Taking in a Rescue Puppy: A Guide for Foundational Health

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Taking in a Rescue Puppy: A Guide for Foundational Health

9 April 2019
 Categories: , Blog

If you adopt a puppy from a bad situation or from a country shelter, the puppy might need more work than you might expect, especially to make sure that they have everything they need to be healthy and strong as they grow. Puppy mills, abusive homes, or neglectful situations can have some negative effects on your puppy's health. Follow this guide to get your pup back on track to develop into a great family dog. 

1. See a vet for vaccines and parasite treatment.

New puppies need vaccines against common and devastating canine illnesses. Parvovirus and rabies, for example, are almost always deadly for puppies. Puppies also need to be dewormed, and if they aren't, they can experience malnutrition because of parasites. 

Generally, puppies from irresponsible breeders or other bad situations have not received the vaccines and normal puppy veterinary care. Your first step is to contact a veterinary hospital, such as Norwin Veterinary Hospital, to make sure your puppy gets up to date on the basic standard of care. 

2. Work on proper feeding and bathroom habits.

Normally, when puppies are raised in a healthy litter, they learn manners from their mother and littermates. However, if the pups were not let outside very often and not fed regularly, or if they were taken away from their mother too early, your puppy might not have learned basic behaviors that are key in dog development. For example, it's uncommon for dogs to soil the den (the place where they sleep). If the pups were confined to a small space, however, they might have learned that it's normal to defecate in their kennel. Begin a regular pattern of bathroom training by taking your pup outside often, giving plenty of treats for correct habits, and avoiding harsh punishment for accidents (that can make the situation worse instead of better).

Your puppy might also have guarding tendencies for food or might not be on any sort of feeding schedule. Introduce high-quality puppy food, especially if your puppy is undernourished. Provide food at the same time each day, and don't let your puppy eat as much as he or she wants. You should give the right amount of food for their age and weight to help your puppy learn to regulate themselves. 

3. Slowly introduce people and animals.

Finally, puppies in healthy environments learn by play and exploring. They also learn from their mother and littermates, as well as from the people they interact with. If your puppy has had limited exposure to people, they might feel afraid or even show aggression. Be careful when introducing your puppy to people, and spend plenty of time transitioning your puppy as you give plenty of praise for good behavior.