10 Simple Ways You Can Protect Your Puppy’s Growing Bones
Bringing home your new puppy can be an exciting time; the cuteness, the fun, the games, but it is also a time of great responsibility. Your new family member needs to be kept healthy and safe, and that includes the food you give them.
At the top of the list of things your puppy needs, are their bones. Puppies are growing constantly, so having strong bones and healthy joints is crucial. There are a number of ways that you can protect their growth and bones; keep reading to find out more.
1. Choose the Right Diet
The best way to make sure your puppy has healthy bones and joints is to feed them a diet that is high in calcium and phosphorus. There are many commercial dog foods on the market that are specifically designed for puppies and have the right calcium to phosphorus ratio.
However, if you are feeding your puppy a homemade diet, it is important to do your research to make sure that it contains the right amounts of these minerals. You can also speak to your veterinarian about supplementing your puppy's diet with vitamins and minerals.
2. Avoid Excess Weight
One of the biggest dangers to your puppy's bones and joints is carrying too much weight. Being overweight puts unnecessary stress on their growing bones and joints, which can lead to serious problems later in life.
To avoid this, make sure that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food and not overfeeding them. You should also make sure that they get plenty of exercise to help them maintain a healthy weight.
3. Provide Lots of Exercise
Exercise is not only important for maintaining a healthy weight, but it is also essential for helping your puppy's bones and joints to grow properly. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles and bones, and it also helps to improve joint flexibility.
Make sure that you provide your puppy with plenty of opportunities to exercise, including walks, playtime, and puppy classes. However, avoid strenuous exercise until your puppy is at least one year old to help protect their bones; too much exercise can harm their growth. Read this article here to learn more on the proper guidelines for exercising puppies.
4. Use a Harness, Not a Collar
When walking your puppy, it is important to use a harness rather than a collar. This is because a collar can put unnecessary pressure on your puppy's neck, which can cause problems with their spine and joints. A harness will distribute the pressure more evenly and help to protect your puppy's neck and spine.
You can find dog harnesses in your local pet stores and online, but make sure to properly measure your pup to ensure the correct fit. Buying a harness that can be altered as they grow might be the best option.
5. Protect Their Paws
Your puppy's paws are also susceptible to injury, so it is important to take steps to protect them. Avoid walking your puppy on hot pavement or in harsh weather conditions, as this can damage their paw pads.
If you do need to walk them in these conditions, make sure that you use paw protectors to help shield their paws from the elements. You can find these paw protectors in pet stores or online.
6. Avoid Stairs
Stairs can be dangerous for puppies, as they can easily slip and fall. If possible, avoid letting your puppy use stairs until they are at least one year old. If you do need to let them use stairs, make sure that you are there to help them and that they are using a harness.
It can also cause problems with their joints if they are constantly going up and down stairs, so it is best to avoid it if possible. This will help to protect their bones and joints as they grow, and it will likely help you avoid costly vet visits.
7. Be Careful With Their Joints
Puppies' joints are still growing and developing, so it is important to be careful with them. Avoid letting your puppy jump from high places, as this can damage their joints. Also, be gentle when handling them, as too much roughhousing can cause joint problems.
If you notice that your puppy is limping or having trouble using their joints, make sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible. They may need medication or surgery to correct the problem; it is best to catch these issues early on before it worsens.
8. Avoid Rough Games
While exercise is important for your puppy, it is important to avoid games that are too rough. Avoid games like tug-of-war, as these can put too much strain on their joints and bones. Stick to gentler games like fetch to help protect their joints.
If you have young children in the house, monitor how they play with the puppy. It is a teachable moment if you can explain why too rough of play is not good for the puppy and their health long term.
9. Know the Signs of Joint Problems
Joint problems are common in puppies, so it is important to know the signs to look out for. Some signs of joint problems include limping, stiffness, and unwillingness to exercise. If you notice any of these signs, take your puppy to the vet to have them checked out.
Early diagnosis and treatment of joint problems is crucial to help prevent further damage and to help your puppy live a long and healthy life.
10. Trim Their Nails Regularly
Nails that are too long can put unnecessary pressure on your puppy's joints, so it is important to trim them on a regular basis. You can do this yourself at home, or you can take them to a groomer or vet to have it done.
Be careful not to cut the nails too short, as this can be painful for your puppy and can cause bleeding. If you are unsure of how to properly trim your puppy's nails, ask your vet or groomer for advice. It might be a good idea to take your groomer or vet if they need their nails trimmed, especially if you lack the confidence to do so yourself.
Bonus Point. Visit the Vet Regularly
Finally, one of the best ways to protect your puppy's bones and joints is to take them to the vet for regular check-ups. Your vet will be able to check for any problems and give you advice on how to best care for your puppy.
They can also help you create a vaccination schedule to help protect your puppy from diseases that can cause joint problems. Regular vet visits are an important part of keeping your puppy healthy and happy, so make sure to schedule them into your puppy's life.
To Sum Up
Puppies need healthy bones and joints to grow properly, so it is important to take steps to protect their growth. Feed them a diet that is high in calcium and phosphorus, provide them with lots of exercise, and use a harness rather than a collar when walking them.
Also, be careful with their joints, trim their nails regularly, and take them to the vet for regular check-ups. By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your puppy has a long and healthy life.