The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


How to Care for Your New Puppy


Are you the proud owner of a new puppy (or are you about to be)? Then you had better brush up on your basic duties and your plans for training your new companion. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your new pal.

Get a great veterinarian

The first thing that you should do when you get a new puppy is to head to the veterinarian. Hopefully, your puppy has been well cared-for by the shelter, breeder, pet shop, or individual that you’re getting it from. But even if the puppy has gotten top-notch care so far, it’s on you to make sure that you go to the vet right away and make the most of your first visit.

On your first visit to the vet, cover the important basics of pet care. Talk to your vet about vaccinations (provide your vet with any paperwork related to vaccinations that you’ve gotten from the shelter, breeder, or other source). Talk about your options for controlling parasites. And ask any and all other questions that you have about puppy care — this is your chance to consult with an expert!

Get your pet spayed or neutered

Puppies are great, but there are already an awful lot of them in the world, and many are not being cared for as they should. It’s important to do your part in controlling the population of dogs. Make sure that you get your pet spayed or neutered!

This should be something that you do early on. Talk to your vet about your options on your first visit.

Get pet insurance

Having an awesome vet is a great way to keep your pet healthy. But veterinarians don’t offer their services cheaply, and even the best vets can’t give you a one-hundred percent guarantee of your pet’s future health. There may come a time when your pet needs an expensive treatment or surgery — and, when that time comes, you don’t want to be forced to choose between your savings account and your best friend.

So make sure that you invest in pet insurance. Pet insurance works more or less just like human health insurance does: You’ll pay a monthly premium and, in some cases, co-pays and deductibles. But if you need your pet insurance in order to cover a huge expense like surgery, it will be there to help you. Hopefully, you’ll never need it; but if you do, you’ll really need it. Don’t get a puppy without pet insurance.

Invest in great food

Puppies have got to eat! But don’t just grab any old dog food. Talk to your veterinarian about your puppy food options, and make sure that you’re getting something that will give your puppy all the nutrients that he or she needs in order to grow healthy into adulthood. Make sure that you’re giving your puppy the right amount of food, too: Overfeeding or underfeeding your puppy can be unhealthy and dangerous. Check calorie counts, too; sometimes a little bit of one food can actually be more filling and fattening than more of another. The size and breed of your puppy will also dictate their eating amounts and patterns.

Get the bathroom routine down

Housetraining a dog isn’t too tough, but it can be a pretty stressful and disgusting process if you go about it the wrong way. To accelerate the process, you’ll need a few tricks.

For starters, establish a routine. Your puppy needs to know that he or she will be taken outside regularly. And, particularly early on, you should take your puppy outside often. Take him or her to the same spot, too.

Then — this is the important part — praise your dog and reward it whenever it does its duties outside. Doing this is much, much more effective than using negative reinforcement when the dog makes waste indoors. When that does happen, make a startling noise and take the dog outside to the proper spot immediately. It will get the message!

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