-guest blogger, Dr. Brent Mayabb, Manager of Education and Development, Royal Canin
From the first day a puppy is brought into a new home, it begins learning the ropes of the household. While this can be quite the adjustment period for both the puppy and the puppy parents, owners can help ease the transition by taking some small steps that can lead to overall healthy development from puppyhood into old age.
Social Butterfly: Socializing your new puppy early on is very important. This will help them learn the proper behavior in responding to a new person or animal as they mature. Try to introduce your dog to 10 – 20 new people and pets (of varying ages and locations) during your first week together. This will help them acclimate to different sizes and temperaments of dogs and cats, as well as a variety of human personalities. If you dog shows signs of aggression take them out of the situation and try again with a smaller group or in a different setting.
Restful Nights: As your puppy gets used to being away from its mother and pack for the first time, you may hear crying and whining at night. Try to be patient; this behavior is natural and shouldn’t last longer than a few weeks. Additionally, try keeping them busy with quick training sessions or playing with toys during the early evening hours. A worn out puppy is a quiet puppy.
Healthy Start: Transitioning from nursing to dry food can be hard on a new puppy’s digestive system. Until now, there has not been a food formulated specially for this stage in a dog’s life. Royal Canin’s new Starter Line helps puppies transition from milk to solids more smoothly and new pet parents can rest assure knowing their dog is getting the very best in nutrition. The new line includes nutrients that help provide energy for healthy growth and skeletal development, which is important in the early stages of growth for puppies.
Potty Training: Take your puppy out often and before you put them in their pen or kennel before bed. Some veterinarians estimate that for every month your puppy is in your home that is one hour they can ‘hold it’. Frequency in routine is very important for house training and rewarding victories can be key in training.
Check Ups: Your pet’s first visit to the vet is very important. The vet will help in scheduling vaccinations and explain the significance of preventative care for fleas, ticks, heartworm, and rabies among other diseases. Proper nutrition is also a means to preventing illness, and the nutrients and antioxidants in the new Starter Line from can actually help improve immune response in puppies. Remember to bring a list of questions with you to the appointment – from the beginning your vet will be an important part of your pet’s health.