Caring for a German Shepherd Puppy

Caring for a German Shepherd puppy can be a wonderful but challenging and physically demanding task. Even though they are highly energized and full of energy, these puppies will develop into intelligent, lovable and protective pets. When treated correctly and given love, the German Shepherd puppy will develop into a dog that will be loyal and true to you all of his or her life.

German Shepherd Puppies Are Energized!

German Shepherd puppies have a great deal of energy. They love to play outside with bones, balls or Frisbees. And, like most puppies, they love to chew on toys and other large objects such as old shoes or pieces of furniture. Having a couple of safe toys around will keep them busy and give you some time to yourself. Like most puppies, the German Shepherd puppy needs to learn how to socialize. The puppy must learn how to deal with new sights and sounds such as noisy traffic, children and other pets. Socializing is also important so that he or she is able to get along with other pets and people. The best times for socialization in a puppy are between eight and 16 weeks of age. In the beginning months of a puppy, the owner needs to take at least several hours a day to play and begin some training.

Grooming is Important, Too

This type of puppy needs to be groomed often and regular trips to a veterinarian will keep the puppy in good shape. Your veterinarian will give you instructions on how to feed, medicate and train your puppy. Like most puppies, the German Shepherd puppy will grow quickly—especially during the first year. Feeding, for the first year should be about twice a day. Walks are very important for puppies. They love to get out and walk with their owner and it will help them to develop good potty training habits, early.

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Immunizing Your Dog with the Right Vaccinations

Every dog needs certain vaccinations and early on they should become a part of routine veterinary visits. Such vaccinations prevent many health problems such as deformities, many kinds of illnesses and death. Young puppies should have their first set of vaccinations around 6 to 9 weeks of age. This should be done before they go to their new homes. Then, later on they should have two more sets of vaccinations and those vaccinations should be spaced about three to four weeks apart.

Vaccinations are Needed

Vaccinations depend on the age of the dog and your veterinarian can help you set up a schedule of shots for your dog. Some necessary vaccines for your dog include: rabies, distemper, Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Lyme disease and Leptospirosis. Once your dog begins the immunization process, it is important to keep an eye on them. Some dogs become quite tired after receiving the vaccinations. This kind of tiredness lasts about a day because like humans, the immune system is responding to the vaccination. In addition, about 2-6 hours after the immunization, an allergic reaction could occur. The dog’s face could swell or they experience some itching. There could also be some vomiting. If the pet’s reactions are stronger than these, then your pet needs to be examined by a veterinarian.

Examinations are Important, Too

Most veterinarians suggest that pets should be examined at least once or twice a year. An exam for a pet should include an oral and physical exam, blood work, a urine test and x-rays for older pets or pets who are suffering from an accident or illness.

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How to Care for an Older Dog

Caring for an older dog requires a great deal of attention, love and care and that also means that there may be additional expenses for medical care. However, when a dog has been with you for many years, you want to ensure that he or she is taken care and is safe and secure.

Illness and Conditions

There are certain illnesses or conditions of an older dog that you need to be aware of. For instance, arthritis is an illness that dogs sometimes acquire. If your dog looks like he or she is having trouble getting up after sleep or is limping, his or her joints may be getting stiff. Sometimes over feeding a dog can make this condition worse. So, be careful how much food you give them. New treatments for dogs with this condition are veterinary aspirin, and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.

Then, there is a condition that is somewhat like Alzheimer’s. Dogs that get this show signs of confusion and disorientation. There are drugs that your veterinarian can give for this such as Anipryl. If this condition is diagnosed in your pet, it helps to be as patient as possible and keep his or her environment as calm and routine as possible. Incontinence may also be a concern. There is medication for a pet’s incontinence. Keep in mind, too, that this condition is not a behavioral problem but a physical problem. Some older dogs also acquire thyroid conditions.

Changes in Your Dog’s Food Might be Needed

To help your older dog as he or she ages, you might look at changing your dog’s food. There are specific diets that your veterinarian can suggest that will help with your dog’s changing dietary needs. Of course, the best thing you can do as your dog ages is to love him or her, take time for play and praise your dog whenever you can. By doing this you can make the last years of your dog happy and enjoyable.

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How to Care for Your New Puppy

Caring for a new puppy can be a challenge, tiring but extremely fulfilling; however, before getting a puppy you need to first decide if you can afford one. Purchasing a puppy can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars a year. Such costs include food, training, veterinary expenses, kennel costs and other

Are You Prepared for a New Puppy?

You need to also decide if you have the room in a home, apartment or condo where you can keep safely care for your dog. Check first to see if you have enough space, if you are allowed to have a dog in your living quarters and if you feel that you are ready to take care of a dog. In addition, be sure to ask yourself if this is the right time for you to get a new puppy. If you have just moved into a new home or apartment, or if you have just overcome an illness or stressful event, it may not be the right time. Keep in mind you will need to have a special place for your new puppy—a place where he or she can sleep and eat. Most importantly, you will need to establish a daily routine for your pet—a time for play, a time for training, eating, sleeping and playing. You will also need the basics for your pet such as a collar, leash, crate, tags and an eating and water bowl.

Food is Highly Important

Food is very important to a puppy. You want food that is made especially for puppies. Look on the package to find out what you need to buy. Puppies usually need to be fed three times a day. Once he or she is over three months old, twice a day is fine. Regardless of what others do, do not give food to puppies that come from your table. Human food can cause harm as the dog ages, due to the amount of fat in the food. And, make sure that your new puppy has the immunizations needed. A schedule for these immunizations can be made with your veterinarian.

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How to Train a Young Dog

Training a young dog or puppy can be difficult, confusing and time-consuming; however, it doesn’t have to be. Once you understand a dog’s behavior, you will know how to train them. There are certain training methods that help when training a dog. Socialization is a training method that should begin early.

Socialization is Very Important

Socialization is important when training a dog because as your dog ages, he or she will be exposed to many situations such as walking with you on a leash, being with other dogs at a kennel, when visiting friends at your home and other social events. This is when early training comes in handy and prepares the young dog for their future life. In addition, socializing your dog can be accomplished several ways—mostly by including them in your every day events as much as possible. It is important to socialize a dog early so that they will not fear new events or environments. When training your young dog, it is very important to be patient with them because just like a child, they don’t know how to obey commands unless they are carefully and consistently taught.

Training Your Puppy

In addition, training a young dog or puppy often takes two to four hours a day. Taking your puppy outside in the yard for some play time first and then putting them on a leash and teaching them the basics such as sitting, stay and walk will keep the training consistent and effective. Potty training is also very important when training a dog. This takes time and patience. When they do well, praise them and when they don’t give gentle discipline. Some use a “Crate” when potty training a dog. It has been said by some that the best way on how to train a dog to go to the bathroom outdoors is by crate training. Most dogs will respond well to crate training, and will be able to be potty trained in a few weeks

In order to make obedience training effective, you need to also set aside a certain period of time each day to play with your dog. Having this time to relax with your dog will establish a comfortable relationship with him or her and help with the training.

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