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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

Best Holiday Ever: National Puppy Day! 

March 15 2024

National Puppy Day is on the 23rd, which means this month is all about dogs. We’re happy to celebrate little Fido on this “pawesome” day, which was created to both honor baby dogs and promote responsible puppy adoption. In this piece, a Lawrenceville, GA vet shines a light on puppies.

What Is The Purpose Of National Puppy Day?

This sweet holiday started in 2006. The idea came from Colleen Paige, an expert on pet lifestyles. Even though now is a great time to share some cute puppy pictures, there is more to it than that. Paige wanted to get people to pay attention to puppy mills, and their horrible business practices. This is a serious issue for animal welfare, as you may know.

In recent years, there has been an improvement in this particular area, which is encouraging. Many pet shops won’t take puppies from mills anymore, and there are more rules against such activities now than there were in 2006. Still, we have a long way to go.

How Can I Tell the Difference Between A Breeder And A Puppy Mill?

This one can be hard. To be fair, there are some great breeders out there. It isn’t always easy to tell the difference online. People who run puppy mills may post cute pictures of their dogs, and the dogs may look like they are happy and healthy. 

Here are a few things to consider:

Transparency is critical. You should be able to go visit the puppies and see where they live. The space should be clean, comfortable, and plenty big enough. Puppy cams can be a good sign, though not every place has them. The breeder should not only let you see where their dogs are kept, but they should also encourage you to do so.

Specialties are another hallmark. Responsible breeders typically have a unique love, skill, or affinity for a particular breed. Because of this, most only work with a few breeds. Many times, it’s only one. A breeder with a lot of different breeds might care more about making money than breeding responsibly.

If they check you out, that’s another good sign. Reputable breeders exercise extreme caution in choosing the individuals they allow to adopt their dogs’ offspring. You might be asked to fill out an application and even have a meet-and-greet or interview.

Finally, look over the papers. The forms you would need to fill out for Little Fido can also tell you a lot. A good producer will include papers showing the dog’s lineage, proof of vaccinations, information about the breed, and maybe even some care tips. You may also be needed to prove that you’re going to have your canine buddy fixed, or, in some cases, pay a higher fee for the ability to breed him. Excellent breeders frequently provide return options in the event that the dog has certain congenital health problems.

How Does One Celebrate National Puppy Day?

You don’t have to do anything crazy to join in and help get the word out. Simply sharing images and infographics on pups and puppy adoption will help.

Sharing info about puppies for adoption (from reputable sources or rescues) on social media is another great idea. 

Yes, you can treat little Fido too! If you have your own puppy, give him a new toy or a yummy treat.

What Can I Do To Help Stop Puppy Mills?

Puppy mills are especially harmful because they take advantage of people’s love of dogs and good intentions, but don’t really care about the puppies. Even though some of their pups end up in loving homes, the breeding dogs are often treated horribly. Many are abandoned when they can’t have puppies anymore.

Here are some tips on avoiding puppy mills: 

Adopt, Don’t Shop! This phrase is really taking off as more people speak out against puppy mills. Start your search at a shelter near you. They frequently get puppies as well!

Support Laws That Protect Animals: Animal advocates will discover plenty of causes and legislation to endorse.  Be on the lookout for those concerning puppy mills and breeders.

Help Out With School Programs: The Nose-to-Tail program from the Humane Society is a great one for preschool schools. There should be this subject in elementary school, if you are a teacher or have a child in grade school. You could also read it at home with your child. To learn more about that, click here.

Don’t Buy Fido Online. You may very well want to start your search for a dog online. For example, it makes sense to Google for nearby breeders if you want to find a puppy of a certain breed. There are also plenty of legit sites, such as animal shelter websites and places like Petfinder. However, you should be able to go see the owner and kennel in person. Be very careful with ads on sites like Craigslist.

How Do I Pick Out A Puppy? They’re All So Cute!

It can be hard to choose the right dog. There is nothing cuter than a puppy, and that charming furry face can be hard to resist. Don’t rush things! You will be committing to caring for your canine pal for life. There are plenty of things you should think about besides how cute little Fido is. There are no bad puppies, but there are definitely bad matches between puppies and people.

Here are some things to look into: 

  • Expected Lifespan
  • Average Adult Size
  • Grooming Needs
  • Trainability 
  • Activity Needs
  • Good with kids
  • Good with pets
  • Common Health Concerns
  • Barking, Drooling, and Shedding Levels

Being able to raise Fido yourself does give you a lot of freedom in how you train and shape your pet’s attitude. For example, a dog that has lived with kids and cats all its life is likely to be more accepting of them than one that has never met them. Also, a puppy that was socialized properly is less likely to have behavior problems. However, breed does play a huge role. Reading about the breed can help you a lot by giving you a general idea of what to expect.

That said, it’s also important to follow your heart. Sometimes, you just know! 

Getting Your New Puppy Ready

Adopting a puppy is a very, very big deal. It will change your life and little Fido’s in huge ways. Once you’ve decided, you will need to get ready.

One of the first things you’ll need to do is hit the pet store. You’ll need to get or order a lot of things for your fur family member. Food, treats, dishes, toys, bedding, paw care tools, a harness or collar, a leash, ID tags, and a crate or carrier are all things that little Fido will need. Also, GPS tags are a good idea!

Petproofing is also on the agenda. Baby dogs are very likely to eat or choke on things that are not safe. Many everyday things are poisonous to them.

That list includes:

  •  Toxic plants
  •  Certain foods
  •  Small/sharp objects
  •  Ropes and Cords
  •  Plastic bags and ties
  •  Lawn/Garden products, such as fertilizers and slug bait
  •  Wires And Cords
  •  Medicine
  •  Vitamins
  •  Garbage
  • Personal Items
  • Small pieces of clothing

When your pet starts chewing, you’ll need to be even more careful. Ask your vet for specific advice on both puppy proofing and helping your puppy get through that crazy chewing stage.

Make An Appointment With Your Lawrenceville, GA Animal Clinic

One of the first things you should do is call us to set up an appointment. Your furry little friend will need a full checkup. For that first year, you should plan to vaccinate, treat for parasites, microchip, and spay or neuter your pet. Don’t be shy about asking for advice on training, food, exercise, and grooming while you’re here. We love seeing puppies grow up to be happy, healthy adult dogs!   

For more information, talk to your Lawrenceville, GA vet. We are always happy to help! 

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