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Basic Puppy Care
by John Parsons
When you bring a new puppy home, you are adding an important new member to your family.
Having a new puppy can be a very exciting project but it is important to think over all of
the considerations and responsibilities of having a new puppy before you bring one home.
Here are a few questions to help you get started.
Do all of my family members agree to having a new dog?
Do I have room in my home and my life for a dog?
Do I understand the needs of the breed of dog I am interested in owning?
Do I have enough time to devote to the care and training of a new puppy?
Can I make a 10 - 15 year committment to share my life with a dog?
Can I and my family make adjustments to our daily schedule and routine to accommodate a new
Can I afford the expenses of feeding and caring for a new puppy, including Veterinary health care?
Am I willing to get up during the night in the first few weeks of getting a puppy for potty training?
Pup Proof Your HomeProvide a designated sleeping area for your puppy. A comfortable pet
crate with a cozy little dog bed provides a
safe and secure place for your puppy to sleep in.
Fill a soda bottle with warm water and wrap it in a towel for something warm to cuddle with.
This generally works better than a ticking clock.
A stuffed animal that had been rubbed on the mother might also provide comfort.
Be sure there are
no small parts on the toy that might present a choking hazard.
If you decide to allow your puppy to sleep in your bed, be mindful that he/she will come to
expect it every night - even if you occasionally find it inconvenient.
Get your home ready before you bring your new puppy home. Understand that
Puppies love to chew and everything your pup can find will become an object for chewing.
So, tidy up and put everything out of reach that you don't want ruined, especially shoes, books,
paper of any kind, wires, clothes and any other thing that looks tempting.
You might want to have a product on hand to discourage your new pup from chewing chair legs or
other furniture. Bitter apple spray works well for this.
Remember, puppies need to chew especially during teething time. Provide your pup with
appropriate objects to chew on like bones and dog toys that are specifically his or hers.
If you need to confine your puppy to a certain room, consider installing a baby gate.
First Nights At Home
A new puppy will likely feel lonely in his new home for the first few nights and may whimper or cry.
This is perfectly normal behaviour in this tender time of transition.
There are many new sights and sounds that your pup has to get used to and there is going to be
a certain measure of anxiety from being separated from mom, siblings and familiar faces that your
new pup will have to learn to cope with.
The transition can be made easier by the following:
Make an appointment for a well-puppy visit with your Veterinarian as soon as possible after you
have acquired your pup. This way you can get your pup on a routein schedule of regular healthcare which
includes vaccine boosters and de-worming.
Don't skimp on nutrition. Your puppy will live a longer, healthier life if
you feed him/her the best food possible. Select orgainc puppy food that is formulated for
your breed of puppy if at all possible.
Each breed of dog has different coat care needs. Select grooming combs and brushes specific to your
breed of dog and use shampoo that is formulated for dogs.
While you may want to employ the services of a professional groomer, especially for
special occasions or if you have a breed of dog that is kept in a certain coat style
(Poodle, Schnauzer and such), there are a few basics that you
can do yourself regularly such as:
It takes time and energy to work with a puppy to become a canine good citizen.
House training is the first and most important lesson. Be regular about taking your pup
outdoors to relieve his/herself. Use a single command, such as "out" or "potty", to condition
your pup to associate the action with the word. When your puppy relieves himself in the
proper place, praise him/her lovingly. When your pup has an accident, DO NOT
punishing him/her. Time, consistancy, patience and love works far better.
Consider working on obedience training very early in your puppy's life especially on walking polietly on a leash,
basic commands such as
"sit", "down" and "stay".
Owning a new puppy requires your constant loving participation. It is time consuming but
the reward for your efforts will be well worth it. A well trained puppy that has
been lovingly cared for is a realy joy to live with.