Looking after your puppy requires making regularly a few gestures that, provided throughout his whole life, will ensure him a good hygiene and enable you to discover what could prove to be abnormal signs warning you of a disease.
Outings are indispensable to the puppy’s well-being, not just to learn housetraining. The fact is that the dog is a sociable animal that needs to meet other living beings and explore a territory. Whether he lives in an apartment or a detached house, he cannot content himself with a five-minute outing in the morning and in the evening or even with staying cloistered in a garden. A young dog needs many short-length outings in locations which don’t offer too many risks for him. Walking on a leash and recall, for your puppy to come back to heel without arguing, should be learned at an early stage. Leash-free walks are reserved for open spaces and the countryside.
It should be moist and fresh at any time in the day. However, it may get dry during sleep. It must then be moistened again when the puppy wakes up. Any presence of crusts, cracks, significant or mucopurulent discharges is the sign of ailments that the veterinarian must examine.
They should be clean and relatively hermetic. Depending on the breed, they may be drooping or not. You should then watch for the appearance of cracks or red blotches.
They should be white and his gums pink: any red line on the edge of the teeth is abnormal and reveals a painful inflammation which may cause a loss of appetite in the dog. You should get the puppy used, at a very early age, to having his mouth checked and his teeth brushed with a brush and toothpaste specially designed for him. This very effective means of preventing the appearance of tartar should be used every day. There are also teeth-benefiting dry foods and "dental bars," effective if they are used every day.
The eye should be bright and moist, with pink mucous membranes. No discharge should be visible in the inside corner.
Floppy ears are to be checked more often: as it is, closure of the external auditory meatus by the pavilion does not allow for proper ventilation of the meatus. Floppy ears may be cleaned once or twice a week, and upright ears every fortnight. To do so, you should use a solution suitable for dog ears. You should proceed as follows: the tip is pushed into the meatus (there is no risk of eardrum perforation, since the meatus is L-shaped), a jet of the product is then instilled, the tip is taken out, the ear base is massaged for 30 seconds, and finally the meatus is wiped dry with a piece of cotton or a compress without sticking them in.
Regular monitoring of male and female genitals enables to check their cleanliness: any presence of discharge should be controlled by a veterinarian. The anus should be clean and show no sign of diarrhea.
you should regularly check if his pads are not damaged and that a spikelet did not get stuck into a pad when on a walk.
There are two types of claws: dewclaws and finger claws. Growth is continuous and normal activity of the dog should ensure finger claw abrasion.
Depending on the type of hair, maintenance will differ. Care should be provided as follows: a rubber brush once a week for very short hair, a carder passed the wrong way and next a bristle brush passed in the direction of hair growth every two days for short and hard hair, daily brushing for long hair after careful untangling.
In summertime, after a bath in a river or seawater, you’d better rinse the young dog to remove any deposit of irritating particles. Depending on hair texture, the frequency of baths given at home differs. Dogs with very short hair may be washed twice a year and those with long hair approximately every three months. If he has got used to it at a young age, the dog will take quite well this operation which may take place outdoors if the weather permits. In a bathtub, you’ll have to provide a non-skid mat and use lukewarm water. You should use only a special dog shampoo with lukewarm water on previously untangled hair.
Canine distemper, canine parvovirus disease, rabies, leptospiroses, contagious hepatitis… The deadly diseases lying in wait for the puppy are many when he is no longer protected by maternal antibodies. It is therefore essential to stick to his immunization schedule, including boosters. Strict follow-up by a veterinarian is indispensable.
Fleas and ticks reappear regularly and especially in springtime. Many products are available on the market: sprays, spot-ons, collars. They enable to fight effectively against the detrimental effects on the animal’s health of these parasites that can also affect man’s health. As for worming the puppy, it should be systematically and regularly performed according to a protocol defined by the veterinarian, because the choice of the product depends on the animal’s size, age, lifestyle, among other criteria.