Choosing a Healthy Puppy

So, you think you’ve found your perfect pup?  Great!

Now let’s make sure you are choosing a healthy puppy.  Here are a few things to look for.

Look at his eyes.  They should be clear and shiny.  Not runny, matted, or red.

Does he feel solid when you pick him up? 

Is his fur soft, and not matted?

Remember though, that his fur can be “messy” as a litter of puppies can and do run through poop and then jump on each other and you, in their excitement and play!

©Photo Courtesy of Susie Scribner

How do the inside of his ears look?  Are they clean and not reddish color inside? 

Healthy ears should be white to a very pale pink.

He should not have thick, dark, matter in his ears that resembles ear wax or coffee grinds.

However, if the pups have been playing outside, check to see if inside his ears is simply covered with a bit of dust and dirt. 

This is normal as puppies roll all over the ground while rolling all over each other!

©Photo Courtesy of "ZD"

Look at his belly.  Do you see fleas?  How many fleas?  There is a difference between a couple of fleas and being infested with them.

You can not use flea shampoo on puppies under 12 weeks of age.  It is dangerous for them. 

Puppies can be flea treated after 8 weeks of age, if you use the products that your veterinarian recommends, such as Frontline Plus, which goes by the pup's weight.

So, if he only has a few fleas, this is not a big deal when choosing, as he can simply be treated for them when he is old enough for it to be done safely.

If you happen to arrive late when going to pick out your pup, and they have tired out from playing already, it will be hard to see them interact with each other and with you. 

©Photo Courtesy of Marjon Lukje

When a Golden Retriever decides he’s tired, he’s taking a nap and that’s all there is to it!

No amount of coaxing is going to get him to fully wake up and socialize with you, which will make choosing a healthy puppy much harder!

Always make an appointment to see the pups and then be on time, so that the breeder can have the puppies out and ready to play, instead of them being sound asleep if you are running late.

Choosing a healthy puppy is basically looking him over for any obvious signs of injuries, sickness, or neglect.

As for his personality, please remember that is likely to change somewhat when he settles into his new home.

©Photo Courtesy of Jamie Ewing

He will no longer have to compete with his littermates and this makes a big difference in how he acts.

A shy pup can blossom under your love and training since he is no longer being bullied by a dominant littermate. 

And a more dominant pup will settle down, as he no longer has littermates to boss around and learns that it is you, and not him, that is the boss now!

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