There’s absolutely no reason why someone wouldn’t love a puppy. They’re adorable, playful and so dependent on others to take care of them that it’s in our nature to protect them and care for them.
And when puppies are born, it’s important to remember that they are very vulnerable, and that we need to pay special attention to some of the health risks that surround them at their youngest age. So, let’s take a look at the most common health problems and how exactly we can prevent them.
Diseases such as parvovirus, canine distemper and rabies all fall under the communicable diseases group because they are illnesses that the puppies can pick up from other animals if they are not properly immunized. Puppies should start vaccinations at 4 weeks old, and you should always talk to your vet to develop a size-appropriate vaccination plan for the first few months of their life.
But just immunization isn’t enough. If you are taking your puppy outside, you need to be aware that if your puppy so much as goes past a spot where an ill dog has urinated or pooped, it has a chance of contracting that disease. So be careful, always keep an eye on where your puppy is playing and sniffing around, and until they get their first few vaccines, try to keep them indoors, or in a safe yard as much as possible.
Retained baby teeth
Just like us, puppies have baby teeth that they lose over time as their permanent teeth grow in. However, retained baby teeth are not uncommon, especially for the canine tooth (also known as the fang). If the baby tooth remains as the permanent one is growing in, it can shift the alignment of the teeth and cause pain or difficulty chewing.
If the baby tooth doesn’t fall out by the sixth month, a vet will X-ray the area to see if there is a permanent tooth present, and then surgically remove the baby tooth to make sure everything falls into place as the puppy ages.
Just like all mammal babies, puppies start off their lives by drinking milk. And when they switch to solids, you might notice some problems with their digestion, such as diarrhea or vomiting. This is quite common until your pet gets used to solid foods and learns to control how fast they eat. However, if you have high-quality dog supplies, and they are getting the proper nutrition, but are still getting sick, take them to the vet immediately, because the symptoms might point to a viral infection or other diseases.
Nearly all dogs have mites, and most of them live in peace with them, since they are in small numbers. But sometimes, especially in puppies, the mite population grows and damages the dog’s fur.
It can cause bald spots, damaging the hair follicles on the dog’s body. It usually manifests on the face and paws, but it can be present all over. In minor cases, the pet usually gets better without any treatment, but in some cases, a veterinarian will suggest medicine to help reduce the mites and heal the fur.
It’s important to remember that we need to care for a pet just like we would for a child. They need attention, high-quality care, and lots of love. Remember that a pet isn’t a toy: it’s a responsibility for the next few decades, and you should think twice before getting one. But, once you form a bond with them, you can be sure that they will truly be your most loyal, caring friend for life.
Dr. Sara Ochoa
This article has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM. You can read more about her on our About page.