How to Care for Your New Puppy!
Puppies are without a doubt some of the most adorable things on the planet. Parenting a new puppy, however, is no walk in the park. Here’s a guide to help you care for the new addition to the family.
When the time comes to finally bring your new puppy home for the first time, you can pretty much count on three things: unbridled joy, cleaning up your puppy’s accidents, and a major lifestyle adjustment. As you’ll soon learn, a growing puppy needs much more than a food bowl and a doghouse to thrive. And while it may be a lot of work initially, it’s well worth the effort! Establishing good and healthy habits in those first few sleep-deprived weeks will lay the foundation for many dog-years of happiness for you and your puppy.
Brush Every 1-3 Days
Pin and slicker brushes are great!
Schedule a Groom (trim or cut) Approx. Every Six Weeks (starting when your puppy is about four months old.)
Since our puppies are all crossed with poodles and have less shedding, their hair will continuously grow, which means they will need haircuts more often than most other dogs!
Find a Good Vet
The first place you and your new puppy should go together is, you guessed it, straight to the vet for a checkup. This visit will not only help ensure that your puppy is healthy and free of serious health issues, birth defects, etc., but it will help you take the first steps toward a good preventive health routine. If you don’t have a vet already, ask friends for recommendations. If you got your dog from a shelter, ask their advice as they may have veterinarians they swear by. Local dog walkers and groomers are also a great source of ideas.
- Make the Most of Your First Vet Visit
- Set up a vaccination plan with your vet.
- Discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal.
*If you are getting an Aussiedoodle puppy, be sure to not give him/her any Ivermectrin (de-wormer), as it can be toxic to the herding breeds
- Learn which signs of illness to watch for during your puppy’s first few months.
- Ask about when you should spay or neuter your dog.
- Shop for Quality Food
Your puppy’s body is growing in critical ways which is why you’ll need to select a food that’s formulated especially for puppies as opposed to adult dogs. We recommend a high-protein (over 27%), small pebble puppy chow with a chicken or meat based protein instead of grain. Small and medium-sized breeds can make the leap to adult dog food between 9 and 12 months of age. Large breed dogs NEED to be on “Large Breed” food (and even mini’s who have a large breed parent or grandparent) and should stick with puppy kibbles until they reach 2-years-old. Make sure your puppy has fresh and abundant water available at all times.
Feed multiple times a day:
- Age 8-12 weeks – 4 meals per day
- Age 3-6 months – 3 meals per day
- Age 6-12 months – 2 meals per day
Establish a Bathroom Routine
According to the experts, your most potent allies in the quest to housetrain your puppy are patience, planning, and plenty of positive reinforcement. In addition, it’s probably not a bad idea to put a carpet-cleaning battle plan in place, because accidents will happen.
Until your puppy has had all of her vaccinations, you’ll want to find a place outdoors that’s inaccessible to other animals. This helps reduce the spread of viruses and disease. Make sure to give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to potty outside and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing her when she has accidents indoors.
Knowing when to take your puppy out is almost as important as giving her praise whenever she does eliminate outdoors. Here’s a list of the most common times to take your puppy out to potty.
- When you wake up.
- Right before bedtime.
- Immediately after your puppy eats or drinks a lot of water.
- When your puppy wakes up from a nap.
- During and after physical activity.
Watch For Early Signs of Illness
For the first few months, puppies are more susceptible to sudden bouts of illnesses that can be serious if not caught in the early stages. If you observe any of the following symptoms in your puppy, it’s time to contact the vet.
- Lack of appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Swollen of painful abdomen
- Lethargy (tiredness)
- Difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or coughing
- Pale gums
- Swollen, red eyes or eye discharge
- Nasal discharge
- Inability to pass urine or stool
Make a habit to Check Their Ears!
Doodles are more prone to ear infections because their gorgeous, floppy/big ears can trap in moisture which encourages yeast to grow. This can be prevented with weekly checking (sniff to see if they smell funny!) Usually if they smell peculiar, this is yeast. This product kills yeast and prevents infections. We highly recommend having this on hand and using it as a cleaner, or whenever things are smelling questionable.
Also, check for the following:
- A bright pink ear canal usually means infection.
- Consistent itching at the ears may mean an ear infection
- Dark, coffee-ground like ear wax may mean your puppy has picked up ear-mites! They’re quite easy to get rid of, but should be taken care of ASAP, since they can cause ear infections and are highly contagious to other dogs and cats. You can find over-the counter medication for this almost anywhere there are pet-supplies, but we have found this product to be the most gentle and effective. Make sure if one dog has it, that you treat all dogs & cats in the home. This also works great as a preventative, if you’re puppy will be at dog-parks, or at play dates. We treat each new puppy that we get, since the ear mites are not visual to the human-eye.
By teaching your puppy good manners, you’ll set your puppy up for a life of positive social interaction. In addition, obedience training will help forge a stronger bond between you and your puppy.
Teaching your pup to obey commands such as sit, stay, down, and come will not only impress your friends, but these commands will help keep your dog safe and under control in any potentially hazardous situations. Many puppy owners find that obedience classes are a great way to train both owner and dog. Classes typically begin accepting puppies at age 4 to 6 months.
Tip: Keep it positive. Positive reinforcement, such as small treats, has been proven to be vastly more effective than punishment.
Just like obedience training, proper socialization during puppyhood helps avoid behavioral problems down the road. Our puppies here at Houskerville Doodles are raised in our home, where they are socialized on a daily basis until they are ready to go to their new forever homes.