“The Puppy Manual” Courtesy of Sharon Brown
Preparing for your Puppy's New Home
How exciting it is to pick up your new puppy and finally bring it home. New puppy owners are always concerned about providing the very best for their puppy. I have typed up this Puppy Manual as a guide to provide you with valuable information to help get you off to a great start!
Your new puppy has received optimum care from birth. All my puppies have been raised with the proper food and have been socialized in order to be mentally stable and ready for the transition to your home.
The Puppies have all been seen by a Vet and had their current Vaccinations and health check-ups. You need to make an appointment with your local Vet within 3 BUSINESS DAYS to have the puppy checked out by your Vet.
Choosing a Veterinarian
It is important to have an initial checkup after obtaining your puppy, so selecting a veterinarian before your new puppy comes home can save time. If you don't have a veterinarian, friends or family members with pets can make recommendations.
Preference: The most important factor is to meet the veterinarian and see the facilities. Are the veterinarian and staff friendly and helpful?
Proximity: Is the veterinarian's office close to your home? This is not only an issue of your convenience, but will allow you to get there quickly in case of an emergency.
Hours: In the first few months, you will be visiting the veterinarian often, so it is important to make sure your vet's hours of operation coincide with your schedule. Many vets have extended evening or weekend hours to accommodate your work schedule.
Emergencies: Does the veterinarian answer after-hours emergency calls, or does he refer emergencies to a local emergency clinic? How far away is the referral clinic?
Making Your Home Safe
Just as with a baby, you will need to make sure the whole house is safe from anything the puppy could get into. By getting down at the puppy's level you can assess if there are any exposed electrical cords that could be chewed. Is there any place that your puppy could get stuck or maybe fall? By puppy-proofing now, you can avoid a lot of heartache later. Will your puppy be spending time outdoors unsupervised? Look around your yard. Are there holes or gaps in your fence where your puppy could escape? Are there chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides within his reach? What about poisonous plants?
Puppy's First Things
Basic equipment needed before puppy's arrival:
Food and Water Bowls: Stainless steel food and water bowls are durable and do not rust, break or chip. Puppies that are teething will chew up anything in sight, which can be a problem when using plastic. Stainless steel is also more sanitary than plastic.
Collar and leash: I prefer the harness types as they are safer on puppy's neck.
Grooming: You will need a Comb and Pin Brush. Chris Christensen Pin Brush is a wonderful brush.
Puppy Toys: Rubber toys are almost indestructible and may last years. Choose a smaller size for young puppies (helpful during teething). Make sure it is a safe toy! Squeaky toys and balls can be used when you are teaching the puppy new obedience commands.
At Home Together
Make sure everyone that comes in contact with the puppy knows the dangers from a puppy falling. Never leave puppy unsupervised where it can fall. People handling puppy on couch need to be aware puppy will try to squirm and may fall. A few things that could happen if puppy was to fall: hit head causing seizure, break leg, blow out its knees, these are just a few examples of the dangers that could happen to a unsupervised pup.
Introducing Children: Children often don't realize the need to be very careful with a small puppy. A responsible adult should always be there to supervise when children are playing with or meeting a puppy. When you bring your puppy home, it's always a good idea to have the children sit down and let the puppy come to them. Explain that they should not scare the puppy by moving quickly or making loud noises. They shouldn't rush at the puppy or try to pick the puppy up. Explain that, while sitting on the floor, the puppy will probably climb on them anyway.
Introducing other dogs: Try introducing the dogs in a neutral area. Make sure both dogs are supervised and they can be controlled by you. Let them sniff and investigate each other. Do not yell at the other dog if he doesn't react the way you want him to. Give him plenty of time to get used to the puppy. Dogs have their own rules, and will certainly let your young puppy know what the rules are. They will do this in the same way that the pup's mother helped him to learn by growling.
Upon arriving at home, put your puppy in an exercise pen with a piddle pad. The puppy is already used to using the pads. Two types of of exercise pens I like are available at Walmart and Amazon and are the IRIS 8 Panel Indoor Outdoor Heavy Duty Pen and the North States Superyard XT.
The pet bed should be placed inside the exercise pen along with a bowl of food and fresh water. Give your new puppy a chance to relieve itself. The drive home has been stressful for your puppy. Give it some Nutri-Cal. Also give it a chance to get to know its new surroundings. When you feel the puppy is ready to leave the exercise pen to get to know you better, make sure you have blocked off the area you will be in so that your puppy does not have free roam of your home. Your puppy needs to be confined to small areas. This will make housebreaking faster.
Whenever you are unable to be with your puppy, it should be placed in the exercise pen. DO NOT give your new puppy the freedom of more than the exercise pen. Remember that a puppy of 12 weeks has an attention span of about 1 second and if the piddle pad is not clearly in sight, it will forget where it is. If you are going to be gone for the day (such as at work) make sure your puppy has a bowl of food and fresh water. Can you imagine leaving a three year old child alone in your house? Don't be in a hurry to allow your pup total freedom all over the house. It may take months or even a year to reach that goal. Confinement in an area of the house where you normally spend time will prevent many housebreaking and chewing accidents. When you are in the kitchen, you cannot see that the puppy has to "go" if he is in the bedroom. You cannot see the puppy chewing on the living room carpet while you are busy making beds. Let your dog explore his new home, but only under your supervision. Block off your puppy's special area with baby gates. If you must be away from the house or can't supervise the special area, put the puppy in his crate. Reinforcing acceptable behavior often just means preventing misbehavior!
This is an exciting time for you, but it can also be a frightening time of adjustment for your new puppy. Some things to remember: the puppy feels lost and alone as it is leaving the security from mother and littermates, and experiencing a multitude of new sights, sounds and smells. The first night at your home the puppy may call, cry, howl, to the others as if to say “Come and get me.” He’s waiting for one of the pack to answer. When they don’t he tries again. You’ll notice that the first night is the worst. During the day your puppy may either be a little nervous of you, or it may follow you right away. New puppies should not be taken out with you and shown off to all your friends for the first week. He/she needs to get to know and trust their new mom or dad and not be upset by strangers wanting to hold or play with them.
After the puppy has become adjusted to the new home, I recommend you introducing the puppy to parks, lakes, pet stores, etc. the more people and places your puppy experiences, the more well adjusted he will be as an adult .
The temporary teeth fall out easily and are often not found (the dog swallows them). Occasionally, temporary teeth persist along-side the adult teeth and may need to be extracted in order to prevent misplacement and decay of the adult teeth. When your pet is spayed or neutered this would be a great time to take out any remaining puppy teeth. As pup matures to adult your veterinarian will let you know when it is a good time to schedule a tarter cleaning appointment.
Teething Phases: Temporary teeth eruption 1 month, Permanent teeth eruption 4 months, Permanent Canine teeth 5-6 months.
Your new puppy will arrive with some inoculations. Puppies will receive first inoculation around 8 to 9 weeks of age. Pups need a series of 3 inoculations spaced out every 3 to 4 weeks.
It is important that only ONE inoculation be given per office visit. Toy breeds react differently than larger breeds. A full rabies shot is 4 times the dose for a full grown Newfoundland. The same shot is given to a 160lb dog as a 2lb dog. It doesn’t make sense so please be aware of any reactions that you pup my exhibit. DO NOT GIVE THIRD PUPPY SHOT, RABIES SHOT, BORDATELLA, LYME VACCINE, ETC. AT THE SAME TIME!!! ONLY ONE SHOT AT A TIME. NO EXCEPTIONS! Distemper shots must be 3 to 4 weeks apart and 1 week apart from rabies. I do not care what your vet says, it is too much on a toy breed to be overdosed by too many vaccinations at once. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! IF THIS VACCINATION PROTOCOL IS NOT FOLLOWED THIS HEALTH GUARANTEE IS NULL AND VOID!!!!
If your puppy has a reaction to the inoculation, you want to be sure you know which one it was. This means that the DHP-PV and the Rabies shot should be given a few weeks apart.
You have adopted your new puppy on a spay/neuter contract, this means that you must have your female puppy spayed or your male puppy neutered.
This is important to have done, not only to prevent unwanted litters, but to avoid having to deal with your female going into heat twice a year. Unneutered males mark their territory inside your home and can become sexually aggressive. There are health reasons as well. In males, neutering decreases the chance of developing hernias, diseases of the prostate, and it eliminates the chance of developing testicular cancer. In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer. The probability goes down to almost zero if done before the first heat cycle. It also eliminates the chance of developing pyometra (a potentially fatal infection of the uterus). Along with these risks your dog will no longer have the urge to roam looking for a mate. This will reduce the risk of it running away and/or being hit by a car. They will have a lower chance of contracting contagious diseases and get into fewer fights.
Health Danger Signs
Despite the excellent care you are giving your new puppy, it still may get sick. You should know your puppy well enough by this time to immediately notice any changes in its behavior. The following are some signs to look for:
Refusal to eat for no apparent reason
Increase in sleep, not wanting to play, lethargic behavior
Dull coat, clouded eyes, dry nose
Constant sneezing, coughing, drooling, or gagging
Frequent scratching or shaking its head
Blood in stool
Gums turn white
When skin is gently pinched, it does not spring back, but instead forms a tent
Pupils are extremely narrow or wide
HYPOGLYCEMIA LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Common problem with all toy breed puppies
Easily treatable in the early stages
Fatal if allowed to progress
Glucose is the “simple” sugar that the body uses for fuel to run its various functions. Table sugar, or sucrose, is made up of two simple sugars, glucose and fructose, and can be broken down rapidly after eating. All sugars are carbohydrates. Grains are also carbohydrates but are considered “complex” carbohydrates because they have many more components and take longer to be broken down. The body uses glucose as its primary energy sources fatty Acids, for example, which the body accesses by breaking glucose in the blood is lower than normal, the brain function is the first to show signs. The liver is responsible for manufacturing glucose and for storing it in a usable form, for release into the blood stream as needed. Muscle tissues store some of the important materials used in this process. Therefore, a serious liver abnormality or insufficient muscle mass may make it difficult for the body to keep its blood sugar properly regulated.
Hypoglycemia can occur without warning when a puppy goes to a new home, misses a meal, or doesn’t eat full meals. Other reasons could be they can’t eat a lot at one time, and literally run out of fuel quickly, being chilled, or even exhaustion from too much play may cause the body to use up more sugar than is available. Even a brief period of fasting in a puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic attack.
Signs of an attack are depression, weakness, confusion, wobbly gait, frothing or drooling from the mouth sometimes even a seizure and drain of blood from the head. The head appears to be tilted to either side and the puppy cannot hold it up. The neck appears stiff and in a locked position, the body may soon appear the same way. The teeth may be clamped tightly together. A check of the gums will show them to be pale, almost a grayish white in color rather than a healthy bright pink.
Puppy slows down, acts listless. Puppy may begin to tremble or shiver, trembling is followed by a blank stare. Puppy may then lie on his side.
The puppy can go into shock, convulsions, seizures, or coma which can result in death if not cared for promptly and properly. Its body will be limp and lifeless. Body temperature will be below normal.
HOW ARE SMALL BREEDS MORE PRONE?
Puppies of very small and toy breeds of dogs have characteristics that make them more prone to the development of Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia, which is brought on by fasting. Pups of any breed are more likely to develop hypoglycemia than adults, because their skeletal muscle mass and liver size are smaller and brain size, larger, in proportion to the rest of their body. Therefore, there is less adequate glucose in order to function. In small toy breeds, this discrepancy is more pronounced. Even a brief period of fasting in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic attack. Puppies will precursors or glucose in its stored form (body fat).
Once a puppy’s sugar drops you must act fast! The blood levels of glucose must be restored immediately! DO NOT HESITATE YOUR PUPPY’S LIFE IS AT RISK! I use the Forti-Cal or Nutri-Cal.
If you do not have it on hand, then use Karo Syrup on the tongue or rubbed on its gums. If jaw is locked try to get it open and get it as far back on tongue as possible and rub all on gums. You can also syringe it into the pup’s mouth. Get a heating pad or heating blanket and slowly warm the puppy to proper body temperature. If the puppy responds then all is well. Feed it a quality canned moist food right away! Monitor the puppy to be sure that the condition does not recur. Try to eliminate the stress that caused the episode.
If the puppy does not improve within 10 minutes, contact your vet immediately!! This is not something that can wait until the vet opens the following morning! If you do not have treatment for the low sugar on hand you need to get it right away and keep it in stock at all times, as you never know when an attack will happen. Also keep a can of moist food instead of dry, as puppy will be too weak to chew the dry.
Common Health Problems
Diarrhea: Possible causes: wrong diet, or sudden change in diet, bacteria, viruses, worms, nervousness, infection, poisoning
Constipation: Possible causes: not enough water, stress
Ear Infections: Signs of an ear infection: excessive head shaking, tilting the head, constant scratching the ears, increased secretion of ear wax
Signs of round worms: bloating, hiccupping, lack of appetite, convulsions, apathy
Signs of tapeworms: weight loss, muscle cramps, dragging its rear end along the ground (may also be a sign that anal glands need expressing)
Signs of hookworms: severe anemia resulting to pale gums, dull coat, generalized weakness or lethargy, and considerable weight loss.
Signs of Whipworms: weight loss, abdominal pain, dehydration, and anemia. Stools may be watery or bloody.
Water: You need to make sure your puppy has access to fresh water at all times. It is good to add about 1 capful of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to water to help dogs breath and is very good for their immune system.
The water bowl should be cleaned daily using very hot water and dish detergent to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
Food : Your puppy has been eating Vet’s Choice Holistic Health Extension Little Bites, which has the “Nutra-Drop System” specifically created for the teacup, toy and miniature breed puppy and adult dog. Designed with the total health of these dogs in mind, direct benefits of antioxidants are observed in its hypoallergenic qualities as well as its anti-hypoglycemic formulation. Little Bites is available in convenient size packaging that’s just right for you and your pet.
For a picky eater or stressed dog or puppy I would suggest in addition to the dry dog food using moist food like Blue Buffalo Puppy Freedom Grain Free.
Over feeding your puppy will result in an overweight puppy. You should check regularly to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of food. You should easily be able to feel your puppy’s ribs behind its shoulders at mid-chest level. If not, it is too fat. You will need to reduce the amount of food. If its ribs, backbone, or hip bones stand out, then it is underweight. You will need to increase the amount of food you are supplying daily.
If you want to change food, you must introduce the new food slowly. You should add a little of the new food to each meal, slowly increasing the amount until they are finally eating only the new food.
You should feed your puppy twice a day – once in the morning and again at dinner time, if your puppy is very small then leaving food down all day would be best. This will prevent an empty stomach which can cause your puppy to vomit bile. You should try to keep your puppy’s feeding schedule consistent. Try to feed it at the same time and in the same place. Make sure you clean out the bowl after each meal to prevent bacteria buildup. I suggest giving your puppy a small glob of the Nutri-Cal twice a day as a preventative measure for the first week.
Snacks: Snacks should be kept to a minimum to avoid causing your new puppy to become overweight. Most human food is not a good choice for feeding your puppy or dog. I use Natural Balance Roll Potato & Duck .
A crate gives a dog a place to call its own. Dogs are den animals, and once adjusted to the crate, they will be happy to go there when they want to be left alone.
You should already have an exercise pen set up. It should be small enough to fit the crate, toys, piddle pad, and a food and water bowl. By making the pen small enough to fit these items only, the puppy has no choice but to use the pad. If by chance, your puppy is one of the few that potties in its bed, food, or water, don’t worry. It will figure it out after a while. Once the pup is using the pad consistently, you can make the area larger. You need to do this gradually until you can open it up and allow the puppy to have access to one room while being supervised. Make sure you praise your puppy each time you actually see it use the piddle pad.
Choose a word or phrase to use, and only use this word or phrase. This is important so that they learn your commands. Most puppies will need to potty within a few minutes of waking, playing, or drinking water.
Once you have seen your puppy potty on the pad, you should let it out to play for 10-20 minutes after which it should be returned to the pen. You do not want to allow the puppy to be outside the pen for a long period of time. It is still a puppy and needs lots of rest, and just like a child, it doesn’t know when to stop. This piddle pad training has already begun prior to bringing your puppy home. You will need to begin training your puppy to go outside to potty. It is a good idea to both piddle pad train and outside train your puppy. There will be times that you will be unable to be home in time to take your puppy out. Also, some puppies do not like to potty in the rain, snow, or extremely cold weather. For this training to be successful, you will need to be patient, understanding, and consistent.
You should make sure you take your puppy outside once it wakes from a nap or a night’s sleep. You should also take it out after each meal, giving it some time between eating and going out.
You should have a spot chosen outside where you would like your puppy to go potty. You will need to take it to this spot to reinforce that this is the right spot where it can relieve itself.
You should begin to recognize signs that your puppy needs to go out. Those signs may include the following:
1) Restlessness, whimpering, turning in circles, or repeatedly sitting down
2) Sniffing the floor, hunching over, and looking for a quiet spot
3) After a time, your puppy may scratch at the door, stand in front of the door or bark to indicate it needs to go out
Each time your puppy goes potty either on the pad or outside in the appropriate spot, you need to verbally praise it and provide a small treat to reinforce the behavior.
Your puppy will inevitably have accidents during this training period. If you catch it in the “act,” scold it by saying “NO” in such a way that the puppy understands what it was doing was wrong and immediately take it to the piddle pad or outside to the spot where it should be going. This is not the time to baby the pup. You will only regret it in the future when training is prolonged and accidents continue. Never punish your puppy physically or by placing it in its crate. The crate is its “safe zone.” This will only confuse your puppy. If you do not catch it in the “act,” do not scold it. Your puppy is incapable of connecting what it has done (even a few minutes earlier) with your current displeasure. Simply clean up the mess making sure you use a product that will eliminate the odor. Also make sure the product you use is safe. You can purchase this type of product at a pet store.
Training Ears to Stand
The ears should be kept shaved on pups as well as adults. Puppy’s ears are standing by the time they are 3 to 4 months old. Some may take longer than others. The larger the ear is the harder it is to get to stand. It can be done and is easier to do if the pup is under 6 months of age. After that it is a lot harder and may not work.
The first thing to do is shave the hair off the top one third of the ear. Hair on the ears weighs the ear down and keeps them from standing. Use a small beard clipper you can get at K-mart, Wal-Mart, or beauty supply stores.
Look at the back of the ear picture a wide V. Shave off all the hair on the inside of the V. If the ears are really long, start the V lower on the ear about half way down.
Turn the ear over and shave the inside of the ear exactly like you did the outside. To trim the edges use clipper cutting to a V point.
After ear is shaved, fold the ear in half toward the front like you were closing it up vertically (up and down). The ear is now sticking straight up in a point. Use Medical tape to wrap around the ear. The second option is to not fold ear in half and just wrap tape around lower bottom base of both ears. I usually then tape top 1/2 of ear and pull across to 2nd ear to pull to give a nice ear set placement on top of head instead of sticking out sides of head. I have tried several types of tape over the years and find nothing works as good as the Nexcare Flexible Clear Tape.
If the pup gets it off it was wrapped to loose or not around enough. Make sure the ear is straight up on the dog’s head and not flopping off to the side. If it flops you may have to tape the 2 ears and then wrap them together so they do not fall down. Leave this up for around 4 to 6 days. Take tape off then clean and shave the ear. If the ear starts to fall you will have to re-tape and keep trying until it will stand.
Your new puppy may arrive to you with or without his ears up. This will be determined by the age of your puppy and the strength of his ears. Hopefully, the following information will help you understand what is happening with his ears in relation to his age and growth.
The puppy’s baby teeth appear around 3 to 4 four weeks of age. This causes a tremendous draw on their calcium levels. The last of the baby teeth, the premolars start to appear at about 6 weeks of age. The first adult teeth start appearing at 4 to 5 months of age. In the meantime, all of his bones are growing at spectacular rates also. They should have all of his permanent teeth by 6 to 7 months of age.
The body will require more calcium to built cartilage and make the ears strong. During this period of teething, I use and recommend you use a calcium supplement such as Pet-Tabs. Pet-Tabs is an excellent calcium supplement. You may give 1/8 to 1/4 tab daily.