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Puppy care tips for first time pet owners

Saturday - February 24, 2018 3:40 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL

Dogs are considered as man’s/women’s best friend. Popularity of dogs as pets is growing all over the world. In most household, a pet dog for its entire life span is loved as a new born baby and becomes an integral member of family.

Indian mythology also considers dog as a very sacred aminal. In epic Mahabharata, Yudhisthir refused to enter heaven without the dog, which had accompanied him throughout his journey.
When Pandav were leaving their kingdom after Yudhishthir crowned Parikshit as the king of Hastinapur, they were joined by a stray dog that remained with them throughout their journey. As they climbed their way towards heaven through Mount Sumeru, Draupadi and four of the Pandav brothers died in midway. Yudhishthir was the only one among the Pandavs to reach the peak along with the dog who had joined them. After reaching the peak, Yudhishthir prepared himself to enter heaven. Indra told Yudhishthir that he must leave the dog behind. Yudhishthir refused to come with Indra to heaven without the dog, which didn’t leave his side throughout the rough of the journey to Mount Sumeru. The dog was none other than the god Dharma himself. Therefore dog signifies friendship, companionship and devotion.

For first time pet owners puppy food and diet is always confusing. The alternatives are Kibble (dry food or commercially available puppy food). BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), home cooked puppy food.

Food
As puppy’s growth is rapid during initial first year, experts usually are of opinion that commercially available kibble is best option as it has the appropriate balance of carbohydrates, protein, Fat and nutrients. Moreover, it’s easy to serve to puppies and daily quantum of feed is written on the packet.
In case pet owner does not prefer commercially available kibble, according to Veterinarian Dr. V Shrivastava some of the best options for home cooked puppy food are boiled pumpkin, eggs, rice, oatmeal, carrots, apple, peanut butter and meat. As dogs are basically a carnivorous animal some vet also prescribe BARF (Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). Dr Shrivastava is of an opinion that BARF alone is not a complete food, so puppies should be avoid complete dependence on Bones and Raw Food i.e meat. Salmon oil and coconut oil are very beneficial for puppy’s skin and ¼ to 1 tea spoon can be added to puppy’s food daily with food, depending on age. Coconut oil can also be applied to dog’s skin for maintaining good skin texture and skin health.
Some food that are good for human consumption should be completely avoided like Chocolate, caffeine,  onions, garlic, grapes & raisins, xylitol containing candy/ gum/ toothpaste, avocados, alcohol, salt, sugar, spices & food that contain spices and others.
Some vets are of an opinion that cow/buffalo milk can cause diarrhea and other digestive problems for puppy. They can also trigger allergies, which can cause the dog itch. It’s always better to consult a vet before giving milk to puppy. Although, butter milk and curd is highly recommended for puppies. Similarly, it’s better to consult a vet before giving wheat based food like bread & chapatti as some puppies would find wheat based food not appropriate for their digestive system. Salmon oil and coconut oil are very beneficial for puppy’s skin and ¼ to 1 tea spoon can be added to puppy’s food daily with food, depending on age. Coconut oil can also be applied to dog’s skin for maintaining good skin texture and skin health.

Deworming and vaccination
Apart from diet, other important aspect is deworming. Usually, puppies should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age. After six months all dogs need to be wormed every three months for effective protection. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving you dog or puppy a wormer, even an over-the-counter deworming. Dog vaccination is very important for puppies. Usually, dogs are vaccinated for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, parvovirus and Rabies. The vaccination schedule starts from 6-8 weeks of age. It’s imperative to visit a vet when the puppy has reached the age of 6-8 weeks and meticulously follow the vaccination schedule recommended by the vet after that age.

Hygiene
Like humans, dogs also need cleanliness. The dogs’ needs to bathed. Bathing recommendations differ but active dogs, long-haired dogs, or dogs who enjoy rolling in things should be bathed more frequently. Human shampoo should not be used on dogs coat, only dog shampoos should be used.
Regularly brushing dog's teeth and plenty of chew toys, can keep dogs mouth healthy.
Cleaning of paws is also very important.

Regularly visit a vet to make sure that your puppy remain healthy and happy.

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