‘Before And After’ Care For Your New Puppy
Before you decide to buy a puppy, there are some things that are important to look into. First, you need to go through a list of things to consider before buying a new puppy, which includes deciding things like which breed you like best, activity level of your family as well as the puppy, how much time you can spend with the puppy, the cost of caring for your new puppy, if there are allergies, etc. Once you have decided upon a breed or a few breeds, there are a few more things you should know before buying your new family member.
Breeder Vet Care: Puppies
Since the day a puppy is born, there are many things that will happen to them in the first weeks of their life that the breeders’ vet will take care of. Over the years we have had a lot of questions regarding docked tails and dewclaws being removed. If the puppy is a breed that would have a docked tail, then that is something that would happen on day 2 or 3 of their life when they have no sense of pain in that area. They would also have their dewclaws removed at that time, if they were born with them. This will also cause no pain to the puppy at that age. (Dewclaws are like a thumb and for family pets, are not necessary. There are some cases when they can get caught on something and cause pain and need removal, though this is fairly rare. Once they are past 2-3 days old, this removal can only be done when they are under local or general anaesthetic in surgery.) When the puppies are about 2 weeks old, they also start a deworming process that is continued at 4, 6 and 8 weeks old.
Puppies also begin their vaccination schedule with the breeders’ vet who will begin this process when the puppies are around 6 weeks old. This age varies by vet, but should not be started too young or too old. Puppies are born with their mother’s immunity to certain diseases when they drink the colostrum from her in the first 24 hours after they are born. This immunity continues for their first few weeks, at which time they will lose the effectiveness and need their own vaccination boosters. Once the puppy is placed in their new home on or after 8 weeks of age, your family vet can then take over the care of your new puppy.
Important: When you are looking to buy or adopt any puppy on or over the age of 8 weeks, they MUST have completed the first vaccination as well as the multiple dewormings! Don’t buy a puppy from anyone who is careless enough to try and save money and then sell a puppy without taking it to the vet for a well puppy check, dewormings and regular vaccination care!!!
Once The Puppy Is Adopted: How Many Needles Does a Puppy Need?
Once the puppy is in your home, you will continue the vaccination schedule with your own vet. So, how many needles does a puppy need? The puppy must have a total of 3 regular vaccinations in their first year, as well as a rabies vaccination. The first vaccination is generally given around 6 weeks of age. There should be 4 weeks in between each needle, making them due again at roughly 10 weeks old and 14 weeks old, depending on when the puppy was brought home. It is at the third needle that the puppy will be given the rabies needle as well. This is a mandatory needle by law and the vet will give you a tag to put on your puppy’s collar along with their registration tag for your city. (Almost all cities require dogs to be registered in your current city by law; you can receive a fine if you do not have them registered if it is required. This registration will need to be re-done each year for a fee, and you will receive a new tag yearly to be placed on the dog’s collar along with the rabies tag. Registration is quick and easy and can be done at many major pet stores, as well as online with most mid to large cities on their website. For more details, please contact your local city by-laws.)
Our Vaccination Policy and Recommendations At Curious Puppies
In the four years we have been fostering puppies, we have found certain things to be very important when puppies are adopted into their new homes. First of all, it is a very stressful time for the little pup. They are leaving their siblings and all that was familiar and comfortable to them, and going into a home with all new sights, sounds and smells. This can be overwhelming for a little puppy. We recommend taking it easy with the puppy in the first few days so as not to overwhelm them at this time. For this reason, it is our policy not to allow a puppy to be vaccinated with the second/third needle for a minimum of 14 days after leaving our care. It takes time for their bodies to adjust to new surroundings. It is our experience that the 14 days gives them plenty of time to get used to things and be comfortable enough in their new home. After 14 days and with the stress of the move over, the puppy can now safely receive their next needle. Vaccinations given are live viruses and when given into a stressed puppy, the puppy can then possibly become sick with the very illness you were trying to prevent. Though it may not kill them, it can make them seriously sick and cost thousands of dollars of vet costs, not to mention high levels of physical and financial stress for the family. In some situations the needle can be enough to kill the puppy, through dehydration due to vomiting or diarrhea and a weakened system. It makes sense to wait! We like to compare it to humans getting the flu shot. If our immune levels are dropped for reasons such as a cold, flu, stressful situation etc, our doctor will recommend we not receive the needle until we are well enough to take the live vaccination, otherwise we too can get sick from the needle, or at very least, experience unwanted side effects that could have been prevented. Because the puppy is so small and developing, their body is not strong enough to fight off these things if they are under stress.
What To Feed Your New Puppy
As well as routine vet care, your new puppy will need other forms of care as well. Part of caring for your new puppy is choosing a good quality food that is suited to your puppy’s needs. There are many different choices and many varied opinions on what kind of food is best for your dog. It is not our place at Curious Puppies to make that judgement call, we can only tell our experience and how that has worked for us. We have used a few different brands over the years with our family dogs as well as the puppies, and we are happy to say that we feed all our dogs and puppies Royal Canin puppy food and adult food, and it is highly recommended by us! We have seen over time how Royal Canin dog food brings such a healthy shine to our dogs’ coats, and people notice the shiny coats when we go walking as well! The dogs also consume less per meal, and have less waste to be cleaned up from the yard, which is really important when you have multiple dogs running around all day! We have also noted that the puppies do not vomit up Royal Canin as they had with other brands. The waste is also cleaner and firmer to clean up than other brands we have used.
Whatever puppy you decide on, please make sure it is a carefully thought out decision. This decision needs to be made by the whole family involved in the household. We do not want to see puppies re-homed therefore we recommend the whole family be involved in the process. Also, before you bring home a puppy, ask around to family, friends and neighbours to help you find a vet that is suitable to your needs. You will find that life with your new puppy will be much easier when the decisions have been made ahead of time and you will be able to enjoy this precious new life!