- Introducing your puppy to his/her new home. -
When you arrive home with your puppy... introduce him/her to your designated potty area. He/she will probably have to "go". Afterwards... let the puppy walk around and explore his/her new surroundings. Once the puppy is comfortable and has settled down from the trip home offer him/her some water (about 15-30 minutes after you arrive). If it is time for the baby's meal... make sure the puppy is feeling ok and not nauseous from the car ride.
We recommend having a "safe puppy area"... this can either be a crate, exercise pen or a smaller area of a room blocked off by a gate. Make sure that there is nothing within the puppy's reach that it should not have access to.
Allow the puppy plenty of rest time. Puppies need plenty of nap time between play sessions. If a puppy is sleeping do not wake him/her up to play. They will let you know when its time to play again!
Try to make the puppy's first days quiet. Avoid the temptation to have your whole family and all your friends over to meet the new baby right away. You need to spend some time getting used to each other. There will be plenty of time in the next week or two to have your new baby make his/her "debut".
- Your puppy's first night home -
Your puppy's first night home he/she will probably cry and carry on a bit. There are several things you can do to make those first few nights a bit easier. If you decide that the puppy is going to sleep separately from you... in lets say the kitchen... some things you can do would be to leave the radio on quietly, make sure the puppy has something to cuddle with (like a plush toy) and another toy or bone of some sort. Most likely the puppy will cry on and off...but will settle down once he/she realizes no one is coming. Or you can choose to put the puppy in his/her crate by your bed and when the puppy wakes...just reassure and let the puppy know you are there and that everything is ok. If the puppy consistently cries or carries on that might mean that he/she has to go potty... but use your judgment...some puppies train their owners that every time they whimper they get their way. I generally use the latter method...but neither is wrong...and different things work for different puppies.
- Feeding your Puppy -
Use stainless steel or ceramic bowls for you puppy...plastic bowls tend to hold bacteria and can sometimes cause a rash.
Your puppy has been raised on a diet consisting of fresh raw foods and a super premium dry food(the dry food is not introduced until the pups are about 7weeks old.) . All our dogs eat a raw diet and highly recommend it to new puppy owners. There are numerous benefits to feeding raw... the first is health. This is what Mother Nature intended for your dog.(look at your puppy's teeth...do you see any teeth meant for grinding foods like humans? No... dogs are designed to eat raw meat and bone based diets.) They don't have a doggy odor or doggy breath, their poops are 1/3 of the size of a kibble fed dog and don't smell... they have beautiful coats and are much stronger and resistant to various allergies and illnesses. Through many months of research we feel that there is no one single food that is nutritionally "complete"... all different foods offers different vitamins/amino acids/etc. Imagine eating cereal every day... it has the vitamins you need and it is probably enough to sustain you... but it is by no means a healthy balanced diet. There are a number of websites and books that we recommend about this topic. If you would like to continue feeding your puppy a raw diet ... brands we recommend would be: Nature's Variety, Dr. Billinghurst's BARF diet, Aunt Jenny's, Bravo Raw Diet,Oma's Pride and Perfect Servings from Breeders Choice . If you would like more info on feeding raw...contact us.
If you would like to keep your puppy on a dry food that is fine as well... we recommend: Innova, Innova Evo, Nature's Variety, Merrick pet foods, Solid Gold, California Naturals or and other Holistic brand. And try to switch your protein sources a bit if at all possible...if the food you feed is chicken/lamb based... switch to a beef/fish/bison/rabbit/etc base for a while. This keeps your puppy from developing allergies to particular sources. The foods I have recommended use human grade ingredients... and all natural preservatives such as vit E...not like some of the other "top brands" out there that use meat(4 D meats...dead,dying,diseased or decaying) and grains that are not fit human consumption... or in other words "garbage". These foods also use cheap fillers like peanut hulls which have no nutritional value at all... and are preserved with harmful chemicals such as BHAand BHT and ethoxyquin(a known carcinogen). Now you are saying to yourself "I bet these ingredients are only in the really cheap (supermarket) foods"...well guess again! Foods we DO NOT recommend: Iams/Euk, Hills Science Diet, Purina, or any of the super market brands. If you have questions or would like web links or articles to back up these claims... please feel free to call.
Your puppy's feeding schedule is as follows:
AM : about 1/4 cup of dry food blended with about 1/4 cup "puppy milk shake"and a 1/4 teaspoon Nu-Vet Vitamins. "Puppy milk shake" is 1 can of goat's milk (or evaporated milk if goats milk can not be obtained) 1 can of water, 1 cup of pain yogurt and 1 raw egg yolk blended in blender. (Milk shake can stay in fridge for 3-5 days... microwave the amount to be used for a few seconds to make lukewarm before serving.)
Afternoon : about 1/4 cup dry food (soaked in warm water for at least 15 minutes...this makes food more readily digestible...imagine eating a bowl full of dry oatmeal flakes!!! Might be a bit thirsty huh?!)With this meal you can add a generous teaspoon of cottage/ricotta cheese, plain yogurt, any kind of muscle meat( raw is best...but you can also lightly cook), canned salmon, mackerel or sardines packed in water, egg (raw or lightly cooked) or steamed or raw pureed veggies such as carrots, various greens (i.e. spinach,kale,parsley.etc) broccoli, zucchini, string beans, yams. (Avoid reg potatoes and DO NOT feed onions) If using veggies you should also mix in some protein for taste. You can also use a quality can food. With this meal also include a crushed 250 mg ester-C vitamin.
PM : Is basically the same as afternoon meal only instead of the vitamin C... Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of the Nu-Vet vitamin.
Snacks/treats: Good training treats are: tiny bits of cheddar or similar cheese, tiny pieces of cooked liver, little pieces of fruits such as apple, banana, peach etc.(I don't give grapes or raisins...there have been reports of kidney problems from those.) Or you can also cut a hotdog into THIN little slices and microwave it till it is crunchy.
Leave water available at all times. (If you have a puppy that is exceptionally tiny... add some Karo syrup into the water...just enough to make it slightly sweet for the first week or two.)
Only leave food out for about 20-30 minutes...whatever the puppy does not finish pick up.
* This is only a rough guide line...the amount of dry food will vary slightly from brand to brand and puppy to puppy... so just follow the guide lines on the back of the bag...and keep an eye on your puppy. Make sure they are not growing too quickly...or getting too thin.*
- Vitamins -
Giving your puppy vitamins is not "essential" to sustain him/her. Many vets as well as pet food companies will tell you your dog food is 100% complete and nothing else is necessary.( Quite often I hear this from my new puppy families.) This is true to some extent... but a lot of the vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and live enzymes are destroyed when exposed to the high temperatures of producing kibble. So they need to be replaced. Food companies do add synthetic vitamins to their foods but they add nearly enough to sustain a dog... and due to the long shelf life of these products and possibly improper storage on behalf of stores, some of these vitamins become unavailable as well. The Nu-Vet vitamins that I recommend... are all naturally derived (not synthetic). They are not heat processed so most of their bio-availability stays intact. They are completely water soluble...so there is no chance of giving too much of something. They also contain beneficial enzymes, essential fatty acids, and herbs. They also do not contain any chemical preservatives which some other "pet vitamins" do. Besides the Nu-vet vitamins, we also recommend to give an extra vitamin C (ester-C 250-500mg) everyday. As well as 1000 mg fish oil capsule every other day. (Even people can benefit greatly from these types of vitamins). In the past I didn’t always supplement my dogs with these vitamins (along with fresh foods). But since I have started I have noticed a huge change in health and vitality. My older senior guys have gotten more "pep in their step", the younger adults have beautiful coats, and are in the best shape they've ever been in... And the puppies are much stronger, healthier and robust than ever before. So, I have seen first hand the benefits of these "unessential things".
- House Training -
Puppies can be trained in a few different ways. You can choose to strictly outside potty train. In which case we recommend using a crate. You can paper or litter box train. (your puppy is started on paper training) Or you can do both... provide and area in the house to go potty...as well as take the pup out for walks. Whichever way you chose, try to stick with it...don't confuse the puppy by trying to change his/her potty habits weekly.
Things to remember when house breaking...
· Puppies can hold for about as many hours as they are months old...so a 3 mos old puppy can only hold for about 3 hrs.
· Scheduling is very important...try to feed the puppy the same time each day so you can better predict when he/she will have to"go".
· Puppies usually have to "go" after waking, shortly after eating or drinking, and after playtimes. So do make sure to take the puppy to the proper spot to "go". (In the beginning it is about every 2-3hrs.)
· Try to follow the same routine when bring the puppy to its potty spot... use a word or phrase such as "Go potty” each time you want him or her "Go".
· Praise and/or treat immediately when the puppy goes in the right spot. If you praise even 10 seconds later... the puppy will have no clue what you are praising for. The same goes for scolding(a stern, sharp NO! is usually sufficient... do not hit the puppy or rub its nose in the mess.)...it must be done at the moment it is happening. If you don't catch the puppy in the act... just make sure you clean it up well with a proper cleaner to take away any scent to avoid future markings.
· Do not let your puppy have full run of the house unattended... if you cannot keep an eye on the pup...either put him/her in their crate...or other designated puppy area.
I also HIGHLY recommend a "Puppy Kindergarten" class. This will not only give you some tips and pointers on basic training... but it also helps strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. Your puppy also learns that you are the "Pack Leader” and will respect you as such. These classes are a wonderful place for socializing your puppy with other people and dogs...which is VERY important. A puppy that is well socialized grows into a confident, trusting adult.
- Grooming your puppy -
This can vary quite a bit depending on your puppy's coat and breed. So I will just do a very basic explanation.
Puppy's should be bathed about once a month but can be bathed more often on an as need basis. Use a mild puppy shampoo as these are formulated to the proper ph for a puppy's skin. If you bath frequently...you might want to consider using an oatmeal shampoo or something with added conditioners. Poodle puppies and longhair dachshunds should also have a crème rinse after a bath for better manageability. Make sure you towel dry you puppy well and blow-dry him/her or keep them in a warm draft free area until they are dry.
Brushing is particularly important for poodles and longhaired dachshunds. The smoothes and wires should be brushed as well...but need it less often. For poodles... Comb through the coat first and then brush with a wire slicker brush.(always make sure your puppy is thoroughly brushed out BEFORE you bathe) For longhair dachshunds... pay particular attention to behind the ears and around the backside. For wires and smoothes once a week you brush with a bristle brush... this will stimulate the glands in the skin and put a nice shine on the coat as well as remove "dead coat".
During your grooming session check the puppy’s eyes and ears... make sure they are free of any debris and/or hair.
Nails should be trimmed about once a month(or more depending on the type of surface your pup walks on) as well. Overgrown nails can actually lead to skeletal problems, because the puppy has to change its posture and gait to accommodate over grown nails.
You can also get your puppy used to tooth brushing... however... if you are going to brush your dogs teeth...in order for it to do any good you must at least commit to doing it once a day. If not...don't waste your time.
Poodles should be professionally groomed every 6-12 weeks (depending on how you like you pup kept). Professional grooming is not necessary for dachshunds... but can be done as well.
- Toys and other Chew things -
The best things to offer your pup to play with are marrow bones. The soup bones that are available in supermarkets are great. Just make sure there are no pieces small enough to swallow or choke on. Beef, lamb or pork bones are just fine (so long as they are RAW). DO NOT give your pup any cooked bones. Cooked bones can splinter and chip causing blockages or damage to the intestinal track.
"Kong" toys are wonderful these can be stuffed with a tasty treat and frozen to provide a long time of chewing fun. "Greenies" and "Nyla bones" are also good but should be regularly inspected to make sure they don't have any small pieces. Rope toys are good for teething...they help remove baby teeth. Plush animal toys are fine as well. We recommend having a variety of different toys and switching around. Rawhides aren’t really recommended as they are bleached and processed with chemicals and can be hard on the digestive track. Pig’s ears or similar items can be given...but very sparingly as they are quite fatty.-
- Exercise -
As far as exercise... let your puppy take care of this area in his/her own terms. Puppies get plenty of exercise playing or chewing a bigger bone. I do recommend taking the puppy for short walks. But not to exhaust the pup. When a pup is play exercising...he/she can stop at anytime they feel tired. Where as on a long walk... once the pup is tired it must still keep up with you. If you have access to a dog park...once the puppy is complete with shots you may want to bring your pup there to play. Basically all you need to remember is to keep it reasonable... don't push beyond exhaustion.
Jumping on and off furniture should be limited. If you allow your puppy on the furniture... provide him/her with a middle point to jump on...like a stool or something similar. And teach him/her to use it. We have seen many puppies injured by jumping off of furniture... broken legs or pulled muscles...or even damaged joints. Your puppy's joints are still growing and developing... any extra stress can cause permanent damage.
- Vaccinations and Vet care -
Depending on the age your puppy is when you acquire him/her they will have had shots and wormings according to that age. Puppy vaccination protocols can vary a little bit... so follow your veterinarian's advice. Generally 3 puppy shots are given 3-4wks apart. After that, a rabies shot can be given. If at all possible, we recommend waiting until the pup is at least 6 mos old... but some areas are stricter about this than others. We don't recommend giving your pup more than 1 shot in a day. We have heard of numerous reactions to shots when given at the same time. After the puppy shots are given, boosters are recommended annually (or a teiter check can be done to determine if they are needed).
We recommend taking to your new puppy to the vet ASAP and to bring a stool sample as well. Every precaution has been taken to ensure that your puppy is free from any parasites/worms, however things do occasionally slip by. Almost all puppies are born with worms...there is nothing you can do to 100% prevent that. And wormers sometimes leave behind an egg or larva, which during the stressful period of transition can once again surface. This is not a big deal... but should be taken care of promptly.
Heartworm Medication... This is a very touchy subject. If you live in a heavily mosquito populated are... we probably would recommend Heartguard. We for one... don't use heartworm medicine on our dogs. We do take care that they are not outside during "mosquito hours" and if they are we use natural mosquito repellents like citronella or something. We do a heartworm test bi-annually on everyone though. In our area we don't feel the risks outweigh the benefits of not using it.
We recommend all puppies sold as pets be spayed/neutered at an appropriate age. (After 6mos but not after 1 yr) A spayed/neuter pet is a happy pet! Males will not lift their leg, or develop any other bad habits as a result of being left intact. Females are not as moody nor do they make a mess every six mos. There are great physical health benefits to both males and females that are fixed as well as mental health benefits. These are both pretty simple procedures and can potentially save a lot to heart ache in the end. Breeding is NOT for everyone or every dog. It should be left to people who have dedicated themselves to improving the breed. Besides the fact that there is a vast amount of knowledge of the breed and pedigrees that needs to be known... things don't always go smoothly. Most who consider breeding their female...don't consider what can happen when something goes wrong... in the worst case scenarios the female can be lost. Are you prepared for that guilt? (There are many other reasons why not to breed your female...this is just one). And as far as your male...some people think they can stud their dog to either get a stud fee or a pick puppy to keep. First of all a male really has to be exceptional for breeders to want to pick him as their stud. He will have had to have proved himself in the show ring...gotten his championship at very least. I get calls from people all the time wanting to use their male on one of my girls... to date I have not used anyone of them.
- Some items you might need -
1. Leash and harness 2. Stainless steel or ceramic bowls 3. A crate or exercise pen 4. A bed 5. Toys, toys, toys, a variety of different kinds 6. Puppy shampoo 7. appropriate brush and/or comb 8. Bones to chew on 9. Litter box or training pads or newspapers 10. Books on your breed and books on proper raising and training of your new baby 11. A carrier or bag for traveling 12. And of course... your food and vitamins.
This should be all you need to get you started. If you have any questions Please don't hesitate to call anytime...even if it seem like a silly question...call anyway! That is what I am here for... you don't just get a puppy from me... you get life long assistance! ENJOY YOUR NEW BABY!!!!!