Getting a puppy!

Getting a puppy for the first time is a wonderful feeling. You are gaining a family member and it’s a very exciting process. Everyone in your household is filled with joy when you first bring that puppy home. Us lot here at Happy Hounds agree that this should be a very special time. All that said puppies are also a lot of work. We feel that you should get as much knowledge as you possibly can so that you be the best dog owner. One topic we would like to talk about is puppy exercise. Getting a puppy is a big responsibility, there are rules and regulations on how they should behave in society. There is also information that you as dog owners should be aware of.

Puppy exercise

So were going to talk about puppy exercise. How much they should be getting and how important it is to not OVER exercise them. Puppies need much less exercise than fully-grown dogs. If you over-exercise a growing puppy you can overtire it and damage its developing joints, causing early arthritis. A good rule of thumb is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day). When three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer.

It’s important that puppies (when they’ve had their injections) go out every day. In a safe environment to be able to socialise and explore. Having a decent sized garden is great but puppies need variety in their lives. They are highly intelligent animals that need stimulation and lots of exercise (depending on breed). Before letting any dog off lead make sure you know that their re-call is good and that they won’t run off. It’s also good to know that you shouldn’t exercise them on a full stomach as this can cause them to bloat.

The government recommends that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This is something that everybody can achieve, and go beyond, on a daily walk. Dogs’ exercise needs vary according to the breed that you have but every dog should have at least one walk a day, often two.

Get walking

There are many social benefits for you and your dog. People who go walking with their dogs are often believed to be friendly and approachable by others. Your dog also gets time to have a chase and play with other friendly pooches. At Happy Hounds we believe that socialisation is very important and something that your dogs should be doing on a regular basis. This is great to start when their puppies, so they get used to it from an young age. This is why group walking or day care is a fun and great opportunity for your dog. They will learn socialisation skills and what it’s like to be around other dogs.

For your dog, walking is essential for its long term health and fitness – keeping the muscles strong and supple and ensuring that it doesn’t get overweight. With one third of our pets estimated to be overweight as a result of their owners’ sedentary lifestyles. Walking is an essential part of being a responsible dog owner. When out walking remember to always have poo bags and pick up after your dog. This will make all environments nicer for us to all be in.

Whilst walking your dog, it is important that you are aware of the Countryside Code to keep your pet safe. Protect the environment and show that you are a responsible dog owner. You are obliged by law to ensure your dog wears a collar and an identification tag stating your name and address (Control of Dogs Order 1992). In addition, cleaning up after your dog is one of the key areas of responsibilities for dog owners. Especially when in public spaces. You can face a considerable fine if you do not.

Don’t forget play and sleepy time

Play time is another important part of a puppies life, playing games is another way to teach commands.  Aggression can be fostered if you play tug of war. So make sure you don’t create a competitive environment between you and your puppy. Always remember dogs around children. They are likely to become aroused or frustrated with intense physical play. So ensure children and dogs are never left alone. Only use suitable dog toys that are safe for your puppy.

Sleepy time is also crucial for your pups development, they need a lot of it! They may whine when you first bring them home but it is important to ignore them and let them settle. If you never leave them you will create future separation issues.

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