March 23rd is National Puppy Day and puppy lovers are encouraged to celebrate by giving puppies a new home. The day was created to raise awareness about the importance of adopting orphaned animals from local shelters. Founded in 2006 by Colleen Paige, an animal behaviorist, author and pet lifestyle expert, the day hopes to shed some light on the dangers of puppy mills. Paige is also responsible for founding National Dog Day and National Cat Day.
If you already have a puppy, make sure to celebrate the unconditional love your puppy gives you with treats and hugs. But if you haven’t yet experienced the joy of a puppy and are thinking about adopting, Valley Animal Hospital has a couple of major things to consider before heading out to your local shelter to choose a new pet.
Puppies and Kids
Bringing home a puppy might seem like the perfect birthday or Christmas present, however, you must remember that puppies are living, breathing animals. A hyper puppy might not be good for the young child in your home. Puppies will become members of your immediate family and they require a huge amount of care; this includes kindness, love and patience.
Very young children may not be experienced in dealing with animals and are prone to treating small puppies like toys. It’s important to warn them not to pull on sensitive body parts like a puppy’s ears and tail; this may scare and hurt their delicate bodies. You should encourage a happy and healthy relationship between your child and puppy. Rough handling should not be acceptable. Always make sure you supervise any puppy-baby playtime.
The Right Time
It is also recommended that you wait until your new puppy is a good age before bringing him home. Anywhere from eight to 10 weeks is a good start but 12 weeks is preferable. By 12 weeks, puppies will have learned the right social cues from their mother and siblings and will help them develop into a friendlier pup in the long run.
Know the Costs
Make sure to know ahead of time if you can afford the costs of welcoming a pet into your home. Your puppy may be a tiny ball of fur and fun, but this will only last for a couple of months. Puppies grow fast and you will soon be dealing with an adult dog. Whatever breed you choose, each puppy will require certain costs.
Veterinary visits can become expensive and you do not want to find yourself in debt. Factor in food costs, pet-sitting costs and grooming costs as well when contemplating your adoption. Start a puppy emergency account where you can begin saving for any medical costs in the future.
Keep Your Puppy Happy and Healthy with Us
Educate your children about why it’s important to adopt puppies from a shelter. Let them know that many dogs don’t have a home and it’s their responsibility to give them a loving one. If you have any questions about the health of your new puppy, give us a call or make your appointment today with Valley Animal Hospital in McAllen and find out what you need to raise a happy, healthy puppy. Happy National Puppy Day!