What to Do if You Want to Raise a Happy and Playful Puppy

When we get our first dog, we shower it with love and attention, we play with it and
feed it as if it as if it were our own newborn baby.

While that is a wonderful start, it is not enough if you truly want to raise a happy and
playful puppy. In fact, one of the things new dog owners overlook is diet. Yes diet!

Dogs, just like people, need a well balanced diet - and you'd do well to remember
that there is a great difference between what a puppy likes and what is actually
good for it.

The best choices for food are always those that contain all necessary vitamins and minerals needed for the puppy to thrive. Training is another very important part of raising a happy puppy. You should train your puppy by presenting the training session as a game, while you teach it to respond to your commands. Rewards are given when it does something good, and rewards are withheld when it does not. Under no circumstances should you hit or use force or violence when something goes wrong. Simply withhold the reward.

Remember, your puppy is a baby and like most babies, it will not learn everything you want it to learn on the first try. Health and hygiene are also extremely important. Therefore, you should start teaching your puppy from the very beginning that you will be cleaning its teeth, washing its ears and combing its fur on a regular basis (consult a dog professional to determine appropriate intervals for your particular breed).

In particular, regular teeth cleaning is vitally important - teeth problems can be extremely dangerous for dogs and besides, regular cleanings will ensure that your dog has nice breath too boot.

Combing your dogs fur helps remove dead skin cells and prevent the appearance of dandruff, while ear cleaning helps prevent ear infections among other ear related problems in your dog. Typically, the rule of thumb is to clean a dog's ears about once every week - but as stated previously, please consult a dog professional to determine what is appropriate for your particular breed and circumstances.

Nails also need to be cut while your puppy is still small and is not going out for walks (regular walks help control nail length).

Exercises and vaccinations, as well as the occasional visits to the vet, are mandatory! Remember, your puppy cannot tell you if there is a problem, so you are the one who must pay attention to every detail. We don't try to save money by avoiding these basics - it might cost you a lot more later on. If you truly can not afford basic dog care and maintenance, then you are probably not ready for a dog just yet. Wait until you can comfortable afford to care for your dog - you and your dog will be all the better for it.

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