Puppies need a helping hand to make sure they stay cool and comfortable in warm weather
Many families welcomed a new puppy into their home during the coronavirus pandemic.
And it’s easy to see why – dogs are great company, give us meaning, help children take responsibility, and help families because they need exercise to get around together.
It’s understandable to get involved in the excitement of having a furry new family member, but it’s important to remember that puppies really need care – even if easing Covid lockdown restrictions means we’re less bound by it are stuck at home all day.
So caring for a puppy is a bit like having a baby – a serious commitment.
Dogs demand a lot of attention, knowledge, and research.
A visit to the vet should be a priority for anyone with a new pup, says Luke Gamble. Dogs must also be chipped at eight weeks of age
Vet Adventures’ TV star Luke Gamble says there are five mistakes new dog owners must avoid.
1. Postpone the visit to the vet
“Visiting the vet is one of the first things you should do with your new puppy. Your vet will answer any questions you may have and have your puppy vaccinated so he can explore the outside world.
“It is also important to check that your puppy’s microchip is working properly – this will help if your dog is ever missing and is now a legal requirement for all dogs eight weeks old.
“Your vet will also be able to advise you on the best parasite protection for your puppy.
“Did you know that puppies are usually born with roundworms and require frequent treatment for the first few weeks of life? Your veterinarian can recommend a preventive product that will cover any parasites they will encounter while exploring the world.”
2. No protection against lungworms
“I recently found out that an estimated over a million dogs purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic may be unprotected against a parasite known as lungworm.
“As a veterinarian and dog lover, this statistic is frightening because lungworms show no symptoms and, if left untreated, can kill the puppy.
“The lungworm is a potentially fatal parasite for dogs; they can become infected if they accidentally or deliberately eat nudibranchs in their garden or on their daily walks.
“Dogs can ingest lungworms while digging through underbrush, eating grass, drinking from outdoor puddles or water bowls, or picking them up from their toys.
“I always say prevention is better than cure, so advise all puppy owners to speak to their vet about monthly lungworm prevention.
“So many dog owners are not aware of the dangers.
“The most important thing to understand is that over-the-counter drugs cannot protect dogs from lungworms. It is therefore important that owners speak to their vet to ensure their dog is continuously protected. “
3. Miss the socialization
“Socialization is key to puppy care, and unfortunately with the pandemic, many puppies have missed the usual interactions they would have.
“After your puppy has had the right vaccinations, it is time to try as many new things as possible. Whether meeting new friends in the park, attending puppy training classes, or just learning the sounds of moving traffic – they are all important to a puppy’s development.
“I do say, however, that this must be done on your puppy’s terms and conditions. Follow his advice and make sure the situation does not overwhelm him. Short, regular, positive interactions are the way to go.”
The pandemic means many puppies have missed the social interactions they would otherwise have had
4. Dehydration in hot weather
“Now that we are getting used to the warmer weather, our pups need a helping hand to make sure they are cool and comfortable all the time.
“I have a couple of methods that I always use with my own dogs; these include cold, damp towels to lie on; fill a hot water bottle with cold water, wrap in a towel, and place in their favorite sleeping spot, and make sure I use them encourage people to go in the shade and avoid direct sunlight, especially at noon.
“I’ll also take out the sprinklers and the paddling pool and let them go wild.
“Lots of puppies love running through sprinkler nozzles, which makes this tip great for keeping them cool and keeping their playful minds occupied.”
5. Late purchase of insurance
“I believe that insurance, like microchiping your pet, is an important part of responsible animal husbandry. I recommend all owners get pet insurance to cover the cost of unexpected veterinary treatment.
“There’s nothing worse than unexpectedly receiving a huge vet bill.
“It’s important to do your research first before choosing your insurance provider as they all offer slightly different things – pick one that is right for you and your pup.”