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The 6 P's of Puppy Parenthood

The 6 P's of Puppy Parenthood

P1. Puppy proof your home- Along with your new bundle of fur comes unbridled curiosity. Coil Electric cords to prevent them from chewing on them. Remove toxic plants altogether and move those that you don't want tipped over and chewed on. Put latches on cabinets and drawers that you don't want opened. If you have specific furniture you don't want the pup to be near, find a way to partition off that portion of the home. Removable gates work nicely.

P2. Proper Nutrition- There is an abundance of opinions regarding proper food for puppies. As a general rule, puppy foods are specifically designed with your pup's rapid growth and need for higher protein, calcium and phosphorus. Don't listen to those who will tell you to feed them adult food or table scraps. Your pup will need to eat several times a day. Put down just enough for the pup to hold. When he is done eating pick up the dish until the next meal. Maturity for your pup depends on its breed. This will also dictate the type food you should be feeding and for how long. Check with your veterinarian for the details.

P3. Parasite Prevention- A litter of pups is a prime place for parasites, such as the pinworm and ascardis poses. These parasites can travel back and forth between litter mates. Pups don't have the necessary immunities built up and aren't large enough to fight recurring infestations. Be sure your new pup has been dewormed and that you maintain a regular schedule for parasite prevention.

P4. Proper Grooming- Find out what the necessary grooming requirements are for your dog. If you intend to show your dog, be sure you know what the surgical requirements are, such as tail docking, ear pinning etc. For those pups not requiring surgery, start brushing, nail clipping and dental care early, for the dogs health sake, but also so the dog becomes accustomed to routine grooming.

P5. Positive Reinforcement.- Look for ways to reinforce positive behavior in your pup. Naturally, they are going to cause plenty of mischief, but look for ways to turn undesired behavior into positive behavior. For example. When you catch him chewing on the leg of the sofa, give him a nylon bone or other chew toy instead and then praise him for chewing on the right item. When you catch him going potty inside, immediately take him outside and praise him for going potty outside. Being present to correct the undesireable behavior and your willingness to turn it into positive behavior is key.

P6. Proper bedding and restraint- The pup should not have free run of your home. Rather, it should have a designated place where it stays when unattended, such as a crate or kennel and should be supervised when it is out of the kennel. This practice is essential for providing the animal a safe place to relax and will prepare it for longer periods of confinement such as night time and while traveling.

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