Puppy and Dog Care Schedule

Dogs are an integral member of our community. They are a great companion and a perfect friend; they protect our homes and even provide a seeing eye for those who need an extra helping paw. Hence, it is important to meet all their needs and make sure they have a happy and healthy life.

So what do puppies and dogs need?

Dogs need a healthy and balanced diet, exercise, grooming, handling, housing, medicines, vaccinations, and essential equipment.

How to feed puppies and dogs?

Every dog has different nutritional needs that depend on many factors such as; size, activity level, and age.

First of all, the dog companion should consult a veterinarian on how to feed. Every dog has special needs which need to be satisfied with their diet.

1-The first eight weeks: Puppies should remain with their mother; their mother milk gives them nutrition and antibodies, which puppies need to become healthy. When they are four weeks, puppies begin eating solid food by mixing three parts of dry food with one part of water. This makes it easier to digest food. It is recommended to wait until they can eat solid foods before taking the puppy away from their mother. From six to eight weeks, feed the puppy 3-4 times every day. Keep in mind that food should have enough protein, calcium, and calories.

2-After eight weeks: Feed the puppy twice daily.

3- From three to six months: The puppy will start teething. The puppy may lose appetite. Keep feeding twice daily.

4- From 6 months to one-year: The puppy should have food of high-quality. The first ingredient of feed should be actual meat, not a meat by-product. Keep feeding the dog twice a day.

5- At the age of one year: Feed the dog twice a day. The dog companion should feed the dog at a designated time, using a consistent food type. That will keep him on a reliable bathroom schedule. Note that the dog's digestive system cannot handle changes in food as that may upset their stomach and even cause diarrhea. Switching to a new food must be by gradually mixing portions of both foods until all old food is out of the circulation. Fresh drinking water must be present at all times. Keep food and water bowls should be clean and avoid overfeeding.

What and when to vaccinate puppies and dogs?

Dog vaccines are a vital step taken by companions to protect their pets from severe -or even fatal- diseases and boost the animal’s immunity in general. In the case of reproduction, vaccinating dogs is useful for protecting their puppies from any viral infection transmitted by the mother, whether during birth or through lactation.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), classified vaccines to core vaccines and non-core vaccines. All dogs should have the core vaccines, while non-core vaccines are required depending on the dog's lifestyle and the current prevalence of certain diseases.

Core Vaccines for Dogs:

1- Rabies: an initial dose is administered for puppies at 12-16 weeks of age, followed by a booster dose after one or three years, according to the type of vaccine.

2-Distemper, Parvo, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza Combination of Distemper, Parvo, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza begins at 10-12 weeks, with a booster to follow every 2-4 weeks till the 16th weeks.

A final dose at 18-20 weeks of age might be recommended. The first booster one year after the initial vaccination. Subsequent boosters at one-to-three-year intervals.

Non-core Vaccines for Dogs

1-Canine Parainfluenza and Bordetella Bronchiseptica Virus: The vaccine is given as nasal spray between 8 and 16 weeks of age. This vaccine provides immunity for 12-14 months.

2-Leptospira: A type of bacteria presents in still water and mud. It causes liver and kidney damage. At-risk dogs must have an initial vaccination and annual revaccination.

3-Borrelia Burgdorferi: Dogs living in the endemic areas are at an increased risk of infection. If the dog is scheduled to travel to an endemic area, the vaccine is a must. This vaccine is administered as two doses 2 to 4 weeks apart.

4-Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8 and Virus-H3N2 combination: Dogs should have this vaccine when there is potential exposure to the virus. The first dose to be administered to dogs 6 to 8 weeks old and a second dose after 2 to 4 weeks later. A booster should follow within one year if there is a sustained risk.

5-Crotalus Atrox (Western Diamond Rattlesnake): This vaccine should be given to dogs at a clear risk of exposure to rattlesnake venom. The dose depends on the dogs' weight and risk of exposure.

What is the essential equipment for the dog?

Puppies need good quality food and treats. They need a water bowl, a food dish, a large number of safe chew toys, a brush for grooming, and a comb for fleas.

They also need a toothbrush, a bed with a warm blanket, collar with license and ID tag, a leash, and a training crate.

When should we give dog medicines?

Avoid giving a dog medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian, and when someone suspects that the dog has ingested a toxic substance, they must call the animal poison control center.

How can we keep a dog clean?

Dogs need frequent brushing. They need to bathe a few times a year. Before bathing, the dog companion should comb the dog and remove all mats from the coat. The dog companion must rinse all soap out of the coat, to avoid dirt sticking to soap residue.

The dog breeder should check for fleas and ticks frequently, especially during warm seasons. For this purpose, using a flea comb will be excellent.

Why do Dogs need exercise?

Dogs need to exercise to burn calories, stimulate their minds, avoid boredom, and be healthy. Exercise needs vary based on many factors like gender, breed, age, and level of health.