A dog is a man’s best friend. No matter the breed, they all deserve love equally. Raising them from puppies to big dogs can be rewarding for most people, but you must remember that it takes a lot of patience.
It’s almost the same as raising babies though their needs vary significantly. Nonetheless, it can be a very special memory for your family. As a first-time fur parent, you must understand that these little puppies require special love and attention.
Take Them to the Vet
Like newborn babies, they must be thoroughly assessed to discover possible abnormalities and determine how you’ll care for them later.
Some veterinarians suggest bringing your puppies when they’re around six weeks, just the same timeframe when their natural antibodies wear off. As such, it becomes one of their most vulnerable times when they can be at risk of infections and other diseases.
You can expect the vet to perform physical examinations. They might also prescribe initial immunizations and deworming medications. You should also ask for their vaccine schedule guide and keep up with their medical needs for healthier development. As much as possible, make it a habit to visit the vet frequently.
Prepare a Clean Environment
Next, just like how you welcome a new family, you should at least prepare a clean place for your puppy.
Newborn puppies spend their early weeks in a place like a box or a pen where they’re born because they can’t move much yet. You must have already prepared such areas before they even arrive. Prepare an area where the mother can also comfortably settle so she can come and go freely without crushing her puppies.
Moreover, newborn puppies can’t regulate their body temperatures yet. Ensure that they are constantly protected from harsh temperatures. You might observe how they usually snuggle with their mom, but it would help them if you offered assistance by providing a heat lamp during their first month.
Place the lamp at a considerable distance to prevent them from overheating or burning. Also, give them space or an area where they can cool off if it gets too warm.
Familiarize Their Eating Pattern
Like a regular human newborn, newborn puppies also get their initial protection from their mother’s milk’s antibodies. Thus, it’s best to promote breastfeeding to their puppies as long as possible.
If you’ve adopted the puppy or the mother dies or rejects her puppies, visiting the vet would be your best solution since they might require a specific diet or supplements. You should also take this chance to ask your vet how to care for your puppies properly.
Additionally, keep an eye on your puppies’ weight. If they still don’t show any sign of weight gain or development, contact your vet immediately. This is important so that you can immediately determine the underlying issues in their development. It might be related to their body, appetite, or something else.
Furthermore, to give you an idea of how to feed them properly, you can look into this brief list of what you can do:
Socialize With Your Puppy
In their fourth week, your puppy is now ready to have fun with humans and other dogs. It’s also around this time when puppies need to learn about the environment they’ll be living in to adjust properly. Socializing with their family and getting familiar with other dogs is vital.
You should understand that socialization is essential because your puppies might grow into anxious dogs, which is the root cause of most behavioral problems. Take some loving time together to cuddle, play, walk around the neighborhood, and just let them discover new experiences.
Once they’re big enough, you can teach them a few tricks and train them to potty properly. You can start with obedience training at home, like sitting, waiting, lying down, etc. You can start training them as early as seven weeks.
Everything mentioned above might sound like a lot of work, but you’ll be surprised how the first several weeks can go by like a flash. Before adopting a new puppy or welcoming a new litter, remember that nurturing them entails great responsibility.
Don’t take up the challenge if you feel you aren’t ready yet. Nonetheless, nurture them like your own kid and give them the love they deserve.