March can come in like a lion, but on March 23rd it’s all about puppies! National Puppy Day celebrates the joy of puppies and encourages puppy adoption while supporting responsible breeding practices.
If you are thinking of getting a puppy, consider adopting one from a Tucson area shelter. Shelter personnel are skilled and objective in evaluating the personalities of dogs. Adopting a puppy with health or behavioral problems can be challenging, and there is no magic wand to determine if a puppy will grown into a well-adjusted good citizen.
You should also pay attention to the general health of the puppy you are considering:
- Eyes should bright and clear. Discharge or redness can indicate poor health.
- The puppy should breathe without effort – listen for coughing, sneezing or wheezing.
- A healthy puppy is chubby! His ribs should be covered with a layer of fat.
- A puppy’s coat should be smooth and free of mats or bald areas.
- Eyes on the ball! A healthy puppy, once he is rested, is alert and ready to play. He should be able to move about without stiffness or pain.
Once you have chosen the right puppy for your family, call Encanto Pet Clinic staff to make an appointment for his first visit. They want to see your new family member within a few days of adoption, and begin a relationship with him. Allowing your puppy to adjust to a clinic’s conditions without fear creates a better atmosphere for future visits. Positive social interactions helps a puppy grow into a confident, relaxed dog.
When you come to your appointment, carry your puppy into the clinic and do not encourage contact with other animals or people. Bring any information you were given from the shelter or organization. Your veterinarian will need to know about any worming medications or vaccinations given to your puppy.
It is also helpful to bring a fresh stool sample to your appointment. Encanto Pet Clinic staff will examine the stool for parasites such as roundworm (ascarids) or giardiasis, which can be transmitted to humans.
A member of the staff will weigh your new puppy and take his temperature. A normal temperature for a puppy will range from 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your puppy’s pulse and breathing rate will also be determined, and the veterinarian will listen to heart and lungs, and palpate the puppy’s abdomen. She will also look inside his ears – and sniff them – to check for infections or parasites.
He will look at the puppy’s genitals and make sure there are two testicles present. If your puppy is a female, he will look for signs of discharge or other abnormalities.
Eyes, skin, throat and nose are also carefully checked for any signs of disease or infection. Your veterinarian will make sure that first set of teeth is properly aligned and the gums are pink and healthy.
The staff at Encanto Pet Clinic encourages you to bring your puppy in for regular examinations and fun visits, so that he sees the clinic as a familiar and friendly place. Our staff can inform you of our puppy package, which includes vaccines, microchipping and discounts on other services needed during your puppy’s first year. Ask the front desk staff to take pictures of your dog at each visit, so you can record all the changes he will go through. Post your own pictures on the Encanto Pet Clinic Facebook page!
Puppies are pack animals and love to be in groups. Your family is his new pack – but he can learn to be social with other dogs by attending a puppy play class. Oh Behave Pet Training and Behavior Solutions offers a FREE puppy play and socialization class every Wednesday evening from 6 to 7 pm. The class is designed for puppies 10 weeks to 4 months of age. Visit their class page for more details.