Even if you are not a novice, taking care of a puppy dog is a challenge. Below we will try to detail everything you will have to control and manage the first year.
Table of Contents
1. Arrival and adaptation
First of all, we must find out exactly what will be done to the puppy prior to delivery: dose and type of vaccine, identification, deworming…
We must coordinate with whoever gives us the puppy so that the transition is as stress-free as possible:
- exposing him to the smell of our house a few days beforehand
- making sure he is weaned correctly </ li>
- keeping him his food or even his old bed for at least a few days.
During this adaptation period we must set up a quiet and safe rest area, not overwhelm him and leave him his space as well as be patient with him in adapting to the new home, new routines to relieve himself and rest.
In some cases, the help of an ethologist may be recommended to make this transition.
2. Identification, microchip and registration
Necklace with identification/tag
It is useful because it is the easiest way for us to be contacted if someone finds it, but we cannot rely on this method alone since it is very easy for the collar or harness that it is wearing to be lost.
Each animal must have its card duly filled in with all the updated data of the owner, the animal, microchip number and applied vaccinations as well as surgeries or notable data (leishmania tests for example).
Microchip implantation is mandatory. Some animals already have it at the time we acquire them, but even if they tell us, it is very important to ask the veterinarian to verify that this chip is registered in the corresponding registry and in our name.
An implanted but unregistered chip is absolutely useless in the event that the animal is lost as the chip number will not be associated with any information so that the owner can be contacted in the event that the animal is found.
It is also important to inform the veterinarian of any changes in our contact information (phone or address) so that it is up to date.
Registration in the census register of the City Council
Once the chip has been implanted and registered, the animal must be registered in the town hall register. This can only be done by the owner.
In addition to being mandatory, the census data is used by the city council to allocate funds to facilities for pets such as parks, pipicans or fountains, so it is a great help that everyone is.
It will only be necessary in animals that are going to travel outside the country at some point. This must be associated with a registered chip and it will reflect both annual vaccinations and Rabies as well as deworming and health evaluations prior to travel.
3. Dog Puppy Vaccination
For maximum details on vaccines for puppies read Dog Vaccines. Here you have a general summary:
Puppy vaccination schedule
- At 6-7 weeks: First vaccination or first vaccine (not always necessary)
- At 8 weeks: Polyvalent
- At 11-12 weeks: Reminder of the Polyvalent
- At 14 -16 weeks: Reminder of the Polyvalent
- From 16 weeks: Rabies.
- From 6 months: Leishmania
- Annually: Reminder of Polyvalent, Rabies and Leishmania.
In addition to taking into account the general vaccination guidelines, we will have to assess the type of life that our dog is going to lead (will it travel?, spend time in nurseries?, will it be in contact with many dogs?…) and discuss these details with the veterinarian so that you can make a specific preventive medicine planning.
From 6 weeks to 6 months of age, it is recommended that a puppy be dewormed internally (for intestinal and pulmonary/cardiac worms) at least once a month with a specific antiparasitic for her age and breed.
From the age of 6 months, dogs will be dewormed every 2-3 months on a regular basis in general, but there may be variations depending on the area where they live, walking habits or even depending on whether there are people in the family with vulnerable health.
Attention! Some Border Collie-type puppies or others cannot take any antiparasitic, it is important to buy the medications in specialized centers and confirm that our specific animal can take each active ingredient/brand.
There is a wide range of antiparasitics but in general it is important that our animal is always covered (and throughout the year) against:
Not only do they cause annoying itching in our pets, but they are important transmitters of serious diseases such as Leishmaniasis, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, among others.
With current temperatures there is no seasonality of these parasites as there could have been years ago, so they must be covered at any time of the year.
There are many options regarding types of antiparasitics (collars, pipettes, chewable tablets, sprays) and there is no “perfect” method, but it will depend on: age (very young puppies can only be dewormed with certain products), size, type of life and activity (dogs that bathe often, that bite their collars…), type of fur, animals with which they live…
5. Dog castration / Dog sterilization
Sterilization (castration of males, octubrehysterectomy of females) not only prevents unwanted litters but also prevents serious diseases in which the hormonal cycle plays an important role (testicular tumors, pyometras or womb infections, breast, ovarian or womb tumors). … It also prevents aggressive behavior in the case of males.
For these surgeries to have these effects, it is important not only to sterilize but to do it at the right time.
As there is so much variability in size (and therefore in the moment of sexual maturity) in dogs according to their breed, there is no exact moment when they should be sterilized, but there are general guidelines and the veterinarian is the one who will guide you in deciding the ideal moment for each case.
- Male dogs: From 7-8 months in small and medium breeds. From one year of age in large and giant breeds.
- Female dogs: From 8-9 months in small and medium breeds. From 12-14 months in medium and giant breeds.
6. Training a puppy dog
To learn more about the subject, consult our ethology page. Here is a little summary for puppies.
The socialization period begins at birth and lasts until 8-10 weeks of age. During this period, the puppy must be exposed to stimuli so that it is not afraid of them as an adult.
Damage due to the dog not knowing what he can play with and what not.
Adolescent period that lasts from 6 to 18 months, depending on the dog, where the puppy begins to try new behaviors.
Aggressive behavior due to a hormonal component and that can be aggravated by poor socialization or inadequate education guidelines
- Decide on specific rules and apply them strictly
- Establish a routine for meal times, walks, and bedtime.
- Be positive: Use training based on positive reinforcement.
Basic education of coexistence
Consult our ethology section for the details of each topic but we anticipate that during the first year you will have to teach the following:
- Training your dog to go to the bathroom
- Walking on a Leash
- Adaptation to being home alone
- Living with other animals
IMPORTANT: all these are general guidelines but each animal and each family is a world. That is why we recommend that if you have any questions, you contact us either in preparation before acquiring the new member or to help you in the adaptation as if you think you may need an ethologist to help you with behavioral problems.