The Dog Academy

Caring For Your New Dog / Puppy

Dog-Proof Your Home
Check that your home is safe for your pet -- ideally before you bring them home. For instance, secure any electrical cables they might chew, keep toilet lids closed, and make sure they can’t get into any medications or household cleaners. 
Do you have a pool ? If your pup can’t or hasn’t learned how to swim, think about getting a pool fence or a motion detector system that will go off if they fall into the water. Also, double-check that your pet can’t get to any human food, some of which is toxic for dogs. If they are especially curious, you might want to use child-proof latches to secure cupboards and rubbish bins.
Apply a Vaccination Schedule
Just like for people, vaccines are one of the surest ways to protect your pup’s health. They prevent serious, highly contagious diseases like parvo, distemper, and rabies, which can be fatal. The schedule and boosters which they need will vary, based on their health issues and where you live, so talk to your vet about what to do. In general, most puppies should get their first set of shots around 6 weeks, and then every 3 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Adult dogs need to be revaccinated every 1 to 3 years.
Choose the Right Food
Your dog’s age, weight, health, and activity level matter when it comes to what they eat. In general, make sure the food you choose has a statement from the manufacturer upon the label. That means it’s nutritionally “complete and balanced.” Beware of feeding your dog bones, raw meat, or raw eggs. The Vets and other groups warn that raw foods can lead to serious health problems for animals, like infection with E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Bones can tear a dog’s stomach or intestines.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Millions of homeless dogs enter rescues each year, and many are euthanised. You can help prevent overpopulation by having your dogs spayed or neutered, minor surgeries that keep them from having puppies. Plus, your pet can even benefit from these procedures -- spayed females have a much lower chance of breast cancer and uterine infections, and neutered males have a lower risk of prostate disease and testicular cancer. 
Get Moving
Dogs need exercise, the same as humans do. It keeps them at a healthy weight, and it gives them an outlet for their physical and mental energy. That can help you control bad habits like digging, barking, and chewing, which dogs tend to do when they’re bored. 
The best exercise for dogs, is activities such as Dog Agility etc, as they want to interact with humans, so choose activities you can do together, like playing fetch, walking, hiking, or swimming. (It gets you moving, too.)Brush Your Dog’s TeethAim to clean their teeth every day or as much as possible. It keeps their breath fresh and helps prevent gum disease.
Keep Your Pet Cool -- and Warm
When the weather gets hot or cold, your dog needs extra help to stay safe and comfortable. When the summer heat is on, walk your dog in the shade or on the grass to keep hot pavements from burning their paws. Always make sure they have plenty of water and access to shade. If they don’t have a lot of fur or has any bald patches, ask about a sunscreen you can apply. Also, never leave your dog in a car during the warmer months: The temperature in a vehicle can rise 20 degrees in only 10 minutes. The longer they’re trapped in there, the hotter it gets. Even if it’s just 80 degrees outside, it can reach a sweltering 114 degrees in the car after 30 minutes.
To protect your dog from low winter temps, your best bet is to keep them indoors as much as possible. For walks, consider getting a dog coat and even booties to keep them warm, especially if they have a short coat. 
Prevent Parasites
The best flea, tick, heartworm, and other parasite prevention medications can be purchased with ease from a local pet shop. These pests can irritate dogs and cause serious health issues. Heartworms can lead to heart failure and lung disease, fleas can lead to anemia, and ticks can cause illnesses such as Lyme disease.
Prepare for Poisoning
If your dog swallows something that can harm them, call your nearest vet or emergency vet clinic right away. Don’t take a chance -- even a small amount of chocolate can be toxic to a dog, while one ibuprofen tablet can lead to kidney failure.
Watch for Warning Signs
Dogs can’t tell you when they don’t feel well, so keep your eyes open for signs that something is off. Contact the vet if you notice warning signs of a health problem, such as:
Changes in their poo or pee
Any change in eating habits
Discharge from the eyes, nose, or other places on the body
Bald patches
Bad smells from any body part
A lot of licking or biting in particular.
Weight loss
* Also, watch out for odd or changes in behaviour -- if your dog suddenly seems very aggressive or sleepy, it could be a sign of a health problem.

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