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Welcoming your new puppy home
Bringing home a new puppy is one of the most exciting experiences many pet owners can have. Having a young canine is a lot of responsibility, and there are three considerations in particular that owners should make when they welcome the new pup into their lives.
Housebreaking and crate training
Most young puppies have never learned that they must go to the bathroom outside the house, not inside. Luckily, it is relatively easy to train them. It is a good idea to combine housebreaking and crate training, since dogs are naturally reluctant to soil their sleeping area. Once you have a crate like the Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed set up, introduce it to your pup slowly, allowing time for the dog to explore the space and become comfortable in it before you ever shut the door. Feeding inside the crate is generally a good idea at first, as it creates a positive association for the puppy with its crate.
Always bring the dog outside if it eliminates in the house, and encourage it with praise and treats when it goes outdoors or whines at the door then eliminates outside. If the puppy is locked in its crate for several hours during the day, it will learn that it must take advantage of the times you let it out to eliminate. You might want to have some Wee Wee Pads on hand and expect that accidents might occur.
Flea, tick and heartworm prevention
Once your puppy is old enough, your vet will recommend starting it on pet drugs to prevent fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, which can carry heartworm disease. Topical medications like Frontline Plus, Pet Armor and Revolution can be given to puppies as young as 8 weeks old to protect against fleas and ticks. Other oral medications like Comfortis can be given to puppies once they are at least 14 weeks old.
Heartworm preventatives like Heartgard Plus are also important to prevent heartworm disease, one of the most serious pet illnesses that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm preventatives can be given to puppies as young as 6 weeks.
Play and training
Almost every new experience your puppy has will be educational, and every minute you spend playing with your pup and training it will bond with you even deeper. Take advantage of play time to teach your pup commands like "no," "sit," and "stay," always rewarding with treats for a job well done.