Your dog will require daily exercise, and you should thoroughly research how much exercise and its frequency your puppy will need as he grows up and as an adult dog. Always keep your dog on a lead in public, except in designated free-roam areas, and be prepared to clean up after your dog at all times. By law, your dog must wear a collar with a fitted tag or disc when in public, which displays the owner’s name, address, and contact number.
Socialisation and training
A dog that will act upon your commands will have a better relationship with you – a trained dog is a happy and assured dog. The Pet Charity guide to Training & Socialisation is a must read and can be found online at www.thepetcharity.org.uk if your pet shop doesn’t have it available. If you do not train or socialise your puppy, he may become fearful and/or aggressive later in life and therefore unsure and unhappy. A puppy should attend socialisation classes as soon as he is old enough, which will be after vaccinations upon the advice of the vet.
There are a weekly puppy and dog-training clubs in most areas and in most vet practices (typically known as Puppy Parties) – they can be a lot of fun for both dog and owner. The Kennel Club has registered training clubs countrywide – find your nearest club by visiting www.thekennelclub.org.uk/findadogclub. By registering with your vet early you can find out more about these worthwhile events.
Your puppy will enjoy playing with toys as well as with you. There is a wide variety to choose from and your pet shop will be able to advise. Puppies chew while teething and during adolescence, and some dogs continue to enjoy chewing into adulthood, so provide plenty of suitable chewing toys or food chews and change/remove them often for hygiene reasons.
Groom your dog regularly with specialist equipment suitable to the breed of dog and the coat type.
Your dog must be wormed regularly with a proprietary worming preparation, ask your vet or pet shop if you are unsure.
Regular flea treatments will be needed to prevent fleas and other skin parasites. Your pet shop will be able to advise.
Your puppy must be vaccinated against the infectious canine diseases: distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and infectious hepatitis (also known as adenoviruses 1 & 2). Annual boosters will also be required. Always be guided by your vet, since the vaccination requirements for some of these diseases vary due to circumstance and breed. If you intend to take your pet abroad he will need a pet passport. This requires, amongst other things, vaccination against rabies and your vet will be able to advise. It is recommended to visit the Pet Travel Scheme section on the DEFRA website for further advice.
If you are not going to breed from your dog you should discuss neutering of both the male and female with your vet; there are different criteria for each in later life. Neutering prevents unwanted litters and health implications, such as the prevention of uterine disease and testicular tumours. Neutering can have an adverse effect on the coats and weight gain of some breeds, so you may also wish to discuss this with your breeder.
Puppies should be registered with and examined by your vet at the earliest opportunity and insured against unexpected veterinary costs.
You now need to have your puppy microchipped, which is the law from 2016 in the UK. Your vet or other pet professionals can advise.
Thanks for reading
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