Tips On Puppy Care
I thought that I would put a few things that I have learned on paper as a reference for you and your new puppy. Some of them I have learned the hard way, but most of the bits of advice have come from my friends who have been raising dogs for a long time and know what they are talking about!
1. See your vet regularly. Your puppy has had its first and maybe second round of shots when it arrives. You will need to continue worming the puppy at regular intervals, and you will need to also continue with the vaccines. You will also need to protect your puppy from heartworms and should talk to your vet about how.
2. For the prevention of ticks and fleas, I recommend Frontline Spray or a topical treatment. It is used once a month. You have to reapply monthly. Most of the time you have to buy Frontline at your vet, but it can also be purchased other places now. I also use the Addam’s spray occasionally between treatments when Frontline seems to have lost its effectiveness.
3. Feed your dog a quality dog food that is high in protein. I am currently using IAMS puppy for small breeds, a dog food that is available at all stores. I recommend using Eukanuba, Iams, or Purina Dog Foods, which can be purchased at pet stores, grocery stores, etc. I use the dry dog food and soften it or my puppies so that it is easier for them to eat. Canned dog food often causes stomach problems. Make sure that your puppy has access to fresh water all the time. Also, some people feed their dogs the same food that they eat. Please don’t do this. Your dog will have a much longer life if you refrain from feeding it “table food”.
4. Your puppy will begin to chew on things because he/she is teething. You will need to supply rawhide chews, or other toys for her to chew on. When the puppy chews on things that are inappropriate, please offer them the chews instead. You can clap your hands (to get their attention) and tell them “no” when they have unacceptable behavior. Your dog is highly intelligent, and will learn what no means. You can also use a rolled up newspaper to discipline the puppy (it is effective, and won’t harm him/her).
5. Treat your puppy like a new baby. Keep it away from unvaccinated animals and places that those animals have been until all of the shots are complete. Any public place, especially rest areas, and places that other animals have visited may be dangerous to expose your new baby to.
6. Sometimes small dogs are stressed by changes, travel, or if they are injured. When this happens their sugar level drops. If you notice your puppy lying around an excessive amount, try to entice him to play. If he will not, give him a tablespoon of water and sugar or ½ to 1 teaspoon of honey or corn syrup depending on the size of your dog.
7. To house train your dog, I recommend crate training. It is the easiest way that I have found to train my dogs. They like to be in their crate as a safe haven sometimes as well. Please read the following article I found on the internet for more information
The following is an article that I found on the Internet that I thought might also be helpful:
Crate Training Your Dog!
Crate Training and “Potty” Training
Remember that repetition is necessary. Your puppy will not understand what you want unless you repeatedly show him/her the desired behavior MANY times.
Keep in mind also that your puppy does not know what is expected and must be shown the proper place to eliminate, and when.
Your best potty training friend is your crate. When you cannot watch your puppy, use a crate. Think of the crate the same way you think of a playpen for a human child. Even if you are only leaving the room for a “minute,” either take the puppy with you or use the crate. After all, you would not leave a toddler in the house alone “for just a minute” would you?
Crate training can be fun for the puppy if you make it a POSITIVE experience. The DEN is an integral part of the wild dog’s upbringing and safety zone. The same thing applies to the “crate”. Giving the pup special “treats” is a great way to introduce him to his crate. The only time the puppy receives these special treats is when he is in the crate; the treats become associated with the crate.
Use the crate wisely. Don’t crate only when you are leaving the house. Place the puppy in the crate while you are home as well.
Use it as a “safe” zone, or for “time outs”. (Thus keeping your sanity)
By crating when you are home AND while you are gone, the puppy becomes comfortable in the crate and not worried that you will not return, or that you are leaving him/her alone. This helps to eliminate separation anxiety later in life.
Most puppies will not soil their “den.” The first couple of tries you might have some accidents, but don’t be discouraged.
An easy way to avoid accidents in the night for the first few weeks is by following this routine:
1. Set your alarm for about 3 hrs after your normal bed time. When the alarm goes off, get up immediately, go to the crate and CARRY the pup outside (I do this in my robe, with my shoes kept by the door to the outside). Place him on the ground and encourage him to eliminate. PRAISE when he does, and bring him back to the crate. Go back to bed.
2. Set your alarm for another 3 hrs, and get back to sleep. When the alarm goes off repeat part 1.
3. After about a week of the above routine, IF it has been successful (no crate messing) then you can set the alarm for * way through your sleep time. Follow the remainder of part 1. When you arise in the morning, TAKE the pup outside BEFORE you do anything else. Feed the pup and then crate. Follow your regular waking routine, then walk the pup one more time before going off to work.
4. Repeat the feeding, walking and crating at lunch time. Pups from the ages of 2 to 4 months CANNOT control their elimination for much more than 4 hours, so if you cannot return home at lunch time, arrange for someone to do this for you at lunch.
If the CRATE is too large, the pup can easily soil on one side and sleep on the other. The way to prevent this is to buy a crate that will accommodate your pet when it is fully grown. Then get a box that will fit inside the back of the crate. The box should be large enough that there is only room for the puppy to stand and lie down comfortably.
As the puppy grows, provide more room by putting in a smaller box, or cutting down the size. When the puppy reliably asks to be put outside to eliminate, remove the box so the puppy can use the whole crate.
If the puppy messes the crate, replace the box size to the point at which the puppy was reliable, and just give the pup a little more time to learn. In conjunction with crate training, potty training starts immediately.
Whenever you remove the puppy from the crate or just want the puppy to “go potty,” take the dog to the door that will always be used to “go outside.” Use the SAME door throughout the training period.
On the handle of this door, tie a bell to a string, dropping it even with the height of the puppy’s nose. When you bring the puppy to the door, lure the puppy to touch the bell with either it’s nose or paw, (using a treat) causing the bell to ring.
After the puppy rings the bell, give it the treat, (use a SMALL piece of meat or dried liver) and say “OUTSIDE” in a happy tone of voice. Take the puppy outside on leash.
Reminder: During housebreaking DO NOT allow the pup outside to eliminate alone or loose in the yard. Yes, that means in the rain, snow, whatever: YOU GO OUTSIDE ALSO. Give the puppy plenty of time. Don’t rush or you will be sorry. When the puppy urinates or defecates, praise the puppy with “Good Outside” and again, give the puppy a tiny, tiny treat.
Continue to wait. When the puppy poops, again praise the puppy with “Good Outside” and give a treat. Go back inside, stop at the door again, and treat once again. If the puppy does not “potty” even after staying outside 15 minutes, return back inside, place the puppy back into the crate, wait 15 minutes and start again from the beginning.
If done religiously, this training process should take only about 2 weeks for the puppy to understand. This method will work with any dog, regardless of age. If you adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue program, follow the same routine. Remember, even though the dog is older or even an adult, he still does not know the rules of your home, and may not have ever BEEN in a house. Be PATIENT and this method WILL work.
Take it slow and easy…be PATIENT….and have FUN with your dog!
If you have any questions, please ask your vet. I also don’t mind phone calls, and e-mails when it is something that I can help you with.
Thanks! Enjoy your puppy as much as our family has enjoyed ours!