Caring for a New Puppy in Wilmington, DE: What You Need to Know

When you have a new puppy in your family, it’s important to make sure you understand the basics of caring for a new puppy in Wilmington. Bringing a pet into your household is an exciting time for everyone, but it can also be stressful and confusing for you and the puppy both.

Caring for a new puppy in Wilmington, DE

Important Information About Caring for a New Puppy in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll explore some of the necessary information that can help you and your puppy get started right. With these tips and suggestions, you can make the most of the first few months with your puppy and ensure you both bond well for the future, too.

Read through this article to find out more information about caring for your new puppy.

New Puppy Shots

It’s very important to keep up with your puppy’s shots from day one. Depending on how old your new puppy when you bring him home, you may be able to get started on his shots right away, or you might need to wait a little while. Your veterinarian in Wilmington, DE will give you more information about when to begin and when to return for booster shots, too.

Since puppies are very susceptible to disease before they receive vaccinations, you should keep your dog inside as much as possible until he gets started on these shots.

New Puppy Training

It’s never too early to start your puppy learning the training that can help him become a well-behaved adult dog. You should begin with house training, as this will be the most important in the early months you spend with your puppy.

As soon as your puppy eats or drinks anything, take him outside to potty. Always return to the same spot each time. If he goes, give him a puppy-safe training treat and praise him so he knows he’s doing something right. As time goes on, he will learn when he is supposed to potty and where.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home

Puppies in Wilmington like to chew, and there is sometimes no end to what they will find to chew on. This can include your favorite items as well as items that are unsafe for them, so it’s crucial when caring for a new puppy to puppy-proof your home before you ever bring your new dog inside.

Make sure to lock low-level cabinets and drawers with heavy-duty metal latches and locks, as puppies can and often do chew through plastic ones. You may also want to install a baby gate to help contain your puppy to one part of your home or keep him out of another.

Socializing and Bonding

Puppies should be kept away from other dogs until they receive their first vaccinations, for their health. However, once your dog has started getting his puppy shots, he is free to meet other dogs that are healthy and vaccinated. Always keep your puppy on a leash and start him early on leash training for his safety as well as that of other dogs.

We recommend avoiding dog parks until your puppy has had all of his vaccinations.  You may, however, choose to take your dog to puppy classes or allow him to socialize with other vaccinated and healthy puppies in Wilmington.

Handling Behavioral Issues

Puppies are young and inexperienced, and even with a lot of attention given to their training from day one, it’s hard to help them understand what constitutes good and bad behavior. Because of this, one of the most important keys of caring for a new puppy is to make sure you always stay patient when dealing with him.

Remember that negative reinforcement is never a good idea with puppies, as it will only teach them to fear situations or fear you. Instead, use positive reinforcement to make sure your puppy knows when he’s doing something you want him to do again in the future.

When to Spay or Neuter

Finally, you should have your puppy spayed or neutered as soon as your vet in Wilmington thinks it’s safe to do so. This can help prevent a variety of health issues as well as some behavioral issues in your puppy as he gets older, and it can keep him from wandering in search of a mate, too. Additionally, it helps control the overpopulation of pets in your area.

Most puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as six months, however the best age for spay and neuter can be determined with your vet.

Find a Vet in Wilmington, DE to Help Care for Your New Puppy

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with some necessary basics on caring for a new puppy in Wilmington, you can feel more comfortable about bringing home a furry family member. Of course, there are always going to be unexpected situations that arise with your puppy, some of which will be good and some not so good.

For this reason, it’s important to establish a strong working connection with your vet right away and ensure you keep your puppy up to date on routine health care too. When you have a trusted vet to rely on, you can feel more relaxed and enjoy your time bonding with your new puppy.

At Wilmington Animal Hospital, our compassionate team knows how important your puppy is to you, which is why we develop customized wellness plans to help keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible. We work with you to make sure your pets always gets the care they need and we’re always here to answer questions about your puppy’s care.

What Does Bad Dog Breath Mean in Wilmington, DE?

Dogs aren’t exactly known for having wonderful breath, but did you know it can actually be a sign of an issue if your dog has severely bad breath? Dogs with bad breath come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and breeds, and it’s important to recognize the underlying cause of your dog’s breath issue so you can figure out how best to treat it.

Bad dog breath in Wilmington, DE

Common Problems Related to Bad Dog Breath in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll explain three of the most common problems relating to bad dog breath. We’ll help you better understand these concerns so you can speak with your veterinarian in Wilmington, DE about your dog’s breath.

Use this information to figure out, too, whether or not the problem can wait until your dog’s next regular visit or you need to schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible.

Poor Diet

Your dog’s bad breath may come from what he eats. If you’re feeding your dog low-quality dog food or an unbalanced diet, it may be time for an upgrade. Your vet can let you know for sure whether or not the food you feed your dog could be the culprit behind his bad breath, so be sure to provide as much information as possible when you take your dog to the vet.

Your dog’s unscheduled “snacks” may also contribute to the smell of his breath. If you let your dog out into the backyard unsupervised, there’s a chance he’s eating his own excrement or that of other dogs. He may also find dead animals and eat those, and he could get into the garbage and eat that as well. Additionally, if you have a cat, your dog might be getting into the litter box and eating the cat’s feces too.

If your dog has bad breath but doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms of dental or physical health issues, then the cause may simply be what he’s eating. However, you should always talk to your vet in Wilmington to be sure and to rule out any other potential problems.

All of these issues are potential causes of bad breath in dogs, and they’re worth considering if you notice this issue in your own furry friend.

Dental Health Problems

Dental health problems are some of the most common issues behind bad breath in dogs. Dogs who have dental disease frequently have very foul-smelling breath that comes from the buildup of bacteria on their teeth and in their gums. Dogs who have never had a teeth cleaning may also have the same issue, and very likely have dental disease as well.

Dental disease is often caused by poor dental management in dogs. However, some breeds may be more prone to it than others. If your vet feels your dog may be at risk for dental disease, you may be advised to start managing it early to prevent it from getting out of hand.

If your dog has dental disease, he’ll probably show signs of it, especially as it advances. He may be reluctant to eat or may simply swallow his food rather than chewing it. He may paw at his mouth frequently or whine if anyone touches his snout. He may also have severely swollen and inflamed gums, damaged or rotten teeth, or bleeding from the gums. You may notice swelling under one of his eyes which may indicate a tooth root abscess.

If you notice any of these problems along with bad breath, get your dog to a vet right away to find out more information about what you can do.

Physical Health Problems

Finally, dogs with bad breath may be suffering from other physical health issues not related to their gums, teeth, or mouth. For example, a dog with severe digestive problems may have bad breath from the buildup of stomach acid. These dogs may also belch often and may be at risk for bloat, which is a severe problem in dogs.

Speak to your veterinarian in Wilmington if you think your dog may have a digestive problem leading to his bad breath and other symptoms.

Some dogs may have severely bad breath if they have liver or kidney disease or failure. This is caused by the buildup of ammonia in the dog’s body as his organs are no longer able to process waste the way they should. Your vet can give you more information if this is what’s going on with your dog and can also help you make a decision on how to move forward.

Finally, dogs who have diabetes may have sickeningly sweet breath. This odd smell in a dog’s breath is almost always a sign of diabetes and is sometimes a symptom of it going on too long untreated. However, even if it reaches this point, your dog’s diabetes can still be managed with the help of your vet.

If you notice this kind of smell on your dog’s breath, it’s time to seek veterinary care right away and come up with a plan of action for dealing with it.

Ways to Help with Your Dog’s Bad Breath in Wilmington, DE

If your vet determines that your dog has an underlying physical health condition contributing to his bad breath, you’ll need to work together to decide the best course of action moving forward. The choice will depend on your vet’s suggestions as well as your dog’s specific issues and health risks.

Additionally, if your dog has a dental health concern, your vet will let you know what the options are in terms of treating this problem as well. Your dog may need a dental cleaning or may need to have oral surgery.

Finally, if your dog’s bad breath comes from what he eats, you can make some simple changes at home to improve his breath quality in no time. First, upgrade your dog’s regular food to something with healthier ingredients. Next, make sure to monitor your dog when he’s outside so he doesn’t eat anything unpleasant, and try keeping any cat litter boxes behind a baby gate or closed door.

Contact a Veterinarian in Wilmington, DE for Your Dog’s Bad Breath

Whether your dog’s bad breath is caused by a physical or dental health problem or from what he’s been eating, it’s important to go see a veterinarian in Wilmington to make sure you find out the actual cause of this condition. 

At Wilmington Animal Hospital, our veterinarians work on getting to the root of your dog’s breath problem and develop a treatment plan that best suits your pet. Whether it be to come in for regular teeth cleanings or something more extensive, we’ll always make sure your dog receives the care they need to help alleviate their bad breath. If you have any questions, or want to make an appointment, contact our veterinary team today!

What are the Benefits of Spay and Neuter Services in Wilmington, DE?

Whether you have an existing pet or you’re thinking about adopting one soon, it’s important to understand the benefits of spaying and neutering. As a pet owner in Wilmington, you should be aware of the risks associated with leaving either a male or female pet intact. You should also recognize just how crucial it is to spay and neuter whenever possible.

Benefits of spay and neuter in Wilmington, DE

7 Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll explain the most common and most important benefits of spaying and neutering. With this information, you should be able to make the right call and take your pet in for this simple procedure right away.

Some of the greatest benefits of spay and neuter services include:

Spaying Female Pets Prevents Some Health Issues

Female pets who are left intact run the risk of developing a life-threatening uterine infection called pyometra, as well as mammary, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Most spays involve removing the uterus as well as the ovaries, which means your pet will no longer risk this type of cancer at all. Spaying pets before the first heat cycle will significantly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. 

When your female pet in Wilmington can no longer become pregnant, she also no longer runs the risk of suffering from mastitis after giving birth as well. She also will not risk any other health complications related to giving birth in the future.

Neutering Male Pets Prevents Some Health Issues

Just like female pets, male pets may have fewer health risks when they are neutered. Neutering involves removing the testicles of a male pet, so after this procedure, your pet will no longer be at a risk for testicular cancer. Neutering also decreases the risk of developing prostatitis and BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy). 

Some male pets may also experience fewer urinary health issues after becoming neutered. This isn’t the case for all pets, and male cats especially may still have risks. However, the chance of preventing some urinary health problems in neutered male pets in Wilmington still remains high.

Spaying Female Pets Prevents Heat

Female pets go into heat regularly when they aren’t spayed. Cats go into heat more often than dogs, but both experience this. When pets go into heat, they become focused on mating above anything else. Some pets may have severe behavioral changes when they’re in heat, and they may be very difficult for the family to deal with during this time.

In-heat female pets will always be at risk for accidental breeding.  When you have your female pet spayed, you will no longer have to deal with her going into heat often—and she won’t have to, either!

Neutering Male Pets Reduces Territorial and Aggressive Behavior

Male pets who are left intact may develop behavioral changes that include marking territory by urinating everywhere, even in places where they shouldn’t. They may mark inside the home, on clothes and furniture, and even sometimes on people.

Some pets show their territorial behavior by becoming aggressive. If you notice your male pet becoming more and more aggressive as he gets older, chances are he’s feeling territorial. Both of these behavioral problems can be improved by neutering. Keep in mind, however, that aggression may also have other causes and neutering isn’t a cure for aggressive behavior.

Spaying Female Pets Saves Vet Bills in the Long Run

If your female pet develops a pyometra, this uterine infection is life-threatening.  Treatment includes emergency surgery and hospitalization that can be very costly.  Spaying your pet will eliminate the need for pyometra treatment. 

If your female pet becomes pregnant, you’re going to need to take her to the vet often for checkups and to make sure she’s doing well throughout the experience. She’ll also need to go to the vet after she has the babies. And shortly thereafter, the babies will need to have their own individual vet visits, too.

All of these vet costs add up quickly. When you have your female pet spayed, however, you don’t have to worry about vet bills related to pregnancy, birth, and babies. Your pet will never risk becoming pregnant and this won’t be a problem for you at all.

Neutering Male Pets Prevents Your Pet from Roaming

When your male pet is not neutered, he is much more likely to develop a habit of roaming. He may try to break out of the house or yard, especially if he senses a female in heat nearby. He may run away from home frequently and may end up getting hurt—either by other animals or by humans and vehicles—in the process.

Prevent your male pet from wanting to leave home by having him neutered.

Both Spaying and Neutering Reduce Pet Overpopulation 

Most importantly, spaying and neutering pets cuts down on the overrun pet population. There are thousands of unwanted cats and dogs in shelters and on the streets in Wilmington, and many of these animals end up in shelters. Shelters are filled and animals do not always find loving homes.

You can directly impact this situation by making sure your own pets don’t contribute to it. When your pet is spayed, she cannot have babies and won’t add to unwanted pets in shelters or take away potential homes from shelter pets. And when your pet is neutered, he won’t be able to impregnant strays and add to the problem, either.

Learn More About Spay and Neuter Benefits in Wilmington, DE

As you can see, there are many reasons to spay or neuter your pet as soon as possible. There are minimal health risks associated with spaying and neutering, and the procedure is one of the most common ones performed in veterinary medicine. Most pets can come home the same day or the very next day after their surgeries, and most pets recover very quickly as well.

Your veterinarian in Wilmington will let you know more information about the right time to have your pet spayed or neutered. Your veterinarian will have a conversation with you about the right age for spay and neuter of your pet, so get in touch with your vet right away for more information.