Congratulations on your new puppy!
They're cute, adorable and make wonderful editions to any household. They can be a lot of work but are immediate friends for life
Preparing for your New Puppy
Owning a puppy is an extremely rewarding and exciting time in ones life. To ensure the puppies transition goes smoothly into their new home certain steps should be taken. It is important to establish where the puppy is going to sleep and set the boundaries from day one. Everyone in the family will need to stick together and follow the routine. Puppies learn extremely quickly in the first few weeks of bringing them home, so it is important that bad behaviors are not learnt.
When you pick up your puppy for the first time it is most likely between the ages 7- 16 weeks and they may not have completed all stages of vaccines. If they are not fully vaccinated care must be taken when socialising them. Keep them away from un-vaccinated animals, smells and outside areas until they are fully vaccinated. The purpose of vaccinating your animal is to stimulate the body’s immune system. Dogs will need annual boosters to ensure these antibodies are evident in their system. It is important not to walk your puppy or take them to the dog park until they are fully vaccinated. They are susceptible from picking up diseases if left unprotected.
It is important to feed your new pup their current diet for the first two weeks, slowly integrating the pup onto a premium dry food. Wet food should only be used as an appetite stimulative, fed to encourage dry food consumption. Dry food is better for the young puppies teeth and will keep them fuller longer. Puppies have a small stomachs and benefit from eating small regular meals a day, these meals range from 3-4 times a day. Once your puppy reaches 12 weeks 2-3 times a day is acceptable, and by 6 months 2 a day is sufficient, continue until maturity. Depending on the breed of puppy, they should be fed a good quality dry food for the first 12 months.
Your puppy should be treated for intestinal worming every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every four weeks until 6 months of age. After six months, worming should continue every 3 months for life. The most common intestinal worms include roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm and whipworm. It is also important to note that all types of intestinal worms are transferable to humans, so diligence is needed especially if you have young children.
Fleas are small wingless insects that live permanently on the skin feeding on the blood of their host. Most Dogs do not itch due to fleas alone. Once bitten many Puppies become allegeric to the saliva produced by the fleas. This reaction causes the puppy to scratch continuously. It may cause a skin allergy in dogs, which is called Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). The main symptom of FAD is severe scratching, scabs, hair loss, and skin ulceration affecting the tail, rump, thighs and perianal area. The severity of FAD is not always determined by the number of fleas attached to the host, only a few bites are enough to trigger this allergy. There are many flea treatments that can be applied topically to any puppy or dog. These treatments should be administrated monthly.
Heart worm is a parasite that lives in the heart and lungs of the dog and is spread by mosquitos. This disease is usually fatal without treatment and can be present in all states. It is better to prevent your puppy against heart worm, rather than treat it once contracted. Heartworm should be treated from 12 weeks, and can be administrated through injection, tablet, chewable or spot on treatments.
A microchip is a permanent identification chip implanted under the skin, it contains a number which is unique to them. These number contains information such as the address at which the animal resides. It is important to continuously update these details, it is essential to inform the microchip registry of you move or your contact numbers change. Pet micro chipping is mandatory in most Australian states, so check with your local council if this is a requirement in your local area. Puppies can be micro chipped at any age, the earlier the better.
Due to various health reasons and behavior problems it is highly recommended your puppy is de-sexed at 5-months of age. This will not change the personalty of your puppy
The reward can be in the form of praise (a pat on the chest or saying 'good' dog in a pleasant tone of voice), offering a food treat or giving the dog their favorite chew toy. We recommend using a lead to direct the puppy out to a certain area in the backyard, as their smell will be evident. Often it is recommended to use a word to associate going to the toilet as this will help link the word with the action. Praise should follow immediately after the puppy has toileted in the correct area, the puppy will soon realise that this action makes you happy. If a mistake is made indoors is it not advisable to discipline them as the puppy will not understand. The puppy may hide from you the next time they need to go to the toilet, resulting in messes in unwanted places. During the nights we recommend using wee pads as these are scented and absorbent. The new puppy will recognise this smell and use the pad, ensuring your cleaning is kept to a minimum.
Training Your Puppy
Professional Puppy training classes can be attended from nine weeks of age, (this is usually from their second vaccination). Puppy preschool is important for their development and learning process as it allows them to interact with different sizes dogs, as well as different people. It will teach the fundamentals for basic training and teach new owners responsible care.
In home training should begin as soon as possible and is vital for a happy and healthy relationship between you and your pet. Dogs are pack members and are used to social hierarchy, so once the rules are set it is important to stick to them. Always praise your puppy for good behavior and correct undesirable Behaviour with a firm "no". Rewarding with treats is a great way to train your puppy when they do the right thing.