When Choosing a Breeder
1. You need to go inspect the facility to make sure this isn't a puppy mill.
2. Get her name and search the Better Business Bureau for both her business and herself.
3. Check with the USDA to see if she's had any infractions.
4. Ask for references
5. Inquire as to how many dogs she has on site, how many litters is she having a year?
Things to Look For When Choosing a Breeder (Mollydogs.ca)
When you arrive at the breeders home/kennel there are some things you should look for and expect:
Healthy adult dogs should be available for you to see.
Watch the interaction between the breeder and the adult dogs as well as the puppies. Do they come to greet you or hang back and act afraid.
Are the puppies in good shape. Watch for thin bodies, discharge from eyes/nose, diarrhea or stained fur around the rectum. Are they dirty, are they running through their own messes or does their "living" area provide a place for them to do their business away from their food, bedding and toys.
Are the puppies’ friendly and happy, tails wagging? Are there a variety of toys available to them?
Are the facilities clean and well maintained, lots of room inside and out for the dogs to play and have exercise for the adults and the puppies.
Fresh water and high quality food available.
Will you be provided with a bill of sale and written health guarantee?
The breeder should be asking you questions as well regarding your ability to care and provide for a puppy.
Ask to see references but you should also be able to be provided with a name/phone number/email of someone you can make personal contact with to ask questions of if you want. A reputable breeder will have no problem with this, neither will their customers as they are usually quite happy to talk about and show off their dogs!
Also very important – is the breeder available to you after you take your puppy home for general questions or training help? This can be done via phone, email, depending on the distance.
Things to Avoid When Choosing a Breeder (Mollydogs.ca)
Stay away from breeders that are reluctant to answer questions directly or make you feel like you’re asking too many questions. A good breeder should be available for any and all questions no matter how much time it takes. They will want to help you decide if this is the puppy for you.
Walk away if they won’t allow you to view their facilities or see their adult dogs.
Walk away if the puppies are “brought out” to you and you can’t see where they spend their time or their living conditions.
Walk away if the facilities are unclean, overcrowded or the dogs are kept isolated. Does their outside area provide lots of room for play and running; is it clean?
Walk away if the adult dogs are unapproachable and slink away, they may act like they are not used to people or being handled.
And if you can’t be given references or a written health guarantee Walk Away.
Six Tips for Finding a Great Veterinarian
When you bring a new pet into your home, it's important to find a great veterinarian so you know that your new dog or cat will receive the best care and treatment available. This is especially important when you care for a special-needs pet with a disability or chronic illness.
Knowing how to find a good veterinarian can save you time and money. Follow these tips to locate the best veterinarian for your pet:
1. Do your research: Don't just schedule an appointment without doing some background research ahead of time. Talk to your friends and family members about which veterinarians they use and why. Find out if they used to go to a different veterinarian and why they decided to leave. If you have specific questions about how your pet may receive treatment, call the veterinarian's office and find out. Does the office use general or local anesthesia during routine surgeries and treatments? Do they have experience working with large breeds? Does the office have any special financing to help you offset the cost of procedures?
2. Look for certifications: A great veterinarian will have a lot of education and experience. You can call a veterinarian's office to find out where she went to school, which degrees were earned, and if she has any additional certifications. For example, veterinarians who have other certifications — like the American Veterinary Medical Association certification — will have met higher educational and study requirements than a veterinarian without it.
3. Specializations: If you need a veterinarian who has a lot of experience with a specific type of surgery, consider looking for a specialist. Nothing compares to firsthand experience, especially when it comes to veterinarians. A general veterinarian can still perform surgeries, but doctors who specialize may have much more hands-on experience than one who only performs the procedures occasionally.
4. Top-notch facilities: Take a tour of the veterinarian's office so that you can get a firsthand look at the facilities. You want to make sure that your veterinarian's office is equipped with the latest devices and that it looks clean and sterile. For example, you can ask if the veterinarian uses lasers for some surgeries instead of scalpels, and whether they have ultrasound technology as well as X-rays. Do the floors, counter tops, and walls appear clean? Ask the staff how instruments are sterilized.
5. Listening skills: You want a veterinarian to listen to your concerns about your beloved pets, so it is important to find one who will take your thoughts into consideration. Does the vet seem to interrupt you when you speak, or does she really seem to want to hear what you have to say? When a veterinarian listens, it can make you feel like your feelings matter.
6. Consider your pet's personality: Make sure you pick a veterinarian who is the best fit for your pet's needs. Do you have a shy cat who really doesn't like dogs? Perhaps you should look for a cats-only clinic. Do you have a nervous dog who hates loud noises? Look for a clinic with a more tranquil waiting room and fewer clients.
Doing your homework before you choose a veterinarian will help you find the best fit for you and your pet. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure your pet is comfortable with his veterinarian. Both you and your pet will be happier — and healthier — in the end.
Choosing a Veterinarian
Who's Right for You and Your Pet?
There are plenty of factors to take into careful consideration when it comes to researching the right veterinarian for you and your pet companion. These variables can range from the species of pet you have to veterinary accreditation, emergency care, to location, location, location.
Tips for Success
Perhaps you moved or just brought home a new addition to the family. Either way, it’s time to find a veterinarian who can provide your pet with the long-term care he needs to lead a happy, healthy life.
Here are some tips:
Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few times to find a clinic with whose staff, standards or patient care philosophy you feel comfortable.
Off to a Good Start
Getting referrals is a great start but there still might be a lot of foot work ahead. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few times to find a clinic with whose staff, standards or patient care philosophy you feel comfortable.
“Normally, it’s hard to find the right fit,” says Dr. Cori Gross, a field veterinarian for VPI Pet Insurance who specializes in cat care. “You might go somewhere and find that it’s not the right place for you.”
Gross says to pay attention to the details. You can tell a lot by a general practice, for instance, by how friendly and helpful the staff is when you call or come in for an appointment.
Owners might also want to consider requesting a tour of the facility. “If the clinic refuses to take you on a tour, or if they don’t do tours and that’s their policy, that could indicate a problem,” says Gross.
Planning for anticipated and unforeseen expenses is also an important part of caring for pets. Your veterinarian’s office should also be willing to supply you with a menu of prices, or at least estimates, of everything from shots to teeth cleanings and medications.
Getting Long-Term Care Right
A general practitioner should provide high-quality care. So owners need to take it upon themselves to learn about the capabilities of a hospital. This includes learning their ability to do radiographs, ultrasounds, various surgeries (orthopedic especially), endoscopies, dentistry and hospitalization as needed, says Dr. Tina Swan, a claims medical advisor for VPI and a specialist in animal emergency care.
“It can be important for the owner to become familiar with their vet’s diagnostic and treatment capabilities,” says Swan. “If a pet needs a procedure done and the owner would prefer the regular vet do it, it is important to know what their regular vet’s capabilities are so as not to delay treatment unnecessarily.
“Many general veterinary practices are capable of doing many specialty tests and advanced diagnostics, and have particular veterinarians within their practice who concentrate in particular disciplines,” she says. “If an owner wants cutting edge care for their pet, they should seek out a hospital with extensive diagnostic and treatment capabilities, or a practice that is willing and able to refer them to somewhere for more advanced care as needed,” says Swan.
Referrals as Needed
For cases that are difficult to diagnose, involve complicated diseases or require specialty care, veterinarians will often refer pets to a specialist who has access to the right equipment and is trained in the newest technology.
There are board certified specialists in all sorts of disciplines from internal medicine to surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, critical care, cardiology and neurology.
Emergency Pet Care
Inquiring ahead of time about what to do in the event of an after-hours emergency is a great question to ask any veterinarian. Ask these questions and keep phone numbers and addresses handy:
You might be surprised to learn that although your pet is staying overnight at a clinic, there may be no one staying with him. In the case that a pet needs constant monitoring, the clinic may refer you to an emergency or specialty 24-hour hospital.
These spots typically have vets and technicians on staff around the clock, says Swan. Your pet might be referred to one of Intensive Care Unit hospitals if your pet needs to be on IV fluids to flush out their system or to rehydrate them.
Read more about finding the right people to care for your pet. Learn valuable tips on how to choose a pet sitter and pet boarding safety.
Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Visit
To get the most out of your vet visits, make sure you have information about your pet to help the vet better understand your pet and your dogs problems. If you are visiting your veterinarian for any type of ailment, make sure you know details about the ailment. Your veterinarian will want to know when the problem started, how often it is a problem, and if there are associated symptoms. For example, if your pet is vomiting, they will want to know when it started, how frequent it occurs, if there is blood or other abnormalities, and associated symptoms such as if there diarrhea, if your pet is not eating, or if your pet is acting lethargic?
Finally, make sure you are honest. Don't underestimate what table scraps you feed or anything else about how you care for your pet. If you missed a dose of medication, don't be embarrassed, just tell them the facts. Your veterinarian is there to help you to provide the best care for your pet and they can only do that if they know the facts. To get the most out of your visit with your veterinarian, ask questions. The answers and advice you receive will help you to provide the best possible care for your pet. Here is a list of questions to consider:
1. How much does he weigh?
Find out what your puppy weighs and make note of it. Keep track of the weight and notice any study change.
2. What is his body condition score?
What this really means is... if he is too fat or too thin. The body condition score looks at the amount of fat on a dog's frame relative to his overall size. If he is too fat, ask your vet what you can do to help him loose weight. They may recommend that you cut back on his portions or table scraps, change his diet, or increase his activity by going on more walks. If he is too thin, ask for recommendations to address this issue.
3. What should he be eating?
Ask your veterinarian their opinion on the best food to feed your pet. Most vets recommend a good quality premium pet food that offers good quality control and has AAFCO approval formulated to meet the needs of your dogs life stage. For example, if you have a puppy, a common recommendation would be AAFCO approved food to meet the growing demands of puppies. Additionally, it can be further segmented into growing large or small breed dogs. Depending on your dogs' sex, age, weight and overall health, your veterinarian may recommend a formula for less active dogs or a prescription formula that may be beneficial in the presence of an underlying medical condition.
4. Was his physical examination normal?
This may be the most important part of your pets visit to the veterinarian. The examination can help to identify problems early when conditions may be more treatable. Ask if his heart and lungs sounded normal, if his abdomen felt normal on examination and if he overall appears healthy. If not, what is wrong? What can be done?
5. How do his teeth and nails look?
Should you be brushing his teeth? Trimming his nails? If so, will they show you how if you don't already know?
6. Is he getting the vaccines he needs?
Make sure your pet is getting what needs but not more than what he needs. Depending on where your dog lives, his age, and his lifestyle, vaccine recommendations may vary. There are some vaccinations he may not need or he may be at risk for Lyme disease and some other diseases that may be prevented with a vaccine. If your pet boards at a kennel, additional vaccines may be recommended. Rabies is required by law.
7. Does he need heartworm prevention?
Dogs that live in warm climates are at risk for heartworm disease. This can be prevented by a monthly medication. Find out what he should take and when he should take it. Some vets recommend a seasonal approach and others a year around medication. Are pet odors a problem in your home?Yes, mostly dog urine
Yes, mostly doggy odor
Both dog urine and general doggy odors
No, pet odors are not a problem in my home
8. Does he need tick prevention medication?
Depending on where your dog lives and his level of risk, he may benefit from tick control medications. Ticks can carry diseases that can cause severe illness.
9. Does he have worms or need a dewormer?
A fecal examination can help determine if your pet has gastrointestinal worms. Some pets may be routinely dewormed. Some of the heartworm preventative medications also treat gastrointestinal parasites.
10. Should he have any "routine testing"?
Are there any routine tests that should be done to monitor his health for his age? Dogs age differently depending on their breed, size and weight. Some large breed dogs, such as Great Danes, are considered "senior" at 6 or 7 years. Some smaller breed dogs, such as Dachshunds, are not considered senior until 8 or 9 years of age. Many veterinarians recommend routine blood work to assess your pet's organ function on a periodic basis.
11. How do you handle emergencies?
It is always easiest to ask this when you don't have an emergency. Find out what number to call if they handle their own emergencies and if not, find out the number and location for their emergency clinic of choice. Hopefully you won't need it, but if you do, you will be glad you have it.
12. What is the best way to communicate?
Do they accept and answer emails? Can you renew prescriptions or order food in this manner? If so, which address should you use? Or is all their business handled over the phone?
13. How about microchips?
Should your pet have a microchip and if he already has one, can they test it to make sure it is working properly? Microchips are small devices implanted under a dog's skin that helps to identify them if they are lost. Make sure you document the number and the microchip company and number. Ask if the chip is registered to their practice or to you. It is far better to have it registered directly to you.
14. Is there anything you can do to make your pet more comfortable?
This applies most often to senior pets. Does your veterinarian think your pet is in pain? If so, is there something they recommend? There are many new arthritis medications that work well in dogs. Some additional comfort measures may include a special bed for arthritic pets or a ramp to aid arthritic pets to get in and out of the car.
15. Is your pet at risk?
Is your pet at risk for anything that you can prevent or any disease that you should know about? For example, unsprayed dogs are at risk for life-threatening uterine infections that can be prevented by spaying. Some dog breeds are at risk for arthritis and certain types of cancer. Ask what problems your pet might be at risk for and symptoms you should watch for.
CHOOSING A GROOMER
Choosing the Right Dog Groomer
Grooming a dog at home is not for everyone. Learn how to select the perfect dog groomer for your best friend.
(Kathy Salzberg - Dog Channel)
Although there is lots of hands-on grooming you can do with your dog, if you find you lack the time or inclination to do the job, there are lots of professional groomers who can do it for you.
At last count, it was estimated that there are approximately 30,000 grooming businesses in the U.S. This includes home-based salons, commercial locations, mobile groomers and those connected to boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals. However, finding the right one for you and your dog will involve more than searching the Yellow Pages, whether in print or online. It’s like finding the right barber or hair stylist. You need someone who will give you a style you will like and you want to be treated with courtesy and care.
Since we are talking about a beloved family member, it might also be compared to finding the right preschool teacher for your human offspring. You want someone who is kind, knowledgeable, trustworthy and easy to communicate with but in the groomer’s case, you also want someone who has the skill to make your pet look awesome.
Where to start
Ask for a recommendation from your veterinarian, friends who own well-groomed pets, boarding kennels, pet supply stores, or shelters. If you can’t find a recommendation you like, there are pet groomer locaters listings online at Petgroomer.com, the National Dog Groomers Association, and Intergroom, one of the nation’s largest grooming industry tradeshows.
If your dog is a purebred canine that requires expert styling, scissoring or hand-stripping - a Poodle, Bichon Frise, or one of the terriers, for example - you may seek a recommendation from your breeder.
You may also have seen examples of a groomer’s work strolling around your neighborhood, in the vet’s waiting room or romping at the dog park. Word of mouth is a pet groomer’s best advertisement but before you make that first appointment, investigate some more. Visit some groomers to determine which one might be best for you and your pet.
At this time, the pet grooming profession does not require licensing, but there are three national organizations that offer grooming credentials. These include: the National Dog Groomers Association of America, the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists and the International Professional Groomers, Inc. Certification is earned through a series of hands-on practical and written tests and judged by accredited professionals.
Another fun thing to check for is whether or not the groomer participates in grooming competitions. These contests take place at conventions and trade shows nationwide where dedicated groomers show off their skills as they vie for trophies, cash prizes and grooming equipment, but most importantly, the respect and recognition from their peers.
Professional dog grooming is demanding work but it’s a labor of love for the vast majority of its practitioners. A groomer needs many skills –animal handling, brushing, dematting, clippering, bathing, blow-drying, scissoring, and hand-stripping for starters – and must be able to visualize the way a dog should look so she can execute the required trim. Each AKC-registered breed has a specific standard to which it should be groomed. In addition, she should be able to produce a pet trim, a shorter and easier-to-maintain version of the breed’s look. If she is unfamiliar with your breed, she should have reference books to draw upon so that she may properly style your dog according to your preference. If yours is a mixed-breed, the "standard” is a piece of cake – she should make it look adorable!
Making an appointment
It’s a good idea to call ahead first because with a dog population currently estimated at 77.5 million, skilled groomers are in demand and sometimes work on a tight a schedule. The groomer should welcome your visit, answer your questions courteously and assure you that if your dog has special needs, she will do her best to accommodate you.
If your dog is a puppy or a senior citizen, a conscientious groomer will get it in and out as soon as possible. The groomer will look over the dog’s coat and discuss its styling and may have a portfolio on hand or a website you can visit to view her work. The shop should look and smell clean and you should be able to observe the staff caring for their canine clients in a kind and respectful way. For your pet’s protection, vaccination records of all pets should be required.
Doing your homework
A groomer is not a miracle worker. They cannot take a poorly maintained dog and turn it into a splendid show-stopper in one visit. You can make your dog less stressed and your groomer’s job easier by teaching the dog to accept the attentions of strangers. Obedience classes are wonderful for imparting good manners and socialization. Handle your dog's feet to get him ready to have his nail's clipped and feet tidied up. Crate train your pet so he won’t get upset at sitting quietly while drying and then while awaiting your return.
In between grooming appointments, try to keep the coat free of mats and tangles. Use a gentle slicker brush a couple of times a week, making sure you are brushing all the way to the skin, not just the coat’s top layer. Check your brush work with a stainless steel comb to make sure no tangles have been left behind. And rebook the dog just as you do with your own hair stylist; this will help you avoid extra charges for dematting because for the groomer, time is money.
Groomers like to see puppies for the first time when they are around four months of age. Once your dog has had his second series of puppy shots and has housebreaking down pat, he will be ready for his first "big boy haircut.”
Good luck to you both!
Handy Checklist for Dog Sitter
(My Kids Have Fur)
Ok, so you’ve found the perfect dog-sitter and she’s available the week you need to take off for your niece’s wedding, you leave in 2 weeks, so now what?
With this handy checklist, you can be prepared, in advance, to make sure that you are relaxed and calm for your vacation, knowing that your dogs are being cared for well.
Choosing a Dog Trainer
(Association of Pet Dog Training)
THE DEFINTION OF CLASSES e.g. PUPPY, BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED, WILL VARY. ALWAYS ASK THE INDIVIDUAL TRAINER FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR OWN CLASSES.
Learning social skills and teaching basic training cannot be started early enough. As soon as your puppy has completed his or her vaccination programme, enrolling with a good puppy class will help you to build your relationship with your dog, understand how he or she learns and help you to teach some basic manners.
Always go to watch a puppy class without your puppy before you book:
How to find a kind, fair and effective pet dog training class
Learning how to train your own dog has many benefits - it can help to build and strengthen your relationship with your dog, teach him or her basic social skills and is fun!
A good pet dog training class should concentrate on what you want your dog to learn. It should teach you to train your dog to become a calm, easily controlled and valued member of your family and the community.
Always go to watch a training class without your dog before you book.
Some trainers do offer classes especially designed for dogs who cannot take part in ordinary pet dog classes. This may be for various reasons such as reactivity, fear or aggression.
Before attending any such classes the dog should be properly assessed to see if this environment would be suitable.
Any trainer who offers this type of class should have specialist knowledge of dogs with these problems, and have the skill to be able to teach both dog and handler how to improve and manage each dog’s behaviour.
How to Choose a Pet Walker
Even if you are not around to walk your dog every day, you can still be a responsible pet-owner by making sure your dog gets the daily exercise he needs to stay healthy and happy. Dog walkers can be a valuable resource, but here are some things to keep in mind when deciding if and who to hire to walk your dog.
Do they have sufficient references and experience?
Don't be shy about asking for references when selecting your dog walker. When placing your pet's life in the hands of others you should take extra care in making sure they are trustworthy.
Have they had any kind of training?
You want to be sure that the person spending this time with your dog is a passionate dog lover and not just someone trying to make some extra cash on the side. Being trained in pet first aid is a good quality to look for in a dog walker, because it will give you that extra peace of mind in case of an emergency, and give you an idea of how serious the walker is about pet safety.
Is the dog walker insured?
Anyone who considers themselves a "professional" dog walker needs to have insurance and a legitimate business license. Accidents happen, so make sure your walker is able to take responsibility for anything that happens under their watch.
How long will you take my dog for a walk?
Vets recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, so make sure your dog walker plans on at least meeting this requirement. If you are skeptical, use Tagg's activity tracking feature to keep track of just how much exercise your pet is receiving during their walks.
How many dogs are walked at the same time?
Some dog walkers will include as many as 20 dogs in their group, which increases the chances of conflict, injury or escape. Smaller dog groups are easier for the walker to manage, and you can ensure that your dog receives more attention. In addition, if you have a rather large or small dog, make sure they won't be walked in groups with much bigger or smaller dogs, as this increases the chances of conflict or injury as well.
Who will be walking my dog every day?
Larger dog walking companies will have more employees, which is helpful in case your normal dog walker can't make it, but you also don't want a different person walking your dog every time. After vetting and selecting your dog walker, make sure they will be your primary walker, but also spend time to find a back-up walker just in case. You don't want to make your dog uneasy or tense by spending so much time with strangers.
Will they let me go on a test walk?
Ask your potential dog walker if you can go on a test walk with them and your dog. This is a great chance to make sure your dog and the walker get along and there isn't any tension between the two of them. Be observant and you will be able to tell if the walker is a good fit for your furry friend.
before bringing home new pet
BEFORE Bringing Home That First Dog
(Ron Miller - Dogington Post)
Have you fallen in love at first sight with an adorable puppy? Good for you and the pup, but do you REALLY know how bringing home a dog is going to drastically alter how you live? I suppose the following tips are best suited for those people who have never owned a dog, so I will focus on first timers. Once a person has owned a dog they already have a good idea of what is involved.
There are several things the first time dog owner needs to consider before forking over the cash for the pooch. This is not like buying a new toy or car you play with only when you feel like it. Bringing home a dog is in essence adding another member to the family. If you have never been a parent, or for those with “out of the nest” kids, this cute little puppy is going to become your “new” baby”.
I am all for adding a dog to the family, but first off you need to know who will be primarily responsible for the dog. Taking care of feeding, fresh water at all times, housebreaking, exercising, and behavioral training are chief among the tasks this individual can look forward to. Oh, bathing and grooming also!
Next is the expense of owning a dog. Just as gas, our food, rent, and you name it has increased in price, so has the cost of owning a dog. Is your budget capable of absorbing this additional expense? I am speaking about more than just buying dog food, a collar, and a leash. There are vet bills, vaccinations, grooming expenses, special dog supplies like a dog bed and dog shampoos, toys, treats, and more. Sit down and be honest with yourself concerning the expense involved, because your dog is going to cost you more money than you realize.
If you have made it over the first few questions we should look at where you live. Is the home or apartment/condo large enough for the breed of dog you want? A small living space and a large dog usually do not work, so consider a smaller dog. Do you have a place for the dog to go out and do his or her business?
How about the job you have. Does this work require you to travel and be away from home for days at a time? If so, who will care for the dog until you return?
As you can see, there are many things to consider for the first time dog owner. Bringing home a dog is something I would encourage all people to do, but only if you know what is involved.
Bringing Home New Pets. What You Need to Know After Adopting a Pet
Now that you’ve adopted a new fluffy playmate into your family, you’ll want to make sure you get Max or Fifi off to a healthy and happy start in their new home. Although dogs normally require more of an adjustment time than cats, with the proper upbringing and dedication you can have one of the most well-mannered pets on the block.
Help Familiarize Your New Pet
Your fuzzy friend has just scampered through the doorway of his new home for the first time. To get things off on the right paw, it’s important to take your pet around the house on a leash to show him where things are located, such as his food and water bowls, pet bed, toys, etc. It may also be a good idea to take Fido around the yard so that he can familiarize himself with his new outdoor surroundings.If you have a new cat, show her where her food, bed and litter box are located. You may even have to place her in her litter box to get her acclimated to her new environment.
Your new pet may hide or keep to one area of the home at first, but that’s normal. The more comfortable they become with you and their new surroundings, the more sociable and outgoing they will become.
Housetrain Your Pet
When dealing with housetraining, consistency is key. A new puppy may be unable to control his bladder for more than a few hours at a time, so it helps to establish a routine. Take your new puppy outside every couple hours after eating or drinking, naps or playtime. Praising and rewarding your puppy with a treat immediately after they’re done eliminating can help reinforce good elimination behavior.
Housetraining a new kitten is similar to housetraining a puppy: it’s important to communicate they’re doing the right thing by using their litter box. Petting, stroking or giving a kitten affection or a treat after using a litter box are all positive ways to letting her know she’s doing the right thing.
If you’ve adopted an older pet into your home, chances are they already have the basic house manners down.
Socializing Puppies and Kittens
If you have a new puppy, it’s important to introduce them to as many people and situations as possible. Puppies (or dogs) that have an extensive experience meeting different people are less likely to be frightened or bark if they encounter a person wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella, etc. Puppy kindergarten is a great way to get new puppies to mingle in a casual, friendly environment. A group class gives him the socialization he needs to build relationships with people and other dogs, as well as self-confidence.
Puppy kindergarten classes are also referred to as canine behavior classes or obedience clubs. Local pet stores such as Pet Smart and Pet Co., along with The Humane Society, offer a variety of classes from which to choose. Your veterinarian may have a list of reputable pet trainers to offer you as well.
Socializing a new kitten is not as involved as socializing puppies. Young kittens are rather flexible, usually easily adapting to their environment. However, there are also kitten kindergarten classes you can have your cat attend. Their goal is to socialize kittens and help prevent problem behaviors, such as scratching and aggression.
If you have a pet that is shy or timid around other people or animals, adding another pet to your home can help socialize your apprehensive pet, helping to modify his behavior and make him more outgoing.
Adding An Older Pet To Your Home
If you’ve adopted an older pet into your home, chances are they already have the basic house manners down. However, because of their age, they may have special nutritional requirements or health issues that need attended to. As with a pet of any age, you should schedule a check-up with your veterinarian to make sure your canine or feline companion is healthy.
Find a Qualified Veterinarian
Planning a trip to the veterinarian with your new four-legged friend is one of the most important things you can do. Veterinarians can detect or help prevent any potential health problems with your new pet. Normally, vaccinations are given during your animal’s first visit to the vet, helping to protect them against diseases.
Pet owners should schedule regular visits to the veterinarian throughout their pet’s life. Purchasing a pet insurance policy can help defray some of the costs for both annual wellness visits and disease treatments. Want to learn more? Click here.
If you liked this story, read more about how to choose the right pet for you, or how to adopt a special needs pet or a shelter pet.
Is It Time To Get Your Child a Dog?
Kids and dogs are as natural as apple pie and ice cream, but sometimes the timing is not right, so we have information for you below to help you make this decision.
When thinking about the best time for your child to have a dog there are many questions you must honestly answer without just giving in to your child or children’s pleas for a puppy. Kids and dogs are as natural as apple pie and ice cream, but sometimes the timing is not right, so we have information for you below to help you make this decision. Selecting the proper time for your child to have a dog often decides if your children will develop a lifelong love for dogs or turn them against ever owning a dog.
One of the first questions that must be answered is: are your kids old enough to assume partial responsibility for the care and maintenance of a dog? This is often what trips up many parents and their child when a dog is introduced into the family. Mom and dad end up taking care of the dog while their child shows little interest in the care of the dog. If you suspect this may be the end result then it is not the best time for your child to have a dog.
If your child is still an infant or a toddler they are not going to miss having a dog because they have never been around one. Seriously consider waiting until they are at least six years old before allowing them to have a dog. By the time a child reaches this age they are mentally and physically able to understand the rules you will have concerning the care of the dog.
Is this the first dog you have ever owned? If so it is vital to understand bringing a puppy into your home is much like bringing home another human baby. They are going to require house training, vet visits, special food, and their own place to sleep. He or she will require a place outside to do their business, and so much more. Mainly, a lot more of your time than you probably realize. There is also the added expense involved so if you’re on a tight budget with little extra money left over, maybe the time is not good for adding another member to your family.
As I mentioned above kids and doggies naturally go together but only when the child has matured to the point they can appreciate what a dog brings to your family. Only you are going to know if the time is right for your child to have a dog.
Check with your vet about Nutri Cal before picking up your puppy. Nutri-Cal is a calorie supplement that will keep their blood sugar up as well as boosting their appetite. I was advised by a few people to have it on hand for my puppy.
choosing a puppy
Choosing a Puppy
(Association of Pet Dog Trainers)
Finding the right pup for and your family should be something that is done with a great deal of thought and care.
Here are a few things to think about before acquiring your puppy.
With information you have gained about the breed of your choice you should now be prepared to go and visit the breeder’s home and to ask questions. A good breeder will also want to ask you questions so that they can decide if you are suitable for their pups.
Breeders should be approachable, willing and able to give you the information you require about the puppies and their parenting. They should also be able to supply you with information on; worming, inoculations, and feeding.
If they are Kennel Club registered obtain a certificate or a written document that says they will forward it to you as soon as it is received from the Kennel Club.
Always visit the breeder’s home. Do not to have the puppy delivered because you will never really know what the mother is like in temperament nor will you know what type of environment the pup was brought up in. It is important to meet the mother of the pups and if possible the father. Visiting also means you have a chance to talk with the breeder, look at any paperwork, see how the mother is with you and the pups, how the pups are with each other and their environment.
It is not always possible to see the father because they don’t always belong to the owner of the mother. However, it is necessary to see how sociable they or at least the mother is with people. Does the mother look like the breed? Are the parents clean, healthy, and happy? Do the parents have any obvious physical, temperament, or behaviour problems? Are the parents cowering away from you, are they aggressive or do they run away from you? Are the parents barking at you? Puppies can grow up to be like their parents so if you see any of the above problems it is possible that the puppies will grow up with the same problem.
The parents of the pups should be at least 12 months of age when the puppies were conceived. The larger breeds should be at least 2 years of age, as they take longer to grow and mature. Bitches should have had at least one season before being bred from. Bitches should not be bred from after the age of 8 years and should not have produced more than 6 litters.
At 4 weeks the puppies should be weaned onto a solid diet.
Find out what food the puppy is eating.
Puppies should legally not be sold at less than 6 weeks old.
Ideally a puppy should be 8 weeks of age when they go to a new home this allows for the mother to have completed her disciplinary training of the pups such as teaching bite inhibition. This time is a very important learning time for the pups they learn how to interact and communicate with other dogs properly. However, not every mother is good at discipline and in large litters the mother can not always get around to them all so if they are left with their siblings too long some may become bullies. Therefore puppies are usually recommended for sale at 8 to 10 weeks of age.
Once the decision has been made the breeder should supply you with all the necessary paperwork and a diet sheet telling you exactly what, how much, and when the pup is fed. It is very important not to change the diet immediately as this can cause stomach upset.
Remember it will be stressful for the pup to leave its family and to go into a new home with virtual strangers. Allow your pup time to adjust to its new environment and people. Try and keep everything calm and gentle in order that every new experience for your new pup is a nice one. It is important for the puppy’s happy adjustment that the puppy’s new life is not overwhelming.
DEVELOP A GOOD PUPPY SOCIALIZATION PROGRAMME
Look at different breeds and gain some knowledge of them before making a final choice on breed or breed type.
Once breed is chosen gain more knowledge of the breed
Plan for the puppy’s arrival
a) Puppy proof any areas the pup will be allowed in e.g. make areas safe where there are electrical wires, make sure valuables are always out of reach, make garden escape and danger proof etc.
A puppy needs
b) Food – nutritionally balanced diet
e) Physical contact
f) The best of physical care
g) A calming environment
h) A good balance of mental and physical exercise
Give the puppy his own bed and a space where he can always have a quiet time and space to himself.
a) A pup must be allowed to sleep and rest
Puppies need supervised and appropriate play with children and adults in order that they do not get overexcited and wound up.
Puppies should not be over walked, too much exercise can cause stress physically and mentally on a pup.
Create a kind regime for toilet training
Do not let other dogs, children or adults harass or play roughly with the puppy
Handle puppy daily and start grooming with a soft brush in order that this will be accepted for life
Puppies need the freedom to make choices
Create an enriched environment; this helps the puppy to gain knowledge and confidence through exploration and to make their own choices. However, care must be taken that the puppy is not given too much too soon. This should be done gradually, perhaps introducing something new each day, but care must be taken not to give inappropriate experiences.
Puppies need things to chew once teething starts, make sure they always have appropriate items to chew in order to keep them from chewing your things. Also consider giving occupying toys, as these are not only great for the food reward but can be mentally stimulating.
If pup shows fear of a situation, another dog, another animal, a person or anything, do not force pup to confront it. Try not to make any soothing tones or mollycoddle the pup because this will only feed the pup’s fears. Let the pup make the decision whether to investigate or not, give praise when they do.
Pups should see different kinds of people e.g. short, tall, fat, thin, different colours, with glasses, without glasses, with and without beards or hats and be handled by different people but supervise this and make sure the pup is happy with the person and the situation – not all at once of course.
Pups should learn about different textures underfoot, different times of day, different weather, different sounds, smells, tastes, things to touch and things to see e.g. vets, towns, the countryside, people’s homes and gardens, the sea, children playing etc.
Puppies need good experiences but not too much too soon. Puppies are like sponges up to the age of 12 weeks, so care should be taken as to just what they do absorb. The puppy should not be flooded with too many new things or people at once. The pup should be made to feel comfortable with non-threatening situations.
Puppies need warmth, love, kindness, understanding, company and knowledgeable care. Puppies need good experiences in order to grow into well-balanced dogs.
Picking the Puppy From a Litter
Identify the puppy personalities. When you greet the litter, do so calmly. Do not deliberately attract their attention. Instead, wait to see how each puppy responds to your presence. When a puppy runs up and playfully jumps at your legs without fear, you can be sure they are a 'bold' puppy. Bold puppies are engaging, playful, and social. Some puppies will only approach after others have sniffed you out to make sure you are okay. These puppies are generally more submissive followers in the pack. They will likely lie at your feet, or roll on their back, offering their stomach for you to pet. These are all gestures of submission in a litter or pack. Submissive puppies can be just as playful as bold puppies, however, they are generally first interested in establishing a friendship. Other puppies will not approach you at all. Some may even scurry away from you or cry when you attempt to reach them. These are fearful puppies. Fearful puppies may require extensive exposure to new individuals before they are willing to interact. Some fearful puppies may even panic when approached by a stranger and resort to biting or hiding.
Choosing Your Puppy - The Selection Process
At first, observe the litter without disturbing them. Look out for things like how the pups interact with each other. An active, playful pup is very desirable, but not one that is dominant or overbearing with his/her litter-mates.
Do a general visual health check of each puppy. They should be nice and round - not fat, and certainly not skinny. Even Greyhounds and Whippets are round little beasts until they are about four months of age.
Look for a confident little pup who struts up to you and your family with head held high and tail wagging with excitement. A bit of a cheeky lick on the hand is also ok.
Have a close look at the pups eyes, ears, gums, teeth and rear end. You want to see bright eyes, a shiny and clean coat, and no sign of any discharge or debris.
Be wary of a shy and fearful pup when choosing a puppy. Pups at the 7-8 week stage shouldn't show any sign of these undesirable traits.
Many people end up selecting a puppy such as this because they feel sorry for them. Don't fall into this trap - it is not a valid reason for picking out a puppy!. It's no good for anyone and you will most likely regret your decision for many years to come.
When you have identified one or two puppies that you like the look of, conduct a bit of a hearing test. With the puppy facing the other way or possibly playing with another member of your family drop a set of keys on the ground or stamp your feet.
The puppy should react immediately, even be a little startled by the noise and then ideally he/she will come over to investigate the commotion. It's very difficult to pick a deaf puppy out of a litter, if the pups are all together in the same pen.
It's important that the puppy you end up choosing has energy levels which are compatible with you and your family's lifestyle. These energy levels will vary a great deal even in the one litter. After spending some time with the puppies you can make a judgment yourself, or the breeder will give you some insight.
Pick the puppy up, hug him and cradle him. This is a bit of a test, if he reacts by squealing and wriggling and doesn't settle down, this is not a good sign. You may experience problems with a puppy such as this. A little struggle is ok, followed by quickly settling down and peering back up at you.
Touch the puppies all over their bodies including paws, mouth and ears to monitor the reaction. A puppy who has been handled from an early age won't have any problem with you doing this.
Many pure bred dogs have breed specific ailments which can cause problems. Check the puppies parents and even grandparents for any sign of breed specific problems. Also check if the pups have been screened for them (if appropriate). This step can save you a whole lot of heartache in the future.
Many larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Rottweilers can suffer from hip dysplasia. Check out the family history if you are searching for a puppy susceptible to hip dysplasia.
Check the Vet records of your puppy including vaccination and worming record.
Once you've made the big decision and have your heart set on a puppy it is advisable to have your Veterinarian do a thorough examination of the pup.
New Puppy Needs
Before bringing your puppy home, purchase the following supplies. Preparing in advance for the arrival of your new pal will allow you and your puppy to spend time getting to know each other.
Food and Water Bowls
Look for a bowl that won't easily tip over and is easy to clean. A separate bowl for food and water will keep your puppy's feeding area clean. You may want to buy smaller bowls at first, and upgrade to larger ones as your puppy grows. Stainless Steel or Stoneware work the best.
Collar and Leash
Your puppy's first collar should be made of lightweight nylon or leather. To measure your puppy's collar size, measure his neck and add two inches. To ensure that the collar fits properly, you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. If your fingers fit comfortably, you have the right size collar. If there is extra room, you need a smaller size. If both fingers don't fit, the collar is too small. It may take a while for your puppy to get used to wearing his collar, so don't be discouraged if he is uncomfortable and scratches his collar. Be sure to adjust the length as your puppy grows. A six-foot leash is the ideal length for both training and walking. Always keep your puppy on his leash unless he is in a confined area. Many states and cities have leash laws, which make it mandatory for your puppy to be on his leash at all times, even at public parks and playgrounds.
All puppies need toys to help them exercise and to provide them with a safe way to satisfy their natural desire to chew. Be sure to choose toys that are made for puppies and cannot be splintered, torn apart or swallowed. Large rawhide chips, nylon chews and hard rubber balls are fun and safe. As a general rule, if the toy can fit comfortably in a puppy's mouth, it's too small.
Crate or Sleeping Bed
Your puppy will need a warm, comfortable place to sleep. A crate provides a den for your puppy when you are not home. Crates usually come in one of two types: a portable, enclosed, plastic crate with handles; or a wire crate. Your puppy's crate should be large enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down and should have adequate ventilation. If you buy an adult-sized crate, purchase partitions or place a cardboard box in the back to provide a cozy space for your puppy. You may want to have a separate sleeping bed for him when you are at home. Make sure you buy a puppy-sized bed rather than an adult-sized bed, so your puppy will feel safe and snug.
picking up puppy
Picking Up Baby
When picking up your baby at the airport: Here are some key points
1. Call the airport prior to your puppy's arrival date to get directions to where you will pick your puppy up. Some airports you will pick up the main terminal & in other airports in the cargo facility..
2. Arrive at the airport at least 15 minutes early. The person name who's name the puppy is registered under needs to have a picture ID to pick the puppy up. Also have your flight conformation number with you.
3. When you receive your puppy take it out of its pet carrier. Give him or her a big hug. Give him or her a thumb nail full of Nutri-Cal. Nutri-Cal is a calorie supplement that will keep their blood sugar up as well as boosting their appetite. Nutra-Drops can be purchased at most vet offices or pet stores. Be sure to read our Hypoglycemia information on the warrantee page.
4. Use your wet wipes to clean your puppy up & add newspaper or a pee pad to pet carrier, if needed. Puppies are clean when they leave, but they are babies & accidents do happen.
5. Give your baby some pieces of the Natural Balance Roll & distilled water.
6. Call me to let me know how everything is going.
7. Go home & start a wonderful life with your new companion!
bringing home puppy
Bringing Home Puppy
Dog-proof your home before you get your puppy. Move power cords, plants, food and anything else you do not want the puppy to chew on off of the floor where the puppy can't get to it. Don't forget to put your shoes and clothing away. Puppies will chew anything and many items are dangerous for their health. You may want to close off certain rooms to keep the puppy out of them.
Put a blanket or towel that has your scent on it in the crate so the puppy will be more calm while in there and a safe toy to chew. Never use the crate as punishment or they will associate it with something bad A good rule of thumb is the number in months is the maximum hours a puppy should be in a crate. 6 months= 6 hours The second you open the crate go outside and when they go pee , highly reward them with love and treats. They will associate that with going outside instead of in the crate or house
Naming your Dog
Feeding Your Puppy
(Puppy Dog Web)
A puppy's new diet is very important for healthy growth. Nutrition is the most important investment for a puppy to grow up healthy and strong. As a newborn, up to several weeks old, puppies get everything they need by nursing from their mother. As they begin to need solid food, usually at 5-6 weeks old, it is important to feed your puppy the right kind of food. Puppies need more fat in their diet along with a balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients per pound because of their high growth and activity levels. As puppy's mature, their diet needs will change. Consider these facts:
Appropriate treats is great for training and rewarding your puppy. Make sure the treats are small and easy to swallow. Give the puppy a treat that has an appealing order and something they do not get every day.
Product Suggestion: Crazy Pet Train Me Treats
Also, make sure your puppy always has access to clean, fresh water. Soapy, warm water should be used for a daily cleaning of the water bowl.
If you keep these tips in mind, you will have a healthy, happy puppy in your home. For any problem issues, be sure to consult your veterinarian and follow the advise carefully. Your puppy is depending on you
The New Puppy Checklist
You have a new furry family member. Now what?
(Pet Health Network)
If you’re reading this, then you probably just brought a new puppy home, or you’re planning on bringing a new puppy home soon. Either way, congratulations! There’s nothing like a cute, fuzzy new addition to the family.
While it’s important to start right in on the cuddling and training needed by a new puppy, it’s also crucial to get a head start on your puppy’s health. You want to make sure your new friend gets off on the right foot, and this means scheduling your puppy’s first veterinary visit. Depending on your new puppy’s age and expected lifestyle, there are a lot of different things you can expect from your veterinarian. Read on to learn more.
Puppy’s First Visit to the Vet
When you take your puppy to the veterinarian for the first time, your good doctor will probably want to give him or her a physical exam before anything else. This is really important – your veterinarian can find physical problems with your pooch just by looking him or her over, such as poor gait or skin problems, and get your puppy on a treatment plan right away.
In addition, your veterinarian will want to make sure your puppy is free of a variety of illnesses and conditions, and to do so he or she will perform a variety of tests, including:
Vaccinations often depend on a variety of factors, including your dog’s age and your geographic location. In general, however, all puppies and dogs should have the following vaccines:
There are a number of other vaccines that could be recommended by your veterinarian. In addition, some vaccinations require boosters every so often, from once every few weeks (for puppies) to once annually or every couple of years. We understand that this might seem confusing, but it’s really important! The best thing to do is talk with your veterinarian, who will set up a vaccination schedule appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy’s first veterinary visit is also a great time to discuss other topics with your veterinarian, such as the health benefits of spaying and neutering, diet, house training, socializing, and other ways to keep your puppy a well-behaved and well-adjusted member of your family. Remember this rule of thumb – don’t be afraid to arrive at your veterinarian’s office with a list of all the questions you might have about your new pooch! There are no dumb questions when it comes to keeping your pet healthy and happy.
Healthy Puppy Check Up
(Puppy Dog Web)
Most reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee on their puppies, but before you buy your new puppy you can give him the once over yourself. This should not be instead of taking him to the veterinarian. It is recommended that after you bring him home take him to your local veterinarian within the first 72 hours for a more complete exam.
Nose should be cool and moist and not running. Squeeze the nostrils to see if there is mucus present. If there is a nasal discharge or frequent sneezing this may be a sign of a respiratory tract infection.
Check the teeth and gums. Most breeds have a scissor bite which is when the upper incisors tightly overlap the lower. Gums should be pink and healthy looking. Pale gums indicate anemia. He should have clean smelling puppy breath.
Check the back of the throat, enlarged tonsils can mean tonsillitis. Pinch the windpipe gently. This should not elicit a coughing spasm. If it does the puppy may have bronchitis.
Feel the top of the head for the soft spot. If present the fontanel is open. In Toy breeds a large dome, sunken eyes and open fontanel may suggest hydrocephalus.
Ears and Eyes:
Eyes should look straight ahead and not deviate to the side. If tear staining is present on the muzzle look for eyelids that are rolled in or out, extra eyelashes or conjunctivitis. White spots on the surface of the eye could be scars from prior injuries or infections. Ears should stand correctly for the breed. Tips should be healthy and well furred. Crusty tips with bare spots suggest sarcoptic mange. Ear canal should be clean, wax free and sweet smelling. A buildup of wax or a rancid odor may be caused by ear mites. Head shaking and tenderness about the ear indicates an infection of the ear canal.
Feel the chest to see if the heart seems especially vibrant. Puppies should breathe in and out without effort. A flat chest, when accompanied by trouble breathing in may indicate an airway obstruction.
Coat and Skin:
Skin and hair around the anus should be clean and healthy looking. Signs of irritation such as redness or hair lossindicate the possibility of worms, chronic diarrhea or digestive disorder. Coat should be bright and shiny. Excess scale or itching in the coat suggests mites, fleas or other parasites. Pull apart the hair of the coat, skin should range from pink to black.
Legs should be straight and well formed. Structural faults include legs that are bowed in or out. Gait should be free and smooth. A limp or faltering gait may be the result of a sprain or hurt pad or hip dysplasia or other joint condition.
What's Normal Behavior For A New Puppy?
(Puppy - Dog Place)
After bringing home your new puppy, you might be confused by his behavior during the first few days.
All puppies bite, nip and 'mouth' - usually your hands, toes, and clothing are prime targets for this these antics. Although it's normal, you do need to discourage your little one from biting or it can become a big problem as he grows.
To find tried-and-tested tips and techniques to stop puppy biting.. click here!
A pup who was bold and outgoing when with his siblings, may suddenly seem quiet and withdrawn. He may not want to eat much, and not seem interested in playing with his (truckload!) of new toys. This is also perfectly normal.
Remember though, he's just left his canine family and come into a totally new environment, with new people, and he's probably scared, lonely and anxious... even a bit homesick. So his behavior is totally understandable, even if you weren't prepared for it.
It's normal to see a bit of anxious, nervous behavior at first and some breeds, or individual pups, have highly-strung personalities and get upset easily. Luckily there are simple things you can do to help your new family member feel more confident and settle in quickly. Check out this page for lots of tips and advice on this.... How To Help A Scared Puppy
There's a neat product that can help your puppy feel less alone at night time.... a 'SnugglePuppie'!
A SnugglePuppie is a plush, stuffed puppy that comes complete with a battery-operated heartbeat and two sources of gentle heat.
For a real live puppy who's just left his momma and littermates this is like a little piece of home and can be very soothing. It's important not to allow your pup to chew on the 'fake' puppy for safety reasons, but most pups will simply snuggle up to it - just be aware that it's not a toy and if your new baby treats it like one then you will need to take it away.
Find out more about this innovative product here... SnuggleMe.com
Many puppies seem to 'withdraw' into themselves, sleeping more than usual, losing their appetite and generally not behaving the way you expect. This generally only lasts for a few days, maybe a week, and then you will begin to see your little one's true personality emerge.
If you start off with what seems to be a calm, laid-back pup - you could find that within a week you have a 'whirling dervish' on your hands, so don't be surprised at the metamorphosis - be ready!
Also, some puppies seem to get so stressed that they don't feel the need to poop (or even pee) for a while! Although a young pup generally has very limited bladder/bowel control, it's not unheard of for a pup to 'hold it' for several hours (as many as 8 - 10). This is instinctive rather than something he's choosing to do, so don't panic if your new baby doesn't poop or pee right away.
But, make sure you are watching him to make sure that he's not sneaking off to pee behind the sofa or under the bed in the spare room without you noticing.
However, for safety's sake it's important to point out that young puppies are very prone to catching certain diseases, some of these (like Parvo) can be fatal. Some of the symptoms of homesickness as described above, can also be early symptoms of illness in your pup......
Extreme lethargy, loss of appetite, and disinterest in his surroundings are among them. A puppy who is getting sick is also likely to be suffering from repeated, watery diarrhea (although a sudden change in diet can also cause loose stools), and will often vomit and be unable to keep food/water down.
This can quickly cause dehydration, which is serious in itself. A sick puppy will also often have dull eyes and can't be tempted to take tasty treats, or play for longer than a couple of minutes, if at all.
If your puppy exhibits ANY of these symptoms, get him to a vet right away for a check up. Young puppies can get very sick, very fast and although he may be perfectly fine sometimes it's just impossible to be sure... and it's always better to be safe than sorry.
One other thing that seems to worry owners who are bringing home a new puppy, is the way their puppy breathes! If you've had a baby, you'll probably remember that they tend to breathe a bit erratically at first, especially when they're sleeping. Well, new puppies do this too.
It's not unusual for a sleeping pup to breathe very fast, or to seem to 'stop' breathing for a few seconds, or to cry, whine, twitch or even bark in their sleep.
All of this is perfectly normal. If your pup is stressed or anxious (which he/she is likely to be during the first couple of days or so), then he may breathe extra-fast when awake as well, or even pant or shake a little - again normal.
You can read more about this, and learn when your puppy's breathing could mean that there's a problem on my Why Is My Puppy Breathing Fast? page.
Severe lethargy, weakness, disorientation or dizziness accompanied by breathing irregularities is quite different and needs veterinary attention though!
Obviously, for a new (and possibly inexperienced) dog owner, it can be difficult to tell whether a puppy is truly sick, or just homesick. Take a look at my A Sick Puppy? page for tips on recognizing true illness.
However, if you're in any doubt at all, I'd strongly recommend taking your puppy to your veterinarian.
Another very common puppy mis-behavior is chewing everything in sight! Puppies LOVE to chew, and they're of the opinion that everything is edible until proven otherwise!
Chewing fills basic canine needs and you can't (and shouldn't) stop your pup from chewing - but you do need to make sure he only exercises his jaws on appropriate chew toys.
The good news is that all this chewing stuff usually peaks during the teething phase, and then diminishes slowly as long as you've been consistent about corrections and providing guidance and toys.
- See more at: http://www.the-puppy-dog-place.com/bringing-home-a-new-puppy.html#sthash.Jk9jvRKL.dpuf
After Your Puppy's Arrival
(Puppy - Dog Place)
After the early excitement of bringing home a new puppy, the reality can be a bit of a challenge.
Puppies are living creatures not cute cuddly toys and, just like human babies, their needs can seem a bit overwhelming at first.
The average 8 week old puppy will need a potty break approx every 30 minutes to 1 hour during the day, and at least once (probably twice at first) during the night.
He'll also need to be supervised whenever he's not in his crate or playpen, and can't be left alone, unattended for long periods. However, it is important that he learns that it's okay to be by himself for short periods, and that if you leave his sight the world will not come to an end!
Giving him short periods of 'alone time', and not letting him get used to getting constant 24/7 attention will help to prevent separation anxiety problems from developing later on.
To make sure that your adorable little furball, grows up to be a friendly, well adjusted and well behaved adult, you will need to make sure that he gets plenty of socialization, learns basic manners and commands and attends a dog obedience classes (at least one Puppy Class and a Basic Obedience Class is recommended).
Obviously a puppy's growth and development moves at a faster pace than that of humans, but you still need to deal with the 'baby, toddler and adolescent stages' before your cute puppy becomes a mature adult.
Each of these stages has it's own joys and problems, but if you're armed with the correct knowledge and advice, you will be able to weather them with ease (or at least without tears!) and bringing home a new puppy will be one of the best decisions you ever made.
This website has tons of tips, advice and information on all aspects of puppy care and can help with any questions or issues you might have when you bring your new pup home - and beyond!
first night home
First night home with puppy
The first night home with your new puppy can be a trying experience for both of you. It’s the first time your puppy has spent the night away from his mother and littermates. Because dogs are pack animals, your puppy knows instinctively that being separated from the pack is dangerous. Whining and crying at night is your puppy’s way of calling for his pack to find him. Of course it does nothing to comfort you.
With a little preparation and patience, you can make the most of the first night with your puppy.
What to do before bedtimeTake up any food or water after six or seven o’clock to make sure your puppy is running on empty when it’s time to sleep. Otherwise, you’ll be making trips to the bathroom all night, or worse, your puppy will eliminate in the house.
Shortly before you go to bed, spend some time playing with your puppy. You want him to be tired enough tosleep soundly. Definitely don’t let him nap within an hour or two of bedtime or else your puppy will be ready to play when you’re ready to sleep.
Just before bed, take your puppy outside to his soiling area and wait for him to go. When he does praise him and bring him back inside. This reinforces good behavior and begins the house training process.
Where puppy should sleepIf possible, you should let your puppy sleep in your bedroom to reduce the chances of whining or crying at night. Also, the constant contact throughout the night will help your puppy adjust to you and establish you as pack leader. One note of caution: Don’t let the puppy sleep in the bed with you. He’ll eventually expect to be allowed in the bed, and it can lead to numerous behavioral problems as your puppy grows.
If you or the breeder have started crate training, you should put the crate in your room and use that to confine him while he sleeps. If your puppy isn’t used to a crate, then tether him to your bed or close by and put down an old blanket or sheet. Keep the tether short. Puppies usually won’t soil the area where they sleep, but if he has the opportunity to wander he may get up and go during the night.
As a last resort, you can keep your new puppy somewhere other than your bedroom. Make sure you puppy proof your house first and put a sweatshirt or other article of your clothing with him for your scent. A ticking clock or a radio set to a low volume can also help soothe a puppy the first night home. You should check on him throughout the night for bathroom breaks.
Puppy's first night home: How to stop your puppy from crying
So, things aren't going quite as you planned on your puppy's first night home. How to stop your puppy from crying has become your top priority - it's almost like having a newborn. Your puppy is in a new, unfamiliar place, and if he was taken from his mother and siblings, he is probably suffering from separation anxiety. The only way he can communicate his loneliness and fear is by squalling. So what do you do?Tire him outDon't let your puppy take a cozy nap at your feet right before bed. Keep him up and active, romping with him to help him get worn out. If he is ready to keel over asleep the minute you put him in his bed or crate, your puppy will be too tired to put up a fuss. This alone is one of the best ways to stop your puppy from crying.
Limit food and water before bed
Cut your puppy off from food and water about an hour before bedtime. If he goes to bed with afull stomach and bladder, you'll be getting up more than once during the night to let him out. If you are early to bed and late to rise, you'll probably have to make at least one midnight trip to keep him from going to the bathroom in the house, but you can minimize these trips by limiting the number of after-dinner snacks and sips.
Keep him closeIf possible, let the puppy sleep in your room with you. Animal experts say that this lets your puppy feel as though he is part of your pack. Do not, however, let him sleep in your bed. As pack leader, you get the best place to sleep. The puppy should be on the floor on a softdog bed or in a crate if you are crate-training.
Use music to calm
Playing soft music can provide calm and comfort on your puppy's first night home. Sue Raimond, who pioneered harp enrichment/therapy for pets and spoke at Tufts University's International Veterinary Symposium on Hospice Care for Animals, maintains that music can relieve your puppy's stress levels and cause him to relax or even fall asleep.
When crying continuesIf the worst happens and pitiful yelps, whimpers and wails begin to emit from your new bundle of joy, do a quick rundown of possible distresses he could be signaling. A puppy can "hold it" about an hour longer than his age in months. This means a four-month-old puppy can make it only five hours before urgently needing a bathroom break.
If your puppy has already relieved himself in the right place, perhaps he just needs a quick soothe (a pat and a gentle word should suffice). If he continues to whine, a gentle shake by the scruff and a firm "hush" could be in order. Some trainers suggest filling a metal can with marbles and shaking it each time your puppy howls, with an accompanying "hush" as a way to stop your puppy from crying.
You can make it through your puppy's first night home. How to stop your puppy from crying is up to you, but remember, just as with a child, consistency is key. Decide on a plan of action and a specific method of discipline and stick with it.
5 GAMES YOU SHOULD PLAY WITH YOUR PUPPY
Having a new puppy is quite an experience; they get into everything, and they love to play. Encouraging active play early on will help your puppy build crucial behavioral skills and it's great for bonding. Check out some fun ways to get your puppy engaged and active:
1. Walking and Wagging – There's nothing better than a casual stroll around town, for your puppy everything is new and undiscovered so let them explore and take the time to sniff it out. This is a great time tostart working on commands like sit and stay, not to mention socialization skills as a puppy is likely to attract a lot of attention and smiles. Avoid running until the puppy is older and his or her joints are more mature and keep walks to five minutes per month of age (10-minute walk for a two-month-old puppy).
2. Hide-and-Seek - Have a friend hold your puppy while you go hide. Call out and let them hunt you down and watch that tail wag when they do. Your new best friend is learning fast. As an added bonus use the word "come" to use the game to double as a teaching tool. You can even hide toys or treats and help puppy hunt them down as well.
3. Fetch! – Who doesn't love catch? Use soft toys, not sticks, as they can hurt a young pups mouth. You may have to show them how it's done, but they'll pick it up in no time and then you can both get a workout. You can also count on the added benefit of an abdominal workout due to all the laughs you're bound to share. Keep in mind, puppies can wear out quick. Take a break for every ten minutes of play.
4. Doggie Paddle – A puppy's developing joints are sensitive and a low impactwater game will keep puppy from getting hurt. Don't fret if your puppy doesn't like the water, it takes time to acquire a taste for new things and forcing the issue could result in anxiety. Also, use a pet-appropriate life jacket to keep your pooch safe and be sure to swim in calm waters.
5. Tiny Tricksters – Dogs learn best when they are taught early and often. Play time can also be a time to learn new tricks and commands. It can be a mental and physical workout for your puppy so limit sessions to 10 minutes at a time. Commands like sit and stay will help keep your puppy safe and protected when mastered and tricks like roll over can increase discipline. So grab some treats and get started.
There's no time like the present to get your puppy active and increase bonding in the process. It's time for some serious puppy therapy. Have fun!