How to raise a healthy pup
You’ve brought your fluffy little bundle of joy home – now begins the important job of making him a well-adjusted, healthy pet
TEACHING your pup how to behave in public is an important pillar of socialisation. So too is making sure he’s up to date with vaccinations and teaching him to be obedient. Here’s advice on how to ensure your puppy has a firm foundation in life. Vaccinations Young animals’ immune systems are vulnerable. After five to eight weeks your puppy requires a five-in-one vaccination. The second vaccination is given at 10 to 12 weeks. Once the puppy is 12 weeks old he can receive his first rabies shot.
But it’s detrimental to a puppy’s mental health to keep him totally isolated for the first three months of life, so you need to reach a compromise between the need to protect him from disease and the need to ensure a balanced dog.
It’s important to let your pup experience the world, so take him out as much as possible but don’t allow him to mix with dogs whose vaccination status you can’t be sure of. And avoid taking him to parks or public areas where he can come into contact with dog excrement that could infect him with diseases such as parvovirus. Socialisation The more your puppy meets people and plays with other dogs, the more friendly and sociable he’ll become. Take your puppy to your friends’ homes and invite friends to your home. Make sure your puppy meets a selection of children of various ages. Young kids can be boisterous compared with adults, so if your puppy doesn’t meet kids when he’s young he may react badly when he comes across kids as an older dog.
Let your puppy approach strangers in his own time. Don’t pass him to someone else or pull him towards people.
Avoid using food as an incentive when introducing your puppy to strangers as this may teach him that all people carry food on them, which is not ideal. You’ll want your puppy to approach people because they are friendly not to receive treats. Your puppy should be carefully introduced to a variety of vaccinated adult dogs. Ensure these dogs are safe around puppies as a bad experience can be more damaging than none at all. Obedience Puppies have a short attention span but you can expect them to begin to learn simple obedience commands, such as “sit,” “down” and “stay” at as young as seven to eight weeks of age.
A good puppy class can help with socialisation and get you started with your training, but a weekly session won’t be enough and you’ll have to reinforce most of the work away from the class.
Finding a good class is key as a bad one can do more harm than good – your vet may be able to recommend one. S SOURCES: PUPPYLEAKS.COM, BLUECROSS.ORG.UK, NYLABONE.COM
Don’t take pups jogging or running until they’re more than a year old. Their growth plates are softer than other parts of their body so they're more prone to injury.