Sign up for training – this will benefit your puppy and you at the same time. You and your dog will learn everything from expectations and behaviors on a walk to the basic commands of sit, stay and more. We can make recommendations for local trainers.
Socializing with other people and fellow canines is a very important and helps your pup learn how to behave in different situations. Besides training classes, try taking your dog to a friends house or busy dog friendly places and make sure that these are good experiences for the dog.
In addition to I.D. tags, we recommend that you microchip your dog as a permanent way to identify him. Collars and tags can come off and get lost. Microchips are the best way to help get your pet home safely.
If you are going to be away from your puppy for long periods during the day, a crate is a great option. A crate will not only keep your puppy safe and out of trouble, the smaller space is comforting and provides a sense of security.
Most dogs which have been introduced to the kennel crate while still young grow up to prefer their crate to rest in or “hang-out” in. Training your puppy to be comfortable in a crate will take time, therefore a crate should NEVER be used for the purpose of punishment.
It is important not to go to the puppy whenever he is whimpering. Dogs are intelligent animals and will quickly learn that when they whimper, you come running. Remember, some puppies will adapt to a crate faster than others. Be patient with your puppy and make the kennel experience pleasant. With time, they will enjoy the shelter a crate provides.
Puppies love to explore and love to put things in their mouths. Remove any items that could be poisonous to your puppy. Household cleaners, pesticides, automotive fluids and fertilizers should be kept up high and out of your puppy’s reach. Many common plants can be harmful to canines including daffodils, geraniums, tomato plants and tiger lillies.
It is important to take the point of view of your puppy. Look for items that could be easily reached such as electric cords, items that could pose a choking hazard (buttons, children’s toys, plastic bags), and any type of string or ribbon (this includes cords on household blinds) that could cause strangulation.
Potty training takes time and patience. Accidents will happen as your puppy learns what is expected of him. Take him out at the same times each day, such as after eating, after naps or before bedtime. Praise and positive reinforcement go a long way towards making this process a success.
Dogs need activities. Exercise is a great way to help your pup release all of that energy. A tired dog is a good dog! Don’t forget to engage their intelligence as well. Use food puzzle toys, training and social activities such as agility groups to help keep them mentally stimulated.
Congratulations on your new puppy! If this is your first furry family member, learning what to do to care for them might seem a little overwhelming, and we understand that. We’re here to help so that you can enjoy these first few months of getting to know your new pet.
Providing regular veterinary care is the best way to ensure your puppy’s well-being and a long & happy lifetime of good health. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure– and in the case of medical care, preventing a disease is much cheaper than treating a pet that has a preventable disease.
Puppies are at risk for many different diseases, but they can be prevented. There is a series of vaccines to be given between 8 weeks and 16-20 weeks of age. The first shot your puppy will get, DA2PP, provides protection against most common contagious illnesses. The rabies vaccine is given to pups at 4 months of age and repeated the following year. After the second year the rabies vaccine is given every 3 years. If you are going to board your puppy (or dog), your vet will give a Bordetella vaccine. This is given as a spray in the nose and protects the dog from kennel cough, which is exactly what it says…a cough, and is highly contagious.
Your puppy will need a fecal exam to screen for parasites. Worms are present in a majority of newborn puppies, even when their symptoms are missing. If not removed, they will rob your puppy of much needed nutrients and cause numerous health problems, even death. If that’s not enough, here is an additional reason why dog worms are so dangerous: they can be transmitted to humans and present danger to every single member of your family, especially children. Worms can make your pup very sick but they can easily be treated with medication.
Heartworms are another type of worms and can cause death. All dogs should be tested for deadly heartworm disease. This blood test is done at 7 months of age and then yearly. All dogs should receive an oral monthly preventative such as Heartgard +, Sentinel or Trifexis or a topical such as Revolution during their lifetime..
Fleas are a health risk to both puppies and people. Fortunately, fleas CAN be controlled. Flea products should be used year-round. We use and recommend oral products Sentinel, Comfortis and Trifexis; as well as topical products such as Frontline+ and Revolution. Some of these products kill adult fleas, others stop fleas from reproducing, talk to your veterinarian about which would be best for your pet.
All dogs should be spayed or neutered. This helps prevent pet overpopulation, and will enhance your pet’s health and quality of life. Spaying or neutering is a simple surgical procedure. This common operation has many benefits, including a reduced risk of certain cancers (such as mammary or testicular cancers), better overall health and improved temperament. Please have your puppy spayed or neutered when between 5 to 6 months of age.
A healthy diet is very important for all pets, but it is especially important that youngsters start out with proper nutrition to establish healthy eating habits. We recommend homemade or other natural diets such as Just Food for Dogs or a premium quality commercially made food such as Innova, Fromms or Nature’s Variety. Confused about all of the food choices out there? Ask your veterinarian. He will advise you on diet and any needed supplements that may help your dog.