The Puppy and the Dog They have been man’s companion through the ages and adapted to their owners, but they have their own behavioural and nutritional demands. Knowing and respectingthem will guarantee their health and well-being.

The cat’s feline nature is always a matter of fascination.He adapts with apparent ease to daily life, and yet he has behavioural and nutritional requirements of his own. Knowing them and respecting them will guarantee his well-being and his health.

Because of its composition, a Royal Canin Health Nutrition food provides all essential nutrients measured out with utmost precision in order to contribute every day and on a long-term basis to the well-being and health of every animal, according to his age, his size, his physiological condition and his breed.

Innovation for the sake of dogs and cats’ health. For over 40 years, Royal Canin has worked with breeder partners and veterinary nutritionists to go ever further into innovation and precision to enable us to formulate nutritional solutions which perfectly meet dogs and cats’ real needs.

Home > Puppies and Dogs > The puppy > Living with your puppy > Hygiene and maintenance

Living with your puppy

Hygiene and maintenance

Simple gestures

Looking after your puppy requires giving him constant attention throughout his whole life, which will guarantee him good hygiene and allow you to identify abnormal signs that warn you of a disease.

Indispensable outings

Outings are indispensable to a puppy’s well-being and is not just for house-training. Dogs are sociable animals and need to meet other animals and explore. Whether he lives in an apartment or a house, he is not content with just a five-minute outing in the morning and evening or even with staying in a small garden. A puppy needs many short outings in places that do not pose too many risks. Walking on a leash and recalling, for your puppy to come back to heel without arguing, should be taught at an early stage. Leash-free walks are reserved for open spaces and the countryside.

Your puppy’s maintenance on a day-to-day basis

His nose

His nose should be moist and fresh during the day and dry during sleep. Any presence of crusts, cracks and significant or mucopurulent discharge is a sign of ailments and you should consult a veterinarian.

His chops

They should be clean and relatively hermetic. Depending on the breed, they may or may not be drooping. You should watch for the appearance of cracks or red blotches.

His teeth

Teeth should be white and gums pink. Any red line on the edge of the teeth is abnormal and reveals a painful inflammation that may cause loss of appetite and affect oral hygiene. You should get your puppy used to having his mouth checked and his teeth brushed with a brush and toothpaste designed for dogs. This helps prevent the appearance of tartar. Health nutrition also aids oral hygiene through the inclusion of specially adapted kibbles that provide a mechanical brushing affect to reduce the risk of tartar formation.


Eyes should be bright and moist, with pink  mucous membranes. No discharge should be visible in the corners.


Floppy ears need to be checked often. The closure of the external auditory meatus at the pavilion does not always allow for proper ventilation of the meatus. Floppy ears should be cleaned once or twice a week and upright ears every fortnight. Use a solution suitable for dogs’ ears available from your veterinarian and follow the instructions carefully. If you are unsure, ask your veterinarian to show you how to clean your puppy’s ears.

Genitals and anus

Regular monitoring of male and female genitals enables to check their cleanliness. A veterinarian should check any presence of a discharge. The anus should be clean and show no sign of diarrhoea.

Legs and claws

You should regularly check that his pads are not damaged.

There are two types of claws: dewclaws and finger claws. Growth is continuous and normal activity of the dog should ensure finger claw abrasion.

His coat

Coat maintenance will differ depending on hair type. Use a rubber brush once a week for very short hair, a carder passed the wrong way and next a bristle brush passed in the direction of hair growth every two days for short and hard hair and daily brushing for long hair after careful untangling.

In summer, if your puppy has had some fun in a river, pool or in the sea, rinse him to remove any irritating particles. Depending on hair texture, the frequency of baths differs. Dogs with very short hair should be washed twice a year and those with long hair approximately every three months. If he has got used to it at a young age, your puppy will not mind hisbath and may even enjoy it. Be sure to have a non-slip mat in the bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Use dog shampoos only.


Canine distemper, canine parvovirus disease, rabies, leptospirosis and hepatitis are some of the deadly diseases lying in wait for a puppy when he is no longer protected by maternal antibodies. It is essential to adhere to his immunisation schedule, including boosters. Regular visits to your veterinarian will ensure he remains up to date with his vaccinations.

External and internal antiphrastic

Fleas and ticks reappear regularly, especially during spring. Many products are available including sprays and collars. They help to fight against the detrimental effects of these parasites that can also affect your health. Deworming should be done systematically and regularly according to a programme provided by your veterinarian. The choice of product depends on your puppy’s size, age, health and lifestyle.