Puppy Care

You are welcoming a bright new addition to your family, a Fur Fettish Farm puppy.

Your puppy comes with its first set of shots and a health examination given by our veterinarian.  Please consult your veterinarian for his advise on a vaccination program.  We recommend that the puppy be given at least two more sets of boosters and a rabies vaccine.  A Bordetella vaccination should be given if you are going to be boarding your dog in a kennel.

Your puppy has been started on Purina Puppy Chow.  It is being fed as dry kernels and should have canned food added in the mornings for the first week to assure he/she is eating, the rest of the day dry food will be sufficient.  Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.  There are two choices for feeding schedules.  First, and this is my personal recommendation, is free feeding, which is making the food available all day, a puppy will not over eat and you can follow this as long as this continues.  The way I look at it is …you don’t know how hungry the puppy is or when it is going through a growing spurt.  You know that some days you wake up and aren’t hungry, other days you can eat bacon, eggs and all the trimmings, the pup is the same and by rationing the food you are creating a chewer because he/she is hungry, and a gobbler because he/she is afraid it isn’t going to get any more.  The second method  is to give regular meals.  At this time the puppy will require three meals a day, early A.M., mid-afternoon and in the evening.  Give the puppy about 20 minutes to eat as much as they want and then take the food away.  Make sure to increase the amount of food as the puppy gets bigger, there are feeding instructions on all brands of puppy and dog food.  After 4 months of age you can cut down to twice a day feedings.  I recommend keeping your puppy on a puppy formula for the first full year of its life as puppy formula is higher in the calcium it needs to form strong teeth and bones, after a year you can switch to adult dog food, but do not switch suddenly, mix the puppy food and dog food formulas half and half for a week for his/her system to get used to the new food, this will help prevent upset stomach or diarrhea.    Your puppy will come with a 2 kg. bag of the dry food it is on and a can for morning feeding (canned is for a short time to be assured your puppy is eating)…the first signs of a sick puppy is when it quits eating and drinking….puppies do not die from viruses such as Parvo…they die from dehydration.

House training and a crate (small kennel) go hand in hand, I do not recommend crate training in a wire crate, once they are trained you can move them into a wire crate, but when they are small they feel much more secure in a plastic crate.  Your puppy should learn to sleep in its crate at night and for naps during the day.  Some people think using a crate is cruel but it is not, dogs, like wolves and coyotes are den animals and feel safe inside a box or den.  The puppy may cry for the first few nights, but be patient and plug your ears, if you go to him/her other than letting him/her outside to pee and poop, you are loosing the battle.  I have found the best way is to cover the crate so they feel more secure.  The first few nights may be tough, but be patient, it will get better, honestly.   The first few nights the pup will need to go outside in the night as they can not hold their pee and poop all night at this age…think of it as training a small child not to pee the bed at night, you need to get them up in the night to pee until their bladder is under control.

Puppies do not want to mess in their bed, so if you start with a large crate it is best to block off part of it so it can’t mess in one end and sleep in the other.  When you put the puppy outside to go to the bathroom, you MUST go outside with it.  The first reason is to praise the puppy when it goes to the bathroom and the second is the puppy may be frightened when outside alone.  It is a good idea to carry it to the spot where you have picked for the bathroom area at the start and don’t pick up the poop right away so he can sniff it the next time and get into the habit of going to that spot.  After puppy has done its business and received lots of praise, go back in and play with him/her for a few minutes (another trip outside in half and hour would be a good idea).   When housebreaking a puppy, remember, they need to go as soon as they wake up from a nights sleep or a nap and during the day, take them out frequently.   You will soon learn the signals that the puppy needs to go.  Some signals are sniffing for just the right place, getting ready to squat, sniffing in a circle.  When the puppy gets tired, place it in its crate and start the whole process over again.  Whenever you place the puppy in the crate say “Kennel Up”, and this will teach the puppy to go to the crate when you use this command.  The crate should not be associated with punishment.  If you do that the puppy will not want to go to the crate, that should be its safe place.

DO NOT PLAY TUG OF WAR, this is the worst game ever played with a puppy.  It teaches him/her to struggle against you and that there must be a winner.  Teach your puppy to let go of the rope or ball on command by saying RELEASE.  If the puppy takes the rope of ball and runs away, do not chase after him/her.  That will only teach them they can outrun you, it becomes a game and teaching the puppy to COME becomes impossible.  Play these games in the house or a fenced yard, sit and wait patiently, the puppy will come back to you and then you can pet and praise him/her.

I recommend that after 8 weeks you have the puppy wear a collar, when you take him/her outside put a 4 to 6 foot leash on it and then you can step on the leash if you need to catch the puppy, by using this method you will teach the puppy respect and to come when it is called.  This does not work when they get older as they quickly figure out when the leash is on, it is best to use this method at a young age.  Be sure the leash is off when the puppy is crated or unsupervised.

DO NOT EVER give your puppy or dog Rawhide chews, they are very dangerous as a small piece chewed off and swallowed will swell up in the stomach or intestines and the pup or dog will get a blockage that will need to be surgically removed, a very expensive procedure…if it isn’t discovered in time the bowel can be deprived of blood and you can loose your puppy or dog…pigs ears and denta bones , green chews and Kongs are all acceptable for chewing, putting a little peanut butter inside the Kong will help keep the pup interested in it longer.  Put a piece of a Rawhide chew in a glass of warm water overnight and watch the results…and beware of the danger.  Please check this link for more info about foods that are dangerous to, and should never be given to dogs.

It has also come to my attention that Swiffer cleaners are poisonous to dogs (so don’t ask what they do to humans), they absorb the cleaner off the floor through the pads of their feet, they can get very ill or even die…so DO NOT use a Swiffer on any floors your puppy will be walking or laying on.

DO NOT take your puppy into a pet store, no matter what they tell you, I would like to stop that practice as this is how Parvo  virus is spread, also Kennel cough and other viruses.  It is a good idea to keep you puppy in his own home environment until he/she has had a few sets of inoculations to protect it.  I hope you enjoy your new found friend and family member and have many years of enjoyment from him/her.  Please do not feel like you are bothering me if you have any questions, my goal is to put a happy healthy puppy with a happy owner, anything I can do to help make that happen, I will.

Margaret-Ann Irving
Fur Fettish Farm
Box 10
Springside, Sask S0A 3V0
1 (306) 792-2113

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