Everybody loves puppies. Who can resist those cute little faces and wet noses? Puppies can be a lot of fun, but they also come with a lot of added responsibility.
More than five million puppies are born every year in the United States. In fact, one in every three families owns one or more dogs. A female dog carries her puppies for a term of approximately 60 days before they are born. Puppies are born blind, deaf, and with very little sense of smell. Their eyes stay closed for about 10-15 days. By four weeks old they have complete vision. A puppy’s sense of smell and hearing develops quickly. Puppies have 28 temporary teeth, which start to appear around 3-4 weeks. Their 42 permanent teeth begin to emerge around four months. Be sure to have plenty of chew toys for your puppy. Puppies need to chew to stimulate the loss of their baby teeth and to help place their permanent teeth.
Puppies like to stay cuddled up close to their mother and siblings to stay warm and feel secure. Because puppies are somewhat dependent on their mother and need to learn to get along with other dogs, they should stay with their mother for at least eight weeks.
A new puppy should be chosen with great care. A new owner must not think only of himself, but also about people around him. A mischievous or noisy puppy can be a great nuisance to neighbors. Most importantly, a new owner must think of the comfort and well being of the puppy. Here are some questions a new owner may want to ask himself. Does the puppy have a clean place to stay and does it need a cage or pen? Is the puppy the right size for the house or apartment where it will live? Will your puppy need more exercise than it can be given? A puppy needs to work off excess energy every day. Do you prefer a playful puppy or a docile one? Will the puppy be easy to keep clean? Will you be able to give him plenty of the right kind of food? Can you afford the veterinary care your new puppy will need? Your puppy will need to receive it’s first vaccine at 6-8 weeks, then it will need boosters at 12 and 16 weeks.
Puppies are fun and full of tons of wiggly energy. Enjoy your puppy. Be sure to give your puppy a name befitting of it’s personality and call it by name often. Show your commitment to the puppy by bolstering it’s self esteem with lots of affection, attention, and rewards. Your puppy is bound to give you years of unconditional love and friendship. Soon you will be calling it “puppy love”.