(DOGS/PUPPIES/PET CARE) Adding a new dog to the family is quite exciting, but it’s important to know how to properly care for your new furry family member. With the proper care and training, puppies will adapt more easily into their new homes.

Are you or someone you know thinking about adopting a new dog? If so, check out these five tips on how to properly welcome a new puppy into your home. — Global Animal

Spaying or neutering your pet helps reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Photo credit: Roy Sanborn
Spaying or neutering your pet helps reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Photo credit: Roy Sanborn

Biscuits & Bath

5 Tips to Achieve Total Wellness for the New Addition to Your Family

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is sure to bring plenty of happiness, but it’s also a big responsibility and those first few days, weeks and months are crucial in your pup’s development. Dr. Yasmine Mortsakis, DVM, Director of Health & Wellness at NY Vet Practice, which offers full-service veterinary care at Biscuits & Bath, New York City’s total wellness destination for dogs, offers the following five tips to ensure your new puppy has a happy and healthy life.

Photo credit: Biscuits & Bath
Creating a smooth transition for your new puppy is extremely important. Photo credit: Biscuits & Bath

1. Create a smooth transition for your new pup. The first few days in a puppy’s new home are critical. To make this transition successful, there are a few things you can do:

  • If you get your puppy from a breeder or litter in the adoption center, take a towel or blanket with the scent of its littermates for an added sense of security.
  • Get your home ready by restricting access to toxins and poisonous materials, as well as small objects.
  • Set up a crate or confined space for your puppy to use as a den concept.
It's important to avoid feeding your dog table scraps. Photo Credit: Biscuits & Bath
It’s important to avoid feeding your dog table scraps. Photo Credit: Biscuits & Bath

2. Start good eating habits early. For the first few days, feed your pup the same type and brand of food, and use the same feeding schedule he/she was on prior to living with you. Then, to prevent intestinal upset, slowly start using the food you have chosen. Young puppies should not be given table scraps because their digestive tracts are not fully developed and this could cause diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. Also, treats are good, but don’t overdo it. Treats should never account for more than 10% of your puppy’s caloric intake.

Walking your dog daily is very important to its health. Photo Credit: Dogbreedinfo.com
Walking your dog daily is very important to his/her health. Photo Credit: Dogbreedinfo.com

3. Get out and move. Daily exercise, whether a walk around the block, jogging on the bike path, playing frisbee or fetch, or swimming, is important for all dogs. It strengthens respiratory and circulatory systems, helps get oxygen to tissue cells, wards off obesity, keeps muscles toned and joints flexible, releases energy, relieves boredom, keeps mind active, and aids in digestion. However, try to avoid games that pit your strength against your puppy, like tug-of-war, because some puppies get very excited, overly stimulated and become far too aggressive.

Don't forget to schedule a vet appointment for your new puppy.
Don’t forget to schedule a vet appointment for your new puppy.

4. Keep your pup healthy, and visit your vet. The vaccination of puppies is one of the crucial steps in assuring they will have a healthy and happy puppyhood. The who, what, why, when, where and how of vaccinations are complicated and may vary for each puppy, so always consult with your vet to determine which vaccines are appropriate for yours. After that, regular veterinary care is essential to the health and happiness of your dog throughout his/her life.

Spaying and neutering can save your pet's life! Photo credit: Petfinder.com
Spaying and neutering can save your pet’s life. Photo credit: Petfinder.com

5. Spay or neuter your puppy. Biscuits & Bath recommends spaying or neutering your pup before his/her first heat for behavioral and medical reasons. For instance, it is the best way to significantly reduce her chances of developing breast cancer and his chances of developing testicular cancer, a common condition in female and male dogs. Also, when a female dog is in heat it increases her chances of getting into an accident while attempting to find a mate.

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