Puppies

Puppies

The first six months of life are vital to the development of puppies and require a lot of time, care and energy. Seven weeks is too young to take home a puppy. Pets should be purchased or adopted at 10–11 weeks old. When puppies are 12 weeks old, they have worked through their puppy stages with their siblings and learned socialization skills from their mothers.
 

Young puppies need to be fed 3–4 times a day, kept in a confined area indoors and let out every few hours to eliminate. Teething lasts the first 6–8 months. Most pets can be considered teenagers or young adults from 6–16 months old. These pets are still growing and developing through adolescence, but are beginning to show the direction that their personalities will take. They are still high-energy kids at this stage and will test your patience at every turn. Puppies don't become mature adults until they are two years old.
 

Puppies are fragile, require extra time and care, and are prone to play-related scratching and biting. They may not be appropriate for a household with young children. Adopting a friendly, calm, adult dog who has a known history of getting along with young children may be the best choice for your family. If you have a young child and are considering adopting a puppy, you need to consider that:
• Puppies require a lot of time, patience, training and supervision. They also require socialization in order to become well-adjusted adult dogs. This means they need to be taken places and exposed to new things and new people. If you have a young child who already requires a lot of care and time, will you have enough time to care for a puppy as well?
• Puppies, because they are babies, are somewhat fragile creatures. A puppy may become frightened, or even injured, by a well-meaning, curious child who wants to constantly pick him up or hug him.
• Puppies have sharp teeth and claws with which they may inadvertently injure a small child. Puppies also tend to jump up on small children and knock them down.
• If you get a puppy, you don't know if he will become more protective. He might become destructive.
 

Raising a puppy is a lot like raising small children—they get into everything. Some of what they get into can be hazardous to their health or to your possessions. Get rid of hazardous temptations ahead of time.
 

Puppies do most of their investigating of the world with their mouths. Preventing destructive and dangerous chewing is easier than trying to correct the puppy every second. Put potentially interesting objects up out of the puppy's reach. Bitter apple spray can be applied to furniture legs, woodwork and other immovable items. Install a baby gate or close doors of rooms that your puppy should be restricted from entering until he's better trained or more reliable. If your yard is fenced, check the boundaries and gates for openings that could potentially provide escape routes. If your yard is not fenced, make a resolution that your puppy will never be allowed to run off-lead without close supervision.

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