The choice of a puppy to share your life with is a very personal one. If you and your family have decided you want a large breed dog; Great Dane, Mastiff, German Shepherd, Cane Corso, Doberman Pinscher, Newfoundland, Retriever or any other large breed — you need to be aware that these large breed puppies will grow into large breed dogs and large breed dogs have different health and nutrition needs than other breeds might. Why? Mainly because of their size, they may develop joint pain or canine arthritis or canine hip dysplasia later in life.
How can you get your large breed puppy off on the right foot from the moment you bring her home? Here are some tips:
- Offer her a warm, comfortable big dog bed on which to sleep. If you let your puppy sleep on the floor, it may be harder to get her accustomed to sleeping in a bed. A proper, orthopedic big dog bed will help your pet as she ages assuring she can sleep without joint pain. When choosing your dog bed, choose a high quality, orthopedic style that your dog can still use when she reaches her full size.
- Ask your veterinarian for advice on the best food for your large breed puppy. A large breed dog will likely eat even more food than you initially imaged so you will want to keep a supply on hand. Make sure the food you’re feeding fits your dog’s size, age and unique nutritional needs. Feeding your large breed puppy foods that meet his nutritional needs when he’s young may help him avoid injury and illness as he ages.
- Large breed puppies grow quickly and you need to make certain their living environment is safe to make certain they don’t injure themselves. Consider this step as puppy-proofing your home — just as you would baby-proof for a toddler. Be on the look out for items they could easily knock off a table, put rugs down on slippery floors and surfaces, make note of items on kitchen counters and keep dangerous, or delicious foods, out of reach of your large breed puppy.
Exercise is crucial to your large breed puppy not only developing strong muscles and bones, but to keeping any destructive tendencies at bay if they become bored. You need to make time to walk your pet and play with them in the backyard and let them expend their excess energy.
- Regular veterinarian check ups are a must for all puppies and dogs — regardless of their size. Puppies will require more frequent trips to the vets because they will require health checks and vaccinations. Your vet will weigh your pet on every visit, will discuss health supplements and overall nutrition and will offer advice on how to make sure your pet grows up to be the happiest and healthiest that he can.
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