How To Keep Your New Puppy From Needing An Emergency Vet Visit

How To Keep Your New Puppy From Needing An Emergency Vet Visit

General veterinary visits aren’t cheap. The annual checkups, blood work, vaccinations, and whatever else can add up. While it’s fun to gripe about services that seem expensive, the usual stuff is a small price to pay to keep a pup healthy.

Emergency veterinarian visits are a different story. If you have a real injury to deal with, or something goes wrong at midnight and there’s only one clinic in town that accepts overnight patients, you’re going to pay for it.

Expense is obviously not the only reason to try to keep a pup out of the vet’s office. No one wants to pick up a fresh recruit and watch it suddenly get hurt, poisoned, or worse. Our job as dog owners is to keep them safe and anticipate potential dangers.

When it comes to puppies, we often focus on the obvious dangers like traffic, falling into deep water, or jumping off of the tailgate of a truck and breaking its landing gear. While the world can be a harsh place for puppies, it’s often the things we don’t anticipate or don’t recognize as dangers that can alter the course of a young dog’s life. One of these is something that owners encourage all of the time, but they shouldn’t.

Dog’s Don’t Say Hi

Whether you take your pup out to the local park to socialize it or show it off, remember this one thing—your dog does not need to meet other dogs. People think this is universally a good thing and that it’s cute as hell. It can be, but it’s also true that puppies have the manners and social acumen of a methed-up hillbilly.

Their favorite move is to jump up on other dogs’ heads, or bite jowls, ears, or whatever they can get their teeth on. Most dogs will correct them with a nip or remove themselves from a pup’s orbit. Some dogs, often big males but not always, will do worse.

An adult dog that corrects a puppy might do so verbally, or it might take action. If it takes action, the odds of your pup taking a tooth to the eye or needing some stitches increase in an instant. It’s just not worth it. Socialize your dog with people so they learn manners, but be very cautious of strange dogs. The pup meet-up is almost always a net-neutral to net-negative experience.

Adorable Garbage Disposals

Not all dogs are food-driven, but most are when they’re puppies. They experience their world through their mouths, and anything remotely edible has the chance to go down the gullet. When this happened to one of my Labs about a decade ago, a pound of raisins disappeared into an animal that most definitely shouldn’t eat raisins.

It cost me over a grand in veterinary fees to get her over that hurdle, and it was worth it. It was also avoidable. The more free roaming time your pup has, the more likely it’ll be to get into something. This might be some type of people food that is toxic to them, or it might be a cord to a lamp. While it’s fun to try to grant a young dog more independence, this comes with the risk that they’ll do something really stupid with it.

Crate training is a great way to prevent a puppy from getting into trouble. It allows you to keep them in a safe, comfortable environment when you can’t give them your undivided attention.

Hot Pup-Tato

It might not seem like much, but a drop of two feet with a 10-week-old puppy is no joke. This is also about the height at which a lot of kids will hold a new puppy. A little nip from sharp puppy teeth or just a little too much wriggling to get away, and a kid will drop a pup fast.

If they’re playing in the grass, it’s usually not a big deal. But a drop of even a foot or two on concrete or gravel can result in a real injury. This is far more common than a lot of potential dog owners realize.

Avoid this by having anyone who you don’t trust fully to hold onto your pup to sit down, and then hand them the dog. Not only will this prevent a potential dropping scenario, but it also teaches the puppy that people will come down to its level instead of it having to jump up to theirs.

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