Taking care of your new puppy is a lot of work, and preventative health measures are a big part of it. Depending on how young your puppy is or where he came from, he may not be well equipped to deal with many diseases or other issues, and some diseases can be deadly even to healthy dogs.

Keep Up With Vaccinations

Dogs need to get vaccinations just like humans do, and at younger ages are extremely important. A young or unhealthy dog could have a weakened immune system, so getting these vaccinations will help secure your dog against many types of disease.

Buy The Right Food

There are so many different types of dog food to choose from, picking the right one may seem a daunting task. At first you'll want to feed your puppy the same type of food he received at the shelter, because a sudden change in diet can cause digestive problems. Eventually you can slowly wean him off that food and start to use another if you prefer. Check with your vet to see what kind of food will be best for your puppy. Ask about what ingredients to look for and what ingredients to avoid, as this could vary depending on your puppy's specific needs.

Choose A Diet and Schedule

Along with choosing the right type of food, you also need to watch the quantity. There is no magic number to start, but you can take an educated guess based on your puppy's age and the average weight for his breed. Overfeeding your dog can eventually cause him to become obese, which in turn can cause diabetes, joint problems, difficulty breathing, reduced heat tolerance and decreased liver function. Keep your puppy at a healthy weight, and decide whether to increase or lower his amount of food based on his weight.

Try to keep your puppy's feeding schedule as consistent as possible. You can feed younger puppies two to three times per day, but whatever schedule you choose, make sure you stick to it.

Exercise Your Puppy

A young puppy will be limited in how often and how much he can exercise, but he still needs to get in some daily physical activity, even if only for 10 to 15 minutes. Take your puppy on a short walk around the yard or neighborhood — this is also a great time to start leash training. However, be careful when you decide to take your dog outside; avoid going out in the evening if you live in an area with plenty of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes feed in the evening and can carry heartworms. If your puppy stays outdoors, protect him with a mosquito net.

Keep Your Puppy Hydrated

Always make sure that your puppy has access to clean, cool water. This is especially important during summer. Dogs need water to stay hydrated, but also to stay cool since they don't sweat as easily as humans do.

Talk to your veterinarian, such as Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, for more information.