TEN MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT A NEW PUPPY by Veterinary Nurse SammyIt’s always super exciting adding a new member to the family, however in some cases it could be the very first pet you have ever owned. Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you and your new puppy.1. Toilet trainingYour puppy won’t be toilet trained overnight. It takes time and patience, and every puppy learns at their own pace. However, you can help speed up the process by crate-training your dog. Once their comfortable with his crate, they’ll see it as his safe haven and probably won’t want to soil it. As a general rule of thumb, your pup can hold it only for as many hours as his age (in months). For instance, if your puppy is 2 months old, they should go out every two hours to prevent an accident. If your dog does have an accident, don’t punish him or stick his nose in it. Interrupt your puppy and take them outside to go to the bathroom.2. What can I expect at my puppy’s first veterinary exam?First, the veterinarian will take your puppy’s vitals and ask for his health history. Next, the veterinarian will examine your puppy from nose to tail to check for signs of disease, abnormalities and external parasites. Depending on your puppy’s age and vaccination history, the veterinarian will administer the proper vaccinations. He/she may also give de-worming medication and suggest a flea and tick preventive. Your puppy’s first exam is a great time to bring up any questions or concerns you want your vet to address.3. When can I take my puppy to the dog park?If your puppy hasn’t gotten the proper vaccines yet, it’s not a good idea to take them to public places like the dog park, where they could contract a deadly disease like parvo. The dogs at the dog park could be ill or un vaccinated. It’s not worth the risk; wait until your vet gives the all-clear.4. When should I start training my puppy?Start as soon as you bring your puppy home. You’ll probably want to work on housebreaking, foundational commands like sit and stay. Work on stopping their jumping behaviour and teaching them to walk on a loose leash. That’s a lot! But you don’t need to do it all at once. Keep training sessions short and fun. Make sure to practice reward-based, positive reinforcement training technique.5. Which vaccinations does my puppy need?There are 4 core vaccines all puppies should get: Canine distemper, Canine Adenovirus-2 (hepatitis), canine parvovirus and Canine Tracheobronchitis (kennel cough). There is another add on vaccine: Leptospirosis but this is only given to pets in certain areas. (Ask your vet)6. How can I get my puppy to stop chewing on everything?Chewing is a natural behaviour. When you leave something enticing in a young puppy’s path, chances are their going to chew on it. That’s why it’s up to you to puppy proof your home. If you think your puppy could eat an object get it out of their reach. That’s another reason why crates are so useful — they help keep your pup out of trouble. Give your puppy plenty of toys that are safe for them to chew on. Food puzzles and interactive toys can help keep their mind occupied.7. When should I Desex my puppy?In general, puppies should be spayed or neutered before they reach sexual maturity (usually around 5 or 6 months old) to prevent unwanted offspring. In some cases, larger breeds may benefit from a longer wait. Talk to your vet about the best time to desex your puppy. 8. Does my puppy really need to be groomed?Introduce them to nail trims, brushing and bathing now instead of waiting until there an adult will make it more comfortable for your pet as they get older. Offer treats and praise, and keep grooming sessions short.9. How big will my puppy get?How big your puppy will get really depends on their breed. Giant breeds like Great Danes can weigh more than 60kgs and may take 24 months or more to reach their full size. Toy breeds like Chihuahuas typically weigh only 5-6kgs and may reach full size by 9 to 12 months. Often times, male dogs are bigger than female dogs. If you have a mixed-breed dog, predicting there size may be a little trickier. In general, the bigger the paws, the bigger the dog. 10. How much does my puppy need to eat?This all depends on a few factors: the nutrient content and digestibility of the food and the size of you puppy. Small-breed need to eat more frequent meals to avoid hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), they also have tinier teeth and should eat small-kibble food. When it comes to large and giant-breed puppies, do not overfeed them. Many people assume filling their puppies bowl to the brim will help them grow big and strong, but this can contribute to the development disorders. Large or giant breed puppies should be feed a diet specifically formulated to large or giant breeds. If you not sure always ask your vet.