The first 12 weeks of owning a puppy: final considerations

Posted by Betty. March 4th 2014.

In the first 12 weeks of owning a puppy, there are a lot of important decisions to be made.

Veterinary care, diet & toilet training are all at the top of the list of priorities, but here are the final considerations you should make in the first 12 weeks of owning a puppy.

Grooming a puppy

It is a good idea to brush your puppy every day. Dogs’ coats can become knotted and tangled, so brushing from an early age ensures they tolerate it throughout their lives. It is also a nice way to bond with your puppy, as being stroked and groomed is very soothing to them and can be relaxing for you as an owner! Gently examine the puppy daily, for example look in their ears and touch their paws as well as generally cuddling them, as this will help if a vet ever needs to examine them, as they will then be used to being handled.

Owning a puppy - Golden Retriever Puppy

Socialisation

The key to a happy relaxed dog is lots of socialisation as a puppy and the first 12 weeks of ownership are vitally important. It is important to introduce your puppy to a variety of people, pets and situations. For instance, ask your friends and family to make a fuss of your puppy when they are visiting.  Let him become familiar with ordinary household objects, such as the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, doorbell and sitting in the back of the car with the engine running. Approaching situations such as these calmly and confidently will help your puppy to understand there is nothing to be scared of instead they are just a part of everyday life.

Your local vet may well run puppy classes, which are great fun for you and your puppy. They will help him/her become used to other dogs and people, as well as let you pick up further helpful tips e.g. on feeding and training. The other great thing is that your puppy visits the veterinary practice for fun – no needles, poking or prodding when feeling ill or in pain. As a vet you can always spot a ‘puppy party’ dog as they are much happier and confident at the vet practice where the party was held. Further trips to the vets for simple weigh-ins for flea and wormer treatments will add to the feeling that the vet’s is not that bad! It is important to note that not all puppy classes require full vaccination.

Entertainment

Puppies love to play and need human contact, attention and playtime every day. There are lots of special puppy toys on the market and some toys, such as Kong’s, where they have to try to get the treats out of the toy, are very useful training tools and will entertain your puppy for hours. Just stroking, cuddling and talking with your puppy every day is very important too of course and is one of the main sources of enjoyment between dog owners and their pets.  A puppy will also see training as a form of entertainment.

And finally… Pet Insurance

You should consider insuring your pet with a reputable insurer, as expensive problems tend to peak in the very young and the older dog.

Look in detail at what is covered, the limits and exclusions, before making your final choice.

For example,  would a long-term condition that develops after you take out cover, such as arthritis, be covered by a policy each year you renew?

You need to be aware that insurance covers accidents and illness (some products cover accidents only), not day to day events like vaccinations and neutering. The developments in the medical and surgical world of veterinary practice are very advanced and so specialist care can be very expensive.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the requirements of a puppy in the first 12 weeks of ownership. If you have any questions that you still need answering please feel free to tweet us @ArgosPets or follow our Facebook page.

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