Preparation for Your New Puppy
Puppy Proof Your House:
Just as you would for a child or baby! You need to move all houseplants, electrical cords, household cleaning supplies, mouse poison, or anything else dangerous near floor level that a small puppy could possibly chew on or be harmed by.
Either a baby or puppy playpen or baby gate to partition a small area. It should be large enough to hold a little bed, a play area, small dish for food and water, with enough room left over to relieve themselves if necessary. Puppies can get into lot’s of trouble if they are left unsupervised, so it is necessary to put them in a playpen or other small confined area to keep them safe. This is just a temporary place until the puppy is older and doesn’t need quite so much sleep, less mischievous and hopefully housebroken! Many folks use the “Super Yard Guard” purchased at K-Mart in the baby section.
It is a good idea to have on hand several types of toys and chew toys to help keep your puppy amused and away from things he shouldn’t chew on. Young puppies seem to especially like soft stuffed toys to chew on and sleep with. It is also a good idea to give your puppy some teething bones, large pigs ears, large bully sticks and large beef tendon chewy toys. The reason I say “large” is because oftentimes a puppy or dog will chew off and swallow too large of a piece and get it stuck in the intestines causing a blockage. Be SURE they are sourced in the USA. This investment in cheweys will certainly pay for itself – much cheaper than buying new furniture! One of my favorite is Himalayan Dog Chew Treats
Whether picking up your puppy in person or greeting them at the airport, here is a list of a few helpful things to bring with you:
1. It is really better to travel with the puppy in a secure travel crate in case of an accident. -but i usually end up with them in my lap anyway 🙂
2. Paper towels in case of car sickness or other mistakes. Moist baby wipes are also great to have on hand for quick clean ups.
3. A soft towel or baby blanket for your puppy to snuggle in.
4. A small bottle of water and a shallow bowl for drinking, in case your puppy gets thirsty.
5. I will be giving you a tube or baggy of MegaCal. I will be giving your puppy “cerenia” for carsick prevention ahead of time.
6. Potty Pads – Please do not put your puppy down on the ground in places like a gas station, rest stop, right outside a store, etc where MANY dogs have also used the bathroom in the same grass before you & your little puppy were there. Many dogs are not vaccinated & if there was a dog that had parvo even 7-9 years ago & used the bathroom in that spot, the Parvo may still infect your puppy & can be lethal to him/her. Your puppy is not protected against Parvo until all 3 or 4 vaccinations are complete, (at 6, 9, 12, sometimes 16 weeks, 1 yr old, then NOT every year after that as some vets still recommend – more on that subject later). You may think this Parvo protection instructions sound like “over-kill” but it is not. After you pup has been fully vaccinated you do not have worry about this kind of thing.
7. XS or Small (usually small) Soft Harness & leash. Here is my favorite puppy harness at Amazon. Regular collar – they will need around 8-10 inch size collar to begin with. Approximate size of your puppy at 8 weeks old to help fit collars, harnesses, etc: Neck 9 inches; Chest 14 inches (they are not skinny!) Length from neck where collar goes to base of tail 11 inches. They vary about 1 inch here on each of these measurements.
What Comes with Your Sunny Day Puppy
My puppies ALL come with their whole tails and feet! We are proud that we have been raising extremely healthy puppies for a long time. My puppies have their natural dew claws. I never dock any tails. All my puppies have their natural tails. I believe that if god gave them tails, let them keep them! They need that wag – it is part of their smile & I will not take that away! I have more about that Foolish custom here. They are wormed at 2/4/6/8 weeks of age. They receive Ponazuril for coccidia prevention at 5 weeks of age and the day before they go to their new homes. This protects them from this opportunist infection for the next three weeks. After that, the puppy should not have a problem with this parasite. At 7 weeks of age they receive their 1st set of puppy shots. My puppy vaccinations cover Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type2, Parainfluenza, & Parvovirus. I include Coronavirus in my vaccines.
Your puppy packet includes your puppy’s records for your vet & registration papers. I include a microchip. I send some FortiCal & a 6 day dose of Panacur for giardia prevention. Your puppy has not had symptoms of giardia here but since I take all my parent dogs for walks all over our land here they are exposed to this. And just in case you have not purchased (in your haste to come get your “baby”) any puppy food, don’t worry, I will be giving you a small bag. I REQUIRE that everyone taking home one of my Puppies read my information here. I will be testing you on it! I will be mailing you a real good book sometime before your puppy is ready “How to Raise a Puppy that You can Live With”. I did allot of research before I picked out this book and I think it is about the best book out there. Keep an eye out for it in your mailbox.
Traveling Home with Your New Puppy
Once you get your puppy home, here are some things to know that will help your pup get acclimated:
Be courteous! If you receive your puppy by plane, once you get home and settled , please send me an email note and let me know that your puppy arrived safely. I spend many hours raising these babies as my own children and I worry about them!
Puppies stress at just being in a new environment. Their first couple days are going to be the toughest.
STRESS AND HOW IT CAN EFFECT YOUR PUPPY – Treatment
If your puppy is stressed or exhibits loss of appetite (for example with carsickness), treat the pup with “force feedings”, making the little one eat from your hand, off of a spoon or from a syringe – until they start to feel better. Just like you would an ill child.
Try some yummy canned food first mixed with the dry food, if no luck, try just canned food or a piece of chicken. You can also make a “gruel” from Gerber baby chicken in the jar and Gerber baby rice cereal in the box. Mix with some puppy milk or goats milk (not cow milk) – enough to wet -or water. It is important to get some nutrition in. I also recommend buying a package of ”Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Freeze Dried Dog Food” for the times when your puppy looses his/her appetite and doesn’t want to eat. That almost always works! They also make great training treats!
Forti-Cal (included in your puppy packet) or Nutra-Cal is available at pet stores or online (several brands available, syrup is fine also in a pinch). It is very important at times when the puppy is stressed & not eating or eating very poorly. You can give about 2-4ml of the Mega-Cal 4 times a day if needed. It contains the ingredients and nutrients that the little ones need to maintain. Your puppy will probably lick the MegaCal off of a spoon but if not…. Put some on your finger or in the syringe that I provide for you and open the puppy’s mouth- put it on the roof of his mouth like peanut butter. It melts almost immediately so you will not choke the puppy. That usually brings their appetite right back in a few minutes.
I also like to keep a dish of diluted puppy milk near their bed to encourage them to take a few sips before their nap. This can really help the low appetite puppies that are in their adjustment period.
This “stage” of poor appetite usually lasts just a few days and then you will notice that the little one is getting back into the food bowl. Even if they have been eating the hard puppy kibble they may now wish to have a soft canned food or have the kibble wet just a little. We have taken to the philosophy of “Whatever works” to just get them eating again. We use small bites of cooked chicken, mixing canned food with a little cottage cheese, or regular fat yogurt. I have recovered a lot of puppies/dogs on this mixture. It is important to have a package of ”Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Freeze Dried Dog Food”, a can of cooked chicken, and powdered puppy milk or goats milk around for these occasions.
Then one day soon they just go back to the dry puppy kibble. No hurry, just be sure they get their nutrition as a growing puppy needs. During this period, they make have soft stools with the change in diet away from their usual food (little bit of canned mixed with the dry kibbles). That should improve when they are back on their regular diet.
Call your vet immediately if you observe any of these warning signs:
PROLONGED LOSS OF APPETITE (Greater than 8 hours in a brand new puppy)
EXCESSIVE WATER DRINKING and/or urinating every few minutes
EXCESSIVE SLEEPING OR LETHARGY, WEAKNESS,
VOMITING, DIARRHEA, STRAINING EXCESSIVELY WITH BM
RUNNING EYES OR NOSE ( puppies can have clear drainage from their nose and eyes but if it turns yellow or green – then worry)
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR
It never hurts to give MegaCal/NutraCal before and after any event that you know will be stressful, like a visit to the vet or bath for the first week. I am only a phone call away or an email away. Your little one is precious to me as well.
Watch for diarrhea!
If diarrhea (liquid stool) happens more than once start to worry. If the diarrhea is a very dark brown/black – take a sample in a zip-lock baggy with your puppy to your vet immediately. This is important until the puppy is about 6 months old. I will be giving you some oral medicine (Panacur/Fenbendazole) that you will be giving to your puppy for the 6 days after you get him/her for prevention of the parasites Coccidia & Giardia – the 2 major causes of diarrhea (besides Parvo) so we should be fine here. It may be easier for you to give the white colored Panacur by soaking the 1ml of liquid into a piece of the Stella Freeze Dried Chicken treats that I sent for you. Give your new puppy a bath around days 3 and 5 of that medicine (or just wash his/her little bumm). If diarrhea continues – please take your puppy to your vet for additional medicine (usually Flagyl/Metronidazole and a probiotic will be prescribed).
After 2 weeks or so when he is well settled into his new home, take your puppy to the ‘well visit’ check up. Hopefully you have scheduled this appointment before the puppy arrives. Make sure that you bring your puppy’s shot record with you so your vet will know their medical history. Your puppy will need his/her next vaccinations at 10 weeks of age so if all is going well, you can schedule the 1st appointment around that time.
Your vet will schedule your puppy’s remaining shots. Every vet has a different schedule, but most shots are given every 3/4 weeks until the series of 3 or 4 is complete. Until your pups immunizations are complete, make sure to hold your new pup in your lap or a kennel and keep them away from other dogs and off the floor at the vets. This also means not letting strangers or children pet your puppy in the vets office. REMEMBER – there is more bacteria & viruses present there than anywhere from all the sick animals that have been there before you & your puppy! If your vet suggests “yearly” vaccinations for the rest of your dogs life, he is over-vaccinating which can cause auto-immune disorders. Please suggest having a “titer” drawn to see if your adult dog really needs it. I don’t think ANY dog needs yearly vaccinations for their whole life – we humans certainly do not!
Until the “puppy vaccinations” (7, 10, & 14 weeks or about there) are complete, you need to protect your puppy from these contagious diseases BUT it is also very important to continue with your puppy’s socialization with other pets and humans. It is wonderful (and safe) if you have some friends or family that you can visit who have animals that are vaccinated and you know are healthy. Puppy classes are highly recommended and LOTS of fun!
Training should start immediately. Don’t forget the book I gave you. The more time that you spend with your dog, the smarter they will become. NEVER STRIKE OR SCREAM AT YOUR PUPPY. NOR DO YOU SHOVE THEIR NOSE IN THEIR FECES OR URINE. My puppies are specifically bred for intelligence and respond very well to a firm “NO”! Puppies can be sensitive. Mistreat them and you could break their spirit. (although they would probably forgive you 1 second later…)
I have a real good book “How to Raise A Puppy You Can Live With” that I will be giving you. It comes highly recommended by Me & Dr Threllfall DVM (Head of OSU College of Veterinary Medicine). I studied Canine Theriogenology with him). Its a very good book.
- There are my favorite training treats Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers
I also highly recommend watching Cesar Millan AKA “The Dog Whisperer”. He is on National Geographic channel weekly Fridays at 9pm EST. (also every day around 2 or 3pm) Record them!
I LOVE the “The Everything Dog Training Trick Book” by Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz. Turn the most mischievous dog into a well-behaved dog who knows a few cool tricks! This is definitely one of my favorites and LOTS of fun training neat tricks to show off your smart puppies to your friends!
I have also found some nice books about puppies on Amazon especially for kids! Here are links to them:
Never leave your puppy outside alone! Even if you have a fenced in area. Tiny puppies can easily slip through the mesh of a fence. Hungry hawks can & do have a small breed puppies for lunch.
Provide a safe, quiet and warm place for your puppy to sleep. This can be a baby playpen or any small area that has been partitioned off so your puppy can’t wander out. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PUPPY IN A SMALL CRATE ALL DAY. Your puppy will need an area for sleeping/playing, to potty and for food and water. You can let them sleep in this area. I like to put the sleeping crate inside the playpen with the door off, with their favorite chewy inside, to get them to like it. Leave down food, water & potty pads/pads for them during the night. A young puppy has a hard time holding it all night long. After about 3 months of age, you can start closing them in a crate at night time if you like. No food/water is necessary in this small crate. Take them to potty right before bedtime and first thing in the morning, possibly once during the night if he awakes and whines. Be aware of bedding! Natural fibres like cotton, linen, and hemp hold a more natural balance of bacteria compared to synthetic fibres, which hold bacteria that can be harmful to the normal skin microbiome.
And there is nothing at all wrong with having your little buddy sleep in bed with you if you like – I don’t care what anyone says! As long as they move over to make room for you!!!
New puppies really love the “Snuggle Puppy” which is a soft cuddly stuffed puppy with a heartbeat & warming pack inside of it. It is so much like cuddling with his/her littermates and it helps them adjust to being away from them!
A Crate/Kennel for You Puppy
Playing With Your Puppy
Remember, your puppy is very tiny and should be treated like you would a human baby you have just brought home from the hospital. A mistake new owners sometimes make is playing with their puppy too much. Too much activity will deplete their blood sugar. You could have a very sick puppy on your hands. Be patient. The first few weeks will go by quickly and their playtime will increase. If it does happen – you will be prepared with MegaCal!
Feeding Your Puppy
I assume you WILL be feeding a HIGH QUALITY puppy food. Read the ingredients. Feed your puppy 4 times a day for the first month, changing to 3 times a day at 4 months old. I use “Earthborn Puppy Vantage” for puppies and “Earthborn Primitive Natural” for adults. I have several other suggestions on my Feeding Your New Puppy Page. Please read it. I also require that you read my page on Toxic Dog Treats.
If you have to leave your puppy home alone all day, have food and water accessible all day while you are gone. Before you leave, feed him a heaping tablespoon of canned and again when you come home. Keep him in a small enough area so he can easily find his food and water. First week, give Mega-Cal Supplement before you leave and when you return home.
I do not crate or cage my dogs, but offer advice and help IF you wish to crate train your puppy. I feel that crating is mostly necessary for safety, in today’s world, for the puppy and dog. We have found alternatives to crating. AS LONG AS YOU CAN KEEP YOUR PUPPY AND DOG SAFE IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO FEEL THAT YOU MUST CRATE. Safety is the number one issue. A lot of individuals crate train and love it. And for some folks it is a necessity. It is up to you to evaluate your situation.
The most important thing, is just to give your new pet a lot of love and attention. It is great cuddling your puppy in your lap while you relax and watch a movie. This can actually be quite comforting and help establish a wonderful bond with that will continue to grow and last forever. And remember to keep in touch, as we enjoy hearing how our babies do and we just love photos!!!
Your Puppy’s First Year
I have included some additional information (also required reading) and advice on these subjects on my “Your Puppy’s First Year” page:
- When/Why to Spay/Neuter Your Puppy
- Heartworm, Intestinal worms, & and Flea protection
- Parasites: Coccidia & Giardia
- Stop Puppy Biting
- House Training your Puppy
- Reverse Sneeze
I use “Revolution” for flea and heartworm prevention. You need to get it from your vet and give every 4 to 6 weeks only during the months that fleas are present. Please do not use the cheap products sold at the stores such as Hartz, Sergeants, Adams, etc. Those are useless, a waste of money, and OFTEN harm your puppy. Front Line Plus/ Pet Action Plus / Pet Armor Plus (these 3 have the same ingredients), Comfortis, Trifexis, NexGuard, & Simparica are all good. It helps to rotate the active ingredients occasionally to prevent the fleas developing a resistance. A few of these also contain Heartworm preventative, but most do not, so be sure you are giving a heartworm preventative also during the mosquito months of the year.