Feeding a puppy
When it comes to feeding a puppy, you need to stick to a regimented schedule and avoid any extra treats that are not part of a training regime. Puppies are very perceptive to habits and the reactions you have in a given situation. If they notice that begging at the table will result in a tasty human-food treat, you will experience this behaviour more and more often as you sit down for meals. Obviously one way to avoid this is by being strict and not allowing any treats from the table, but there are other methods as well.
You can split a puppy’s meal during the day, to give them a good amount of food over the course of the day. Feeding them at breakfast and then again in the evening is a good way to ensure they are not too hungry throughout the day, and hopefully will be less likely to beg for snacks. If their evening meal is at the same time as your meal, they will be preoccupied with their meal and hopefully not bother you during your own dinner. See more on socialising your puppy.
What not to feed your dog
There are plenty of warnings every Christmas and Easter to avoid feeding your dog chocolate of any kind that has been made for human consumption. The higher the cocoa content, the worse it can be for your dog so keeping them well away from the chocolate cupboards is a wise plan. Beyond this however, there are a number of different types of food products that can have detrimental effects on the health of your pet.
There is also the risk that your pet can develop a food allergy. This will remain unknown until your pet has a reaction, so always be on the lookout for an adverse reaction from your dog whilst it is eating. You should ask your vet which foods to steer clear of and when to change their diet, as regular exposure to the same food can often trigger a random allergy, especially in an older pet.
Common dog health problems
When you first get your puppy, make sure to fully investigate the breed and its heritage. Pedigree dogs are often sufferers of hereditary illnesses, which are passed down through parentage to their young – it is always worth checking out the parents of the dog you are buying (if you are receiving the puppy from a breeder) to ensure any hereditary issues are not present. Even with correct breeding there is always a chance that these illnesses or diseases can be passed on, so it is worth doing the research to prepare yourself for those effects and symptoms that you need to look out for.
By vaccinating, utilising a healthy and balance diet as well as regular exercise, you can ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible with the input you add to their lives. Obviously there will be times when your dog may get ill and there is very little you can do, but beyond those instances your best bet is to keep them in a happy, loving home whilst keeping them well fed and nourished as well as given plenty to entertain themselves with.