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Honoring National Puppy Day

March 15, 2024

This month has gone to the dogs: the 23rd is National Puppy Day! This ‘pawesome’ event was created not just to honor little Fido, but also to promote appropriate puppy adoption practices. In this episode, a local Jefferson, IA area veterinarian focuses on puppies.

When Did National Puppy Day Begin?

This cute holiday started in 2006. Colleen Paige, a pet lifestyle expert, started it. While Easter is an excellent opportunity to share some lovely puppy photos, there is a deeper purpose. Paige wanted to bring greater attention to puppy mills and the awful methods they engage in. As you may be aware, this is a major animal welfare concern.

There has been progress in this regard in recent years. Many pet businesses now refuse to accept puppies from mills, and there are more regulations prohibiting these abuses than there were in 2006. However, there is still a long way to go.

How Do You Honor National Puppy Day?

You don’t have to go overboard to get into the spirit and spread the word. Simply sharing photos and infographics on pups and puppy adoption can help.

Another excellent alternative is to spread information about puppy adoptions and available pooches via social media. Of course, if you happen to have a new puppy, you can treat him with a new toy or an extra special treat.

How Can I Help Stop Puppy Mills?

Puppy mills are particularly evil because they exploit people’s goodwill and love of puppies while showing little or no concern for the puppies. While some of their puppies could wind up in loving homes, the breeding dogs they employ are frequently kept in awful living conditions. Many of them do not receive adequate care. Sadly, they are often abandoned or mistreated when they can’t have puppies anymore.

Here are a few tips:

Adopt, Don’t Shop As public opinion shifts against puppy factories, this slogan is gaining traction. Begin your search at your local shelter. They frequently have puppies as well!

Support Legislation for Animal Welfare: If you love animals, you’ll find plenty of causes and legislation to back them. Keep a lookout for cases involving puppy mills and breeders.

Support School Programs: The Human Society has an excellent initiative for elementary schools called the Nose-to-Tail program. If you are a teacher or have a child in primary school, you can suggest putting it into the curriculum. You may get more information about it here.

Never Purchase A Dog Online. To be fair, the internet can be a great place to begin looking for a dog. For example, it makes sense to Google local breeders if you’re seeking a puppy of a particular breed. However, you should be able to visit the breeder and the kennel in person. Be aware of advertisements on marketplaces such as Craigslist.

How Can I Tell a Breeder From a Puppy Mill?

This one can be tricky. There are some fantastic breeders out there. Puppy mills may post gorgeous images of their pets, and the dogs may appear happy and healthy. However, there are a couple of things to note.

Transparency is essential. You should be able to view the puppies and where they are housed. The space should be clean, comfortable, and open. While not every place may have puppy cams, this could be a good sign. In general, the breeder should not only enable you to visit where their dogs are housed, but should actively promote it.

Specialties are another distinguishing feature. Responsible breeders typically breed because they have a strong affinity, knowledge, or love for a specific breed. As a result, the majority of breeders concentrate on a small number of breeds. Often, there is only one. A breeder with a large number of different breeds may be more concerned with profit than with responsible breeding.

Another red flag would be if they didn’t vet you. Good breeders are very picky about who they let their puppies go to. You may be required to fill out an application as well as participate in a meet and greet or an interview.

Finally, review the papers. The paperwork you receive with your little Fido. A trustworthy breeder will provide pedigree documents, vaccination certificates, breed information, and possibly some care suggestions. You may also be asked to show that you have had your canine companion fixed, or you may have to pay a higher charge to breed your own pet. Good breeders frequently provide return options if the puppy develops specific congenital health concerns.

How Should I Choose My Puppy?

Choosing Fido might be difficult. Picking just one pooch out of a lineup of adorable faces isn’t going to be easy! However, this is a lifelong commitment, so there are some things to consider besides how adorable little Fido is. As far as we are concerned, there really are no bad puppies, but there are certainly bad matches between pets and their people.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Size
  • Lifespan
  • Grooming needs:
  • Trainability 
  • Activity requirements
  • Good with kids
  • Good with Pets
  • Common health concerns
  • Chewing Level
  • Drooling Level
  • Shedding Level
  • Barking Level

Reading breed information might give you a good notion of what to expect. If you’re planning to adopt a mongrel, you should consider getting a pet DNA test. Of course, being able to raise Fido yourself allows you to train and shape your pet’s personality.

For example, a dog that has grown up with children and cats is more likely to be tolerant than one who has not, and a pup who has been properly socialized is less likely to develop certain behavioral issues.

Having said that, there is still plenty of room to open your heart. You may simply fall in love with a specific dog. That’s okay, too!

Preparing For Little Fido

Getting a puppy is a big decision, and one that will impact your life and the life of your pet in big ways. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’ll need to start preparing. 

Shopping is a must. You’ll need to pick up (or order) a number of items for your pet. Little Fido will require food, treats, dishes, grooming materials, bedding, paw care items, a harness and leash or collar, ID tags, and a kennel or carrier. GPS tags are a good idea, too!

Petproofing should also be on your list. Little Fido is a highly curious and playful dog. This can result in a disastrous mix! Baby dogs are all at risk of swallowing or choking on dangerous objects. They unfortunately like to investigate things by eating them. That can be extremely harmful because many ordinary household things are toxic to dogs. Some of the dangerous items include toxic plants, chemicals, small or sharp objects, ropes and cords, plastic bags, and medicine.

When your pet starts teething, you’ll need to be even more vigilant. This normally happens when a puppy is about six months old. Teething can cause aching gums. Your canine companion will try to relieve the pain by chewing. Ask your Jefferson, IA area veterinarian for particular guidance on both petproofing and how to help your pup get through the manic chewing stage.

You’ll also want to inspect your yard for poisonous plants. Make sure your fence is sturdy. 

Contact Your Jefferson, IA Area Veterinary Clinic.

Speaking of your veterinarian, one of the first things you’ll want to do is contact us to schedule an appointment. Your pet will require a complete examination. Vaccinations, parasite management, microchipping, and spay/neuter surgery should all be on the schedule in the first year. Don’t be reluctant to ask for advice on grooming, diet, exercise, and training. We absolutely love watching our canine patients mature from exuberant puppies to happy, healthy adult dogs.  

Do you have questions about puppy care? Contact us here at your Jefferson, IA area animal clinic, anytime!