The Labrador retriever is a popular family pet in part because of its affectionate and playful nature. They are smart and easy to train, and when trained early, can provide many years of loyal companionship. Yellow Lab puppies, like most newborns, require a lot of time and attention to ensure they are healthy and their needs are being met. Raising a puppy requires attention and patience, as puppies require training as well as basic care, feeding and socialization.
Puppy proof your home before bringing the puppy home. Puppies are naturally curious creatures and will want to chew on anything in sight. This includes cords, trash, hazardous and breakable items. Secure your home so the puppy can't escape and run out into danger.
Plan to feed your puppy every few hours. Puppies under 4 weeks old will need to be bottle fed with canine milk replacer, which simulates a mother dog's milk. Dogs older than 4 weeks old can eat solid food mixed with warm water and milk replacer. Ask your vet what brand of solid puppy kibble is best for your dog's needs.
Section off an area of the home with the security gate for the puppy to play. This area must be near you so you can watch the puppy carefully, and should be on a solid surface for easy cleanup. At bedtime, place the puppy in his crate, which should be large enough for him to get up and move around. Crates provide a den atmosphere that is comforting to dogs. However, puppies should not be kept in their crate for more than a couple of hours when they are young as they are unable to hold their bladder, and will need to be taken out many times to eliminate.
Socialize your puppy by holding him or petting him. After three weeks of age, it is important to handle your puppy -- always in a gentle manner -- to get him accustomed to human interaction. This will help create a bond between human and pet, and also will help make training easier.
Items you will need
- Dry puppy food
- Canine milk replacer
- Water bowl
- Food bowl
- Collar with ID tags
- Dog crate
- Baby gate or safety gate
- Chew toys
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