Puppy Basics: Health Care Essentials
Puppy Basics: Health Care Essentials

Puppy Health Checklist

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Puppies like human babies need additional love, care, and support in their growing age. The first month of a new puppy is critical as it needs the best healthcare, nutrition, and love to grow into a healthy and cheerful dog. Puppy health becomes the primary responsibility of pet parents during this stage. They must ensure preventive care and medical support alongside providing proper nourishment. To know more about the puppy health checklist, read the following.

Puppy health essentials

Maintaining puppy health is the foremost important duty of every pet parent. Consulting a vet, vaccinating, neutering, and availing regular healthcare check-ups are a few duties of puppy caregivers. Similarly, other puppy preventive care includes:

  • Veterinarian visits: Taking an appointment to see a vet is the first thing puppy caregivers should do. Consulting the vet helps the pet parent understand their fur baby’s healthcare and behavioural requirements. The vet also conducts a thorough health check-up to diagnose the puppy’s allergies or health concerns. Besides, vets also give helpful insights on puppy preventive care and grooming tips to pet parents. Prepare for your puppy's first vet visit by making sure you're ready and well-informed about the experience.
  • Deworming: Worm and parasite treatment is necessary for puppies. Veterinarians often recommend a stool examination on the puppy’s first visit to diagnose worms and parasites. Worms are very common among puppies; hence, vets recommend a deworming session on the puppy’s first visit.
  • Vaccination: Like humans, puppies too need immunity to fight harmful viruses, bacteria, and diseases. To keep your puppy’s health in check, it is important to get them vaccinated against harmful diseases like hepatitis, distemper, rabies, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, and Bordetella. Make sure that you go through the puppy vaccination guide before consulting your vet. This will help you jot down any questions regarding the vaccination process and schedule. However, as a pet parent, you must know that vaccination is not limited to puppies, adult and senior dogs also need booster shots to fight back fatal diseases.
  • Flea treatment: Ticks and fleas are extremely common in puppies. Getting your puppy treated for fleas and ticks is important for their hygiene and well-being. These parasites treat your fur baby as a host to feed on its blood and suck away all essential nutrients away from its body. Besides, fleas and ticks also cause a lot of irritation to puppies. So, frequent ticks and flea treatment is recommended for the puppy’s health.
  • Health and exercise: Puppies are playful and energetic. Pet parents can build a healthy routine for their fur babies by dedicating a fixed time for walks and playtime. Doing so will keep the puppy entertained and healthy. Spending playtime with the puppy will also help you to establish a strong bond with it. Besides, this also aids in observing the puppy to gauge its development, health, and mood.
  • Balanced diet: Puppies need more energy as they are constantly growing. However, their anatomy is way smaller than the amount of energy they require. Therefore, pet parents need to ensure puppies are fed a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet. Protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates are some essential nutrients required for a puppy’s physical well-being. Moreover, puppies should be fed at least 3 to 4 meals a day to support their nutritional requirements for healthy growth. With IAMS™ puppy food, you can provide your pooch with a nutritionally balanced meal for healthy growth and development. Thanks to our best-quality ingredients, you do not have to worry about digestibility.

Puppy medical care

Medical and preventive care is extremely necessary for puppies. Younger puppies are too small to understand what is good or bad for them. Besides, they are also very curious, playful, and energetic during their initial years. This playful and curious nature can sometimes lead to harmful situations.

Puppies often play and munch on random objects, which can sometimes result in toxication. In fact, accidents are also common in puppies as they lack cognitive skills to measure the consequences of their action. Hence, pet parents should pay more attention to their puppy’s growth and development. Some essential puppy health recommendations are as mentioned:

  • Finding a vet: Taking your pup for regular health check-ups is essential for a its adequate growth and development. Consulting a veterinarian will provide useful insights and health tips for the puppy’s well-being. However, before visiting a vet, you should check important details like the doctor’s experience, speciality, and location. You need an experienced vet in or around your vicinity.
  • Health check-up: On visiting the vet, request a few tests to diagnose and treat any abnormalities or diseases. Stool test for internal parasites and head-to-tail examinations for inspecting the puppy’s fur, eyes, ear, mouth, and body are conducted by the vet during your initial visits to diagnose and treat health issues.
  • Feeding medicines: Veterinary doctors prescribe medication or supplements for treating any underlying illness and replenishing vitamin deficiency in puppies. However, feeding medicines to puppies or dogs is not an easy task. Follow the steps given below to learn how to successfully feed medicines to puppies.
  1. Step 1: Start with a play session to relax the puppy. Praise it for good behaviour and sit nearby once it calms down.
  2. Step 2: Keep the pill ready in one hand and gently open the puppy’s mouth using your free hand.
  3. Step 3: Place the pill at the far end of your puppy’s tongue and remove your hand. Now, quickly hold your puppy’s mouth shut and blow gently on its nose. Blowing air on the puppy’s nose will force it to swallow the pill.
  4. Step 4: Offer the fur baby a treat for good behaviour and resume playtime.

Apart following puppy health checklist, pet parents also need to ensure their fur baby is provided with other basic facilities for their overall growth and development. Training and socializing are as important as providing the best healthcare.

Besides, potty training and command training establishes hygiene and good behavior in them from a young age. To conclude, puppy health, fitness, and training are some of the most essential aspects for the overall growth and development of puppies.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do I know my puppies are healthy?
  2. Observe the puppy daily to look for signs of discomfort, illness, and abnormalities. If you notice a major shift in the puppy’s mood or changes in physical attributions, stool, fur, and other attributes, then consult a vet at the earliest. However, if everything looks and feels normal then you have a healthy puppy.

  3. What are the 5 signs of a healthy puppy?
  4. Soft and shiny fur, clean ear, bright eyes, a clear nose, and a playful mood are some essential signs of a healthy puppy.

  5. What are the signs of a sick puppy?
  6. Diarrhea, vomiting, itching, whimpering, and loss of energy are some signs of a sick puppy.

  7. What are the most common illnesses in puppies?
  8. Parasites, kennel cough, parvovirus, vomiting, and diarrhoea are some common illnesses in puppies.

  • How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies
    How to Take Care of Newborn Puppies

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    Bringing a furry friend home is one of the greatest things you will do. If you are someone who has been longing for a furry companion, you should wait no more... however, only if you are confident that you can take complete care of this four-legged angel. Puppies need love and care, so as their caregivers, you need to help them grow into happy and healthy dogs.

    Stay by your pet’s side throughout its growing stage. This is that time of its life where you need to do more than just provide food, love, and fun times; you must understand dog nutrition, follow the vaccination schedule, and potty train your puppy. Sparing some time and energy to provide your pet with basic puppy care can help you build a loving relationship with your pooch. So, let us explore a few things you can look into while nurturing a puppy. This basic puppy care guide will also keep you informed with what to expect in the first few months of being a caregiver.

    • Bringing your puppy home

    Wondering what to know about taking care of a new puppy? Let us start with the most basic things like puppy proofing your house. That is right. Puppies and babies fall in the same category: delicate and fragile! You need to be careful about their surroundings and make sure that there is nothing hazardous around. Puppies are naturally curious. Make sure they do not encounter things like chemicals, electrical cords, harmful houseplants, valuables, and especially breakables. You also need to get necessary pup supplies like a feeding bowl, collar, leash, and more. Set up a cosy corner for your puppy to rest in!

    • Feeding your pooch

    Choosing the right puppy food is of paramount importance. You must pick out puppy food that is specifically formulated for growing puppies as it needs the right kind of nutrients to grow stronger. So, avoid adult dog food if your pet is still a pup.

    Not sure when to make a switch to adult dog food? Well, it totally depends on the breed size. If you have a small or medium breed dog, you can switch to dog food once it turns 9 to 12 months old. If you have a large breed dog, continue feeding puppy food until it turns 12 to 24 months old. Apart from that, make sure your pup always has access to fresh and clean water!

    This is what a typical puppy feeding schedule would look like: 

    • 6-12 weeks old: Four meals per day 
    • 3-6 months old: Three meals per day 
    • 6-12 months old: Two meals per day 

    At IAMS™, we offer a range of puppy as well as adult dog food that nourishes your furry friend with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Our products are made with premium-quality ingredients to ensure that your dog enjoys every bite of its food.

    • Vet visits and vaccinations

    Taking your furry friend to the vet is the most important part of taking care of a puppy. Your dog’s first visit to the vet will help you learn about your dog’s overall physical health. Vet visits will also keep you informed about the vaccination schedule.  In fact, it is recommended to make a list of all questions that you may have. This list should include topics like: 

    • Vaccination schedule 
    • Spaying or neutering 
    • Potty training 
    • Basic obedience training 
    • Any symptoms 
    • Diet and nutrition 
    • Deworming
    • Socialisation

    Puppies should meet a variety of different people, dogs, objects, and situations – all in a positive way. The most important time for pups to socialise is between three and 12 weeks of age, however, it should continue throughout a puppy’s development. As pet parents, you can take your pooch to puppy classes as it provides a great opportunity to socialise puppies.

    • Potty training

    You can get started with potty training from the day one. This will help inculcate basic bathroom manners in your dog and will save you from cleaning the floor every time your pooch excretes. So, pick a bathroom spot outside your house and take your pup to the same place whenever it is potty time. Praise it right after it is done. You can also reward it with treats. However, under no circumstances must a puppy be yelled at since it may ignite fear.

    The best way to train is to reward good behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour. It is never too early to begin training a puppy, but owners must remember that very young puppies become tired or distracted easily so training sessions should be kept to a short duration.

    • Oral care

    Dogs are prone to losing tooth, bad breath, and periodontal diseases. Moreover, they are good at hiding their dental pain. Hence, owners should introduce some form of oral care for their puppy as early as possible. Consult your vet to ensure that you pick the best dental care option for your pooch.

    • Exercise

    Amounts of exercise should be controlled for puppies during growth. They should not be forced to exercise beyond the amount of time they would engage in with another puppy of the same age. Moreover, your furry friend must be allowed to rest when they need to. So, instead of offering a one long playtime period, go for two short walks.