Maybe your kids are nagging you about getting a pet.
Perhaps you live by yourself and are looking for companionship.
Whatever the case may be, you’re thinking about getting a puppy.
Now you’re wondering: what’s it like? What exactly goes into caring for a puppy? In truth, quite a bit.
This is why, before you go out and impulse-buy a living, breathing being, you need to do your research.
That’s where we come in. Below, we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about puppy care.
Just as human beings need to go to the doctor on a regular basis, so too do puppies.
Typically speaking, dogs need to take at least one trip to the vet every year. Of course, if your dog gets sick at other times, he or she might require veterinary assistance then as well.
Veterinary appointments vary in terms of cost. However, you can generally expect to pay somewhere between $50 and $100. If medication is needed, expect to pay even more.
Like young children, puppies need to be given baths.
If you don’t bathe your puppy, its fur will become matted, it will maintain a foul odor, and it might even carry parasites.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to bathe your puppy every 3 months.
However, if your dog has particularly long or thick fur, you might want to cut that time length in half, giving baths every month to a month and a half instead.
Another task you’ll have to carry out is trimming your puppy’s nails.
If you don’t trim your puppy’s nails in a timely manner, they will start to become painful, both for the puppy and you.
In most cases, a dog will need to have its nails trimmed every month. Note, however, that some dogs can make it around 2 months before requiring a trim.
As you probably know, you also have to feed your puppy.
In most cases, a puppy will eat 2 meals a day. Generally, these are spaced 12 hours apart.
While some dog owners feed their animal’s table scraps, it’s not recommended. Specially-made dog food is designed to have all the nutrients a dog needs, ensuring that he or she remains healthy.
Wondering how much dog food will cost?
Depending on the brand you buy, you’ll be spending anywhere from $25 to $50 a month.
When buying, make sure to check the labels. Whereas some foods are designed for small dogs, others are designed for large dogs. There are also puppy-specific dog foods available.
While your puppy might be able to get adequate exercise in your house, the odds are against it.
Typically, to maintain their weight, puppies need to roam free, walking or running for 20 to 30 minutes a day.
For this reason, unless you have a fence, you’ll need to take your puppy for walks. Long walks will not only provide your puppy with exercise, but it will also offer him or her an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
Early in a dog’s life, its walk times alone won’t be enough to accommodate its restroom habits.
Generally speaking, a puppy’s age in months will dictate how long it can hold its bladder. So, if your dog is 4 months old, it will need to be brought outside at least every 4 hours.
This stops at around a year of age. At that point, the dog will be able to hold its bladder for 1/3 to 1/2 of the day. When this point arises, you can make do with 2 or 3 bathroom breaks daily.
Whether it’s from eating trash, taking on parasites, growing old, or otherwise, dogs tend to contract a range of different illnesses.
For this reason, as a dog owner, you need to keep an eye out for ailments at all times.
How can you tell when an ailment has arisen?
By looking out for specific signs.
The most obvious signs to look out for include vomiting, gagging, slowed movement, and diarrhea. Some other signs include lethargy, fatigue, swelling, lack of appetite, and difficulties in breathing.
If you notice these signs in your dog, you might have to make a trip to the vet. Note, however, that it’s wise to make a call first. You might be able to handle the problem over the phone.
You came across the ad: “Chocolate lab puppies for sale!” it read.
Now all you have to do is show up, and you’ll be presented with a well-behaved and obedient chocolate lab, right? Not so fast.
Puppies aren’t born with the ability to sit and fetch on command. If you want your dog to be well-behaved, you are going to have to train it yourself — or take it to training classes. Training classes generally run between $50 and $80 per class.
Dog training is best carried out between the ages of 4 and 6 months. If you wait longer than this, you might find it to be a trying task.
Just as human beings need to spend time with other humans in order to be happy, dogs need to spend time with other dogs in order to be happy.
As such, you need to make an effort to socialize your dog.
This includes taking your dog to dog parks, taking it out amongst crowds, and making sure it’s exposed to plenty of other living beings. The more exposure it has in its youth, the more comfortable it will be during its adult years.
While it’s nothing like caring for human children, caring for a puppy is still quite time-consuming.
It will very likely alter the way you live your life, forcing you to make some sacrifices. That said, it’s usually worth it in the end.
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