TUE, 19 JAN 2016 BY LINDA ROSADO
Fresh from the holiday season, you might be a lucky new dog owner. If someone in your life gave the wonderful gift of a dog, you’re sure to have love, excitement and lots of kisses from that new pup in your life. With that new responsibility of being a pet parent, there are a number of things you need to do to maintain a happy, healthy life with your dog. The new information you must commit to memory can be overwhelming, but reading up on what a pet parent should do and visiting a vet can appease your worries. Comfort your dog before this strange, new event and exercise it so it isn’t as agitated. Don’t feed your pup right before you drive over to your first appointment to prevent motion sickness, and get ready to ask your veterinarian some important questions.
DOES MY DOG CURRENTLY HAVE ANY DISEASES?
Because you’ve only been with your dog for a short period of time, you may not be aware of any abnormalities or capable of assessing that. Ask your veterinarian if he or she can perform a baseline fecal testing to understand more about your pup’s health. If you’ve been taking your dog out with disposal bags and noticing its fecal matter is watery or softer than it should be, there is a cause for concern. Thankfully, your vet will be able to diagnose this before it gets out of hand and will recommend a diet fitted to your pet’s age and lifestyle. Your furry friend can be kept at its ideal weight with guidance from your veterinarian.
IS THIS NORMAL FOR MY DOG?
If you’ve noticed that your new furry friend has behavioral ticks since you’ve had it, such as barking at the wall or taking a long time before you can use disposal bags, don’t assume that it is normal. If your dog has a noticeable dental anomaly, bring it up with your vet and ask about routine dental habits. Dogs that wheeze after a bout of play may have underlying problems that need to be addressed. Double-checking if your dog is getting too much exercise or not enough will ensure a long and happy life with your pup.
HOW FREQUENT SHOULD VISITS BE?
As your visit is nearing its end, you should starting discussing when your next visit will be. For puppies, a visit every three to four weeks for its first six months is normal for vaccinations, testing and treatments. After those initial six months, most puppies are fixed, and booster immunizations are administered. However, depending on your pup, you may follow a different visitation plan.
Loving that new pup in your life doesn’t have to be burden—making note of anything you’re worried about will ensure you’re playing an active role in your dog’s life. You can enjoy playing with your dog in the park, disposal bags in hand, while monitoring your dog for a healthy lifestyle.