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Writer Jonathan Swift once stated that “Every dog must have his day,” and for our tail-wagging chums in the springtime of their life that day is March 23rd — National Puppy Day!
Founded in 2006 by celebrity pet and home lifestyle expert Colleen Paige, the message of the annual ode to fur babies is two-fold– to celebrate the puppies who are the sunshine of our lives, and to shine a light on the option of pet adoption.
6 Tips for New Pet Parents
Offering advice to pet parents in order to assure that the first phase of Fido’s life is happy and healthy, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests:
- First Vet Visit— Schedule a first check-up. Puppies should be vaccinated starting at six weeks of age, and an early vet visit will help to ensure the future health of your barking buddy.
- Tracking— Purchase a tag or make sure that your puppy’s current tag is up to date in case your canine’s exploration of his or her environment leads to getting lost.
- Household Harm— Puppy proof your home by both storing dangerous household chemicals out of the reach of curious canines and by keeping your pup away from the perils of ‘people food’ which can be toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, onions and avocados.
- Puppy Blues— Puppies are more susceptible to ailments, so pet parents should educate themselves about the warning signs of sickness.
- Potty Training— Like a child, puppies need structure in their lives and should be taught at an early age to go potty in an appropriate spot. Remember to reward your young Rover as he learns this bathroom routine!
- Excess Energy— “Just a few minutes more!” As children didn’t we all beg our parents for more outdoor play time? Your puppy may not be able to express his thoughts with words, but his thumping tail when he gets the chance to expend his excess puppy energy outdoors speaks volumes.
Promoting the Option of Pet Adoption
Along with the chance to show how much we cherish our own puppies (as well as the playful pup in each adult dog), National Puppy Day is also an opportunity to spread the word about the option of pet adoption. According to the documentary Madonna of the Mills, pet stores from coast to sell 500,000 dogs each year. Taken from a mother who has lived her life confined in a wire cage, a large majority of these puppies are sick or harbor illnesses. Meanwhile, an estimated 5 to 7 million homeless animals enter the shelter system, with only half ever finding forever families to love.
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