We’ve listed below some of the common problems that can arise for new puppy owners. Hopefully this will inform you and help you to avoid encountering these problems yourself.
Buying flea and wormer from the pet shop:
Problems arise with pet shop treatments as they don’t protect against lungworm or mange. The flea medications generally aren’t good either. We would suggest obtaining a prescription from your vet instead.
Sticking rigidly to breeders’ advice:
Whilst most advice from respectable breeders is fine, sometimes breeders can provide some advice that is less than optimal for your puppy, including guidance on diet, fleas, worming and neutering. It is worth discussing the advice with your veterinary professional.
Not neutering female dogs and thinking that they benefit from having a litter:
Hearts sink for vets when they see older female dogs that haven’t been neutered and sadly have mammary tumours and Pyometra. It is really sad for a veterinary professional to see because this is easily avoided. After being neutered they are generally happy dogs at less risk of health issues.
Getting a puppy from a dubious source:
Unfortunately, puppies often come with worms and other problems when bought online. We can’t stress enough how important it is to do lots of research to make sure that you are getting your puppy from a good, reliable source. This will definitely pay off in the long run.
Not arranging finances e.g. insurance or putting money aside for emergencies:
This is something that could cause problems later down the line, so it’s best to be prepared and protect your puppy from the start. Please get insurance or put money aside from the beginning to avoid potentially large and unexpected costs at an inconvenient time.
Treating puppies like children:
This can often be seen in family environments. Treating a dog like a child by allowing them on the sofa or bed and giving them human food can sometimes lead to behavioural issues later on.
Giving an initial course of vaccinations and then stopping vaccinations:
Please don’t think that after your dog’s initial course of vaccinations, that’s it because this is not the case! There are serious diseases out there and your precious pet needs to be protected. Coming into the vets for vaccination boosters also gives the vet a chance to give your dog a really thorough health check and make sure that they are healthy.
Feeding too much ‘human’ food:
This can make dogs very fussy. It may sound obvious but dogs should be eating dog food. Small scraps every now and then are okay (please make sure these foods are safe for dogs!) but don’t give them too much. If you do, you might struggle to put them on a special diet if needed.
Don’t rely on Google when you are concerned about your dog! Vets often see clients come in with information that they have found on Google which can be misleading or incorrect. It can often be quite scary too and can result in you feeling more stressed. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do research online but if you have any worries please consult your vet.
Here are some of our top tips for ensuring optimal health for your precious puppy:
- Get your puppy on a healthcare plan to cover preventative needs. The process of having it automated makes it easier to comply with.
- Get insurance! It takes the cost element out of the equation if treatment is ever needed.
- Treat your puppy for lungworm.
- Get you puppy vaccinated for kennel cough. This is something that people miss sometimes as they think this is just about kennels but it’s not.
- Tooth brushing/dental care is important. We all know how debilitating tooth pain can be and no one wants their precious pet to experience that. This is easily avoided with proper dental care.
- Keep fur around the feet clipped short and check for grass seeds as these can cause real pain for your dog.
- Don’t change your puppy’s diet around too much when their stomach is still developing. Changing your puppy’s diet should be a very gradual process spread out over a few weeks.
- Don’t overfeed your pup. Obesity is very common in dogs and this can cause various health problems.
- Keep an eye on chews as things can easily get stuck. Keep a close eye on things like toys as well as human food like chicken bones and corn on the cob as these can be very dangerous if they get stuck.