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How to avoid new puppy health scares

Few things in life are more exciting than bringing home a new puppy! Adding a furry new member to the family sets you up for years of cuddles, playtime, and precious memories.

But taking on a new pet also brings about considerable responsibility. Dogs require great care, from training to socialization to vet visits. Even the most cared-for puppies are at risk of being affected by common puppy health scares, and it’s up to you to avoid those whenever possible. Here are some simple ways to avoid new puppy health scares.

Connect with a vet before you bring your furry bundle of joy home

A trustworthy and reliable licensed veterinarian will be your first line of defence against sickness and disease. So do research and ask for references and reviews. Trust me at times finding good knowledge with YOUR BREED vet is harder than a good dentist. Regular trips to the vet will be essential throughout your puppy’s life. But these appointments are particularly critical when your pup is still young. Your vet will make sure your pup receives all required vaccinations and boosters (follow my other posts on vaccinations). It’s essential to follow the recommended vaccine schedule carefully so your pup receives complete immunity against potentially harmful illnesses. However, as an educated owner, you need to do your part of the job and research and understand the risks and side effects of all medical interactions including vaccinations. And please don't be shy of asking clarifying questions to your vet. He or she must give you an easy to understanding answer for you to make sound decisions on behalf of your puppy. Don't fall into unnecessary marketing strategies of some vet clinics. If needed ask for a second opinion referral. And if you don't feel comfortable with clinic services don't be afraid to look elsewhere. After all if it would be you or your two-legged family members you would want to make sure you understand the treatments proposed, right?

Get pet insurance

Pet insurance is certainly worth the cost for a pet owner who looks forward to enjoying their furry friend’s long life. Like other forms of insurance, it will not serve to “make” you money. You will still have to pay a premium regularly, and you will likely have a deductible when you submit a claim. But in the worst-case scenario, pet insurance can make a huge difference.

You can’t predict how or when your pet may get sick or suffer a sudden injury. Furthermore, there is no way to foresee this cost. You may try to save money in advance, but this can still come up short. Plus, there may be other pressing family matters that require you to borrow from these funds. In the end, it might not be enough to get your pet the care they need in a time of crisis. When your pet is sick or injured, it’s already a stressful enough time. The last thing you want to worry about is having to decide if you can afford to care for your furry family member. Instead, pet insurance provides peace of mind during these situations. You know your pet is covered, and you do not have to stress about the cost of caring for your dog. Furthermore, it helps avoid what is known as “economic euthanasia”. This occurs when a pet owner elects to put their pet down rather than seek the needed medical care.

When shopping around for the right pet insurance plan, it can be beneficial to talk to your vet and/or breeder. They can give you a better idea of any health issues specific to your breed of dog. Plus, they may be able to offer recommendations on coverages. When it comes to selecting the best insurance policy, you should carefully weigh your options. Go through each policy diligently. This way, you can locate which plans will provide the most “bang for your buck”. Furthermore, you should do a careful check on potential insurance providers. These companies should have great ratings and reviews from current customers. Financial stability, claim repayment reputation, and customer service are all important areas that should factor into your decision.

Don’t go to the park until your puppy is fully vaccinated

It’s tempting to take your new puppy everywhere, from the pet store to the local dog park and other k9 social outings. But don’t get too excited about bringing your pup along for the ride! Until they’re fully vaccinated, puppies should avoid public areas. And then, once your pup’s new immune system is fully developed (about 21 days after his last vaccination typically rabies one), you’ll be able to show them off all you want! Getting your puppy the vaccines he/she needs is one of the best ways to prevent puppy health scares. However, remember to do a thoral research on core and non-core vaccinations. As well as all possible side effects and risk factors.

Do understand basic pet safety guidelines

Whether you’ll be spending most of your time at home or on the go, health and safety hazards are everywhere you look. There’s no need to be paranoid, though—with some quick and easy education; you can be aware of the dangers and take measures to protect your pup.

Start by puppy-proofing your home even before your bundle of joy arrives home. Here are some of the most important things to take care of before bringing home your new pet:

👉Put away all medications, personal care items, and toxic chemicals from dogs.

👉Hide or cover any electrical cords and outlets within the puppy’s reach.

👉Ensure all doors, windows, and gates are securely closed and locked.

👉Know which himan foods are toxic to dogs and keep these securely put away.

👉Move furniture around to prevent any areas where a puppy could get stuck.

👉If you have stairwells make sure to install safety gates to prevent falls.

👉If you have kids in the household make sure all small toys are out of reach for the pup to prevent choking and bowel obstruction.

Don’t overfeed your puppy

Puppies are grown creatures who need plenty of nutrients and fuel! But that doesn’t always mean your dog needs access to a full bowl of food 24/7. Many dogs — especially young ones — don’t have the self-control to stop eating when they’re full. Overfeeding your puppy can put them at higher risk of obesity, heart disease, joint issues, digestive issues and more. Reduce your risk of puppy health scares by providing a healthy balanced diet. Talk with your vet and breeder to ensure you’re feeding your dog appropriately using the right food and feeding schedule.

Do take flea, tick and worms protection seriously

Fleas, ticks, and other external and internal parasites can be a severe threat to all dogs, regardless of age, breed, or location. Yes, even indoor dogs are at risk! Thinking about flea- and tick-borne diseases can be overwhelming, but luckily, keeping these pests off your pet is easy.

Start your puppy on a flea and tick prevention regimen as soon as they’re old enough for the treatment. Your vet can recommend the best treatment to prevent potential puppy health scares. However, once again do your due diligence and research the side effects and risks of any medications and treatments.

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