a first-time dog owner that dogs don’t like fireworks; this is a natural and perfectly reasonable fear, and you can’t explain to your dog what’s going on so that they make peace with it.

Fireworks anxiety in dogs can be very acute, and lead to incredibly high stress levels and real terror on the part of dogs any time fireworks are in the offing. Reversing this or easing the impact of fireworks on dogs can be achieved; but it is very, very time consuming, and takes months in many cases to really show improvement.

However, you can actually in many cases prevent dogs from becoming scared of fireworks at all, or at least, make them far more philosophical about them, by conditioning them to the stimulus of loud noises and bright lights in a progressive, safe and reassuring manner before they actually hear real fireworks for the first time.

November, however, when bonfire night is days away or the first fireworks displays have already taken place is far too late for this! Whenever you get your puppy, getting them prepared to handle bangs and bright lights without stress is something you should begin more or less immediately, along with teaching them the general rules and guidelines you expect them to follow for their life with you. You’ll be doing both of you a favour in the long run!

You should never give your dog paracetamol, aspirin, or other human medications

If your dog has acquired a minor injury or seems to be in mild pain but you’re sure there’s nothing serious going on, you might be tempted to give them a human painkiller or half a tablet of something like paracetamol or aspirin.

After all, we can buy these over the counter and off the shelf in the supermarket and give them them to children quite safely, so this can’t really be a problem, can it? Yes it certainly can. All of the human analgesics we tend to keep at home, including paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, and all combinations of these, are acutely dangerous to dogs. 

This isn’t even just a case of being unable to calculate the correct dosage for a dog either; none of these medications are used as standard in veterinary clinics because they’re both potentially highly likely to poison your dog and also, don’t provide effective pain relief for dogs.

Never give your dog any kind of human medication, or herbal remedy for that matter; always speak to your vet if you have any concerns.

You should be brushing your dog’s teeth regularly

This is one important aspect of dog ownership that very few dog owners actually do – brushing their dog’s teeth. In fact, the idea of this can seem hilarious at first to the new dog owner. But you should start brushing your pup’s teeth with a special dog toothbrush and paste from the time they’re a puppy – this can help to greatly reduce the chances of and severity of dental problems in later life, which are apt to be very painful for your dog and also expensive to have resolved at the vets.

You shouldn’t throw sticks for your dog

Heading off to the park to walk your dog and picking up a suitably-sized stick to throw for them is something that a great many dog owners do every day of the year; the vast majority of these dogs living to old age with absolutely no ill effects from this.

However, while this is so ubiquitous that the idea that throwing a stick for a dog could be dangerous might seem almost ridiculous, it can indeed be very harmful.

A dog that chases, catches, or chews on sticks stands a really high chance of getting a splinter or puncture wound in their mouth at some point, and a number of other more acute and even life-threatening things can result from throwing sticks for dogs too.

Puncture injuries that can even pierce internal organs can occur from throwing sticks for your dog, or even the dog just running around with a stick in their mouths.

When you first get a puppy, don’t introduce them to the idea of playing with sticks in the first place, and ensure they have plenty of suitable, dog-safe toys available to use instead. Also, provide plenty of chew toys when your puppy is teething to ensure they don’t turn to sticks to help with this either.

You should brush and groom your dog, even if they’re shorthaired

Finally, if you get a dog with a long, dense, or otherwise complex coat and don’t know how to take care of this or neglect to do so, you’re going to end up with a multitude of problems on your hands in very short order.

But even if your dog has short, single-layered fur, brushing and grooming them at least three times a week for a few minutes at a time is a great idea anyway.

This helps to boost the dog’s circulation, improve the health of their skin, remove loose fur, and even help to increase the bond between you. You should also bathe your dog (or take your dog to a groomer for a bath) every few weeks too.


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