The first weeks of your new puppy’s life with you will be busy and demanding. There may be times when you wonder if getting a puppy was such a good idea. Things will go better if you have patience and keep your sense of humor. Remember that puppy hood only happens once. The extra effort you put into it now will pay off in the future.
Before bringing your puppy home: Baby proof your home. Having a puppy in your home is like having a toddler. Put protectors on your outlets and make sure all chemicals are placed at a high reach. To a puppy, the world is brand new and fascinating! He’s seeing it all for the very first time and absolutely everything must be thoroughly investigated. What objects could be put up out of the way of a curious puppy? Bitter Apple spray can be applied to furniture legs, woodwork and other immovable items. There may be rooms your puppy should be restricted from entering until he’s better trained and more reliable. Install a baby gate or keep the doors to those rooms closed.
This is very important as well. Check your yard for potential hazards. If you have a fenced yard, check the boundaries and gates for openings that could be potential escape routes. Puppies can get through smaller places than an adult dog. If your yard’s not fenced, It may be a good Idea to do so unless you make sure that your puppy will never be allowed to run off lead without close supervision. Dogs tend to chase things such as squirrels and dont look both ways before attempting to cross the street. Better to be safe then sorry!
Housebreaking: Begin as soon as the puppy arrives in your home. Wee wee pads are always good to put down on the floor. Young puppies should be taken out immediately upon waking and just before retiring, as well as multiple times during the day. Most puppies cannot “hold it” for long periods so it will be necessary to take the puppy out almost every hour at first. Take the puppy to the same area each time and praise it immediately and enthusiastically when it eliminates. Do not play with, or talk to, the puppy until after it has eliminated.
Incase of accidents in your home wich may happen often with a puppy. Try a product called Eliminate. It works great and smells like apples. This is the only product that has worked for me and works 100 times better then natures miracle. This cleaning product is safe and non toxic.
Housing: Its important that your puppy has a safe place to sleep, most owners choose to have there dogs sleep in a crate over night, which I feel is a good idea. Many puppies settle down quicker and sleep more soundly when they are snug in there crate. Once your pup is older, most likley he will not need to use the crate any longer except for maybe travel.
Meals: Choose a dry food intended specifically for puppies, such as Vets Choice Health Extension, Innova, Canidae, Eagle Pack, Merrick, Fromm, California Natural, Party Animals Organics and so on. Avoiding generic foods and those that sell for unusually low prices. We suggest brand name puppy food because it is impossible to distinguish good dog food from poor dog food simply by looking at the ingredient list on the label. Many things that owners look for, such as high protein levels and extra vitamins, are as likely to be harmful than helpful. For example, overfeeding and over supplementation are factors contributing to hip dysplasia. If you have a large-breed puppy, purchase “large breed” puppy food. The actual formula is different, not just the the kibble size, and is better for very rapidly growing puppies.
Offer food to young puppies three times a day. If your puppy isn’t hungry that often, reduce the frequency. After ten or twelve weeks of age, feed twice a day. Even adult dogs should have their food split into morning and evening feedings. When fed once a day dogs become overly hungry and are more likely to overeat at mealtime.
Let your puppy eat as much as she wants in fifteen minutes and then pick up the food dish. Having food continually available encourages overeating, and chubby puppies are more likely to have hip dysplasia and weight problems later in life. Also, because free-fed puppies never get very hungry, they don’t enjoy their food unless given special treats. The combination of special treats and freely available food encourages them to become bored, overweight and picky. Do not feed your puppy people foods!! This will give your dog/puppy digestive problems.
Also, try not to feed your dog cheap treats from large chain stores they are not always good for your dog. Go into your local pet shops and get healthy treats such as Dogswell Happy Hips, Mother Nature treats, Old Mother hubbard, Twistix, and so on. Rawhide is not good for dogs/puppies because it is hard for them to digest. Natural rawhide is ok such as Merrick treats, for example (Flossies).
Grooming: Regular brushing, bathing, nail & ear care are essential. Protect your puppy’s eyes and ears when bathing, and don’t allow the puppy to become chilled after bathing. Your veterinarian may recommend that you do not bathe your puppy when it is younger than 10 to 12 weeks unless absolutely necessary.
Toys: Puppys love toys. Make sure your puppy always has plenty of chew toys to exercise his mouthing and chewing instincts. Some toys that are great are Nylabone, Kong, Frisbees and rope toys.
Make sure your puppy is getting plenty of exercise and play time every day. Going for walks, playing fetch and learning tricks are great distractions that may reduce biting.
Try to create a consistent schedule for play time – perhaps 15 to 30 minutes, twice a day. Your puppy will learn to look forward to that time and will be less likely to seek attention at other times.
Spaying/Neutering: If you don’t plan to breed, spay or neuter your puppy. Letting children see the miracle of birth is NOT a good reason to breed your dog; only serious breeders who have the desire, expertise, and time to breed well should breed at all. Spaying your female dog can help to prevent cancers of the reproductive tract, including breast cancer, and will decrease the incidence of reproductive infections. Neutering your male dog will prevent testicular cancer and can decrease the incidence of prostate problems. The incidence of certain behavioral problems has also been shown to be reduced when dogs are spayed or neutered. The decision to spay or neuter your puppy is one of the best decisions you can make for its well-being.
Have Fun With Your New Puppy!
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