March 23rd is National Puppy Day! We all love puppies, of course. Their adorable and playful nature never fails to make dog lovers everywhere just a little `bit happier. Here are a few things to remember if you currently own or are considering purchasing a puppy.
We can find puppies everywhere, at animal shelters, breed rescues, or responsible ethical breeders. Shelters and breed rescues are wonderful places to find fun, friendly family pets. Responsible breeders are an excellent resource for anyone needing a puppy to compete in dog sports with or to do specific kinds of work.
Sadly, it’s important to know where to avoid looking for a puppy. Certain retail outlets or large commercial kennels may get their puppies from puppy mills, where puppies are bred and kept in less than desirable conditions. These puppies often have hidden health problems with potential fearful or aggressive dispositions since they weren’t properly nurtured prior to being placed in a home with a family.
Once we locate the right place to get our bouncing bundle of furry joy, it’s helpful to purchase some supplies. Collars, leashes, crates, and a good puppy food are just a few things all puppy owners should have on hand before the puppy comes home. Toys are also a fun and necessary purchase. Puppies need things to play with that don’t include our expensive shoes or clothing. It’s also a good idea to find a good veterinarian to get your puppy their vaccinations and wellness exam. Don’t forget to protect your puppy from biting insects with a topical flea and tick product.
Enrolling puppies in a good puppy class is always a good idea, as well. Puppy classes are a good place to start learning basic obedience and command. Puppy classes also provide a lot of opportunities to expose puppies to other dogs, different surfaces, and new people. Puppies should gain exposure to a wide variety of people, older vaccinated dogs, and places before they reach 16 weeks of age. It helps them become confident outgoing adults that enjoy new experiences.
Puppies are a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun to have around. Teaching them to play tug or fetch always makes us smile. It’s wonderful to watch our puppies learn and grow! So enjoy your puppies if you are lucky enough to have one, and happy National Puppy Day!
Written by Shanna Stichler and guide dog Diamond, who loves interacting with any and all puppies she encounters.