13 Questions Owners Ask About New Puppies


6. How often should we brush her teeth?You should brush her teeth every day.

7. When will she be house-trained? Depends. Usually she will be house-trained before 6 months, if you’re diligent. If you’re having trouble making headway by the time she’s 4 months old, however, it’s time to seek professional advice — ideally from your veterinarian or a credentialed dog behavior professional.

8. Will the barking and howling at night ever stop? That kind of yippy, nighttime barking and howling pups do when they’re babies almost always subsides within days of arrival. Of course, some are still potty training, and they really do need to go in the middle of the night. But if they’re just getting you up to play, then it’s time to stop indulging their every whim. Nevertheless, it’s true that some pups are more insistent than others.

9. She’s a purebred Schnauzer (or Doberman, Boxer, Min Pin, etc.), so will you crop her ears and dock her tail? That all depends on your veterinarian, your dog's age and, to some extent, the state you live in. Laws vary. Your veterinarian, however, may decline to perform a surgery that's solely for cosmetic reasons.

10. She passes a lot of gas! Will that ever get better? I love this question! The funny thing is that pet owners usually loath to raise the issue without exam room confirmation of the problem. (Gee, thanks!) Once revealed, however, I’m happy to say that, yes — flatulence is often fixable via dietary means. Trial and error and probiotics are typical means of simple resolution, but you should also know that sometimes gas is a sign of more complex gastrointestinal issues to come.

11. Will I need to learn to clip her nails and squeeze those stinky anal glands? Claw clipping? It’s best that you learn how to clip her claws. Ask us how; we’ll show you. But anal glands? That’s a task usually reserved for the pros. Ask us; we’ll explain why.

12. What’s the deal with the microchip? You want us to install a microchip. You really do. It’s generally easy, safe and inexpensive. And it may make the difference between getting your puppy back home and never seeing her again. You make the call.

13. Does pet insurance really work? Sure does! That is, if you get the pet insurance that’s right for you. Talk to your veterinarian about which pet health insurance companies she recommends.

I’ve probably only scratched the surface of all the questions you have. Maybe now, however, you’ll be able to steer future discussions with your veterinarian in a way that’ll get the rest of your questions answered.

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