What to Know When Buying a Puppy

There are certain things you need to know when preparing to buy a puppy. This includes the fact that there are certain items you will need to purchase prior to bringing your new puppy home or shortly after bringing your puppy home.  These items are necessary to make the puppy's transition to their new home as smooth as possible, providing the best possible environment for your puppy to live in.  These items include puppy food, treats for training (I use puppy food), food and water bowls, crate, bedding (at least 2 sets), puppy housetraining pads, dog gate, harness and leash, at least 5 to 6 safe chew toys, puppy shampoo, dog nail trimmer, soft-bristle brush and sturdy metal comb, soft cloth or tooth brush and dog dental toothpaste.

Choosing the Right Puppy Food

Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. I feed Nutri Source small breed, chicken and rice puppy food. If you choose another puppy food, you should change your puppy’s food gradually by mixing the bag of food that I provide you with the brand of your choice. Do not attempt to change your puppy’s diet during the first few days of transition in his/her new home. Choosing a small bite dry kibble will be more beneficial for your puppy’s teeth. You may mix a small amount of plain cottage cheese or plain yogurt with your puppy’s food if your puppy refuses to eat. Puppies should be fed three times a day and leave the food available for 10 to 15 minutes. Always feed your puppy at the same time every day. If he eats at regular intervals, he will relieve himself at regular intervals also. Always have fresh water available for your puppy.

Watching for Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

As the owner of a new puppy, there are certain medical conditions and issues that you must be aware of to properly care for your puppy.  Hypoglycemia is one of these conditions, and it can be serious if not properly treated.  Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common occurrence in small breed puppies. Low blood sugar is a condition in which the level of blood sugar drastically drops. Symptoms include: stupor, disorientation, reduced level of consciousness, weakness, anxiety, severe depression, or in extreme cases seizures. The puppy may go into a state of shock and, if not cared for properly and quickly, may die. A trick to combat hypoglycemia is to place honey or Karo syrup on the puppy’s gums or tongue, and if he does not respond within a few minutes, take to a veterinarian immediately! A puppy going to a new home may not always eat adequate amounts of food to compensate for his level of energy simply because he is afraid of his new environment. Your puppy must get adequate rest to prevent stress induced hypoglycemia. A tip is to limit play time to 30 minutes for every four hours of rest when you first bring your puppy home. Activity may be increased with the puppy's maturity and growth. Another tip is to provide your puppy with a small area for nap time such as a crate or box to prevent stress from too much activity. If you are concerned, do not wait to call your veterinarian!

Watching for a Collapsed Trachea

Another medical condition that you must be aware of to properly care for your puppy is a collapsed trachea.  Puppies get a collapsed trachea when the tracheal tube becomes compressed and breathing becomes harder to do. A collapsed trachea can be a common problem if you are using an inappropriate leash, as this condition occurs because of trauma to the trachea, or throat, of the dog. Symptoms of a collapsed trachea are heavy panting or rapid breathing. A course cough or wheezing may develop. These are also signs of an upper respiratory infection, so always check with a vet to properly diagnose your dog. There are several factors that aggravate a collapsed trachea. Obesity, cigarette smoke, respiratory infections and an enlarged heart can all be very detrimental to an already collapsed trachea. A collapsed trachea that goes untreated will most likely end up getting worse, so take your dog to the vet when you start seeing these symptoms in your dog. A way you can help prevent this disorder is by using a small dog harness when walking your dog. A harness places the pressure on the much sturdier chest bone and away from the more fragile trachea. When you use a small dog collar to walk your dog, there are times when you are required to give the leash a yank to pull your dog away from harm. Even though you mean well, this does not help the trachea at all. Using a small harness will remedy this problem and help avoid a collapsed trachea from any sort of induced trauma that you might get from a dog collar.

Tips for Potty Training Your Puppy

Doing an effective job of potty training your puppy from the beginning will save you many headaches and help you and your family to better enjoy your new pet. Every puppy moves at his or her own pace when learning proper bathroom habits. Some figure out housebreaking in one day, others take months. There are several tricks you can utilize when potty training your puppy.  Take your puppy outside within 10 minutes after eating, playing, napping , and before being put to bed (about every 2 hours). Keeping this rigid schedule will prevent him from making mistakes in the house. A puppy's behavior will let you know that he needs to go outside. If he whines, paces, or runs in a circle, take him outside on a leash to the 'special' place where he is supposed to do his business. Give your puppy a command like 'potty time' or 'go to the bathroom' at the moment your pup is correctly doing his business outside. Mistakes happen. If you catch your puppy eliminating in the house, correct him with a firm, gentle 'no'. Take him for a walk and praise him lavishly when he does his business outside. The trick is to reward a job well done with a small piece of puppy food. Your puppy will learn quickly that his reward comes only when the job is finished. Puppies are small and when they go, they will go fast. You must keep an eye on them at all times to avoid accidents.

Tips for Grooming Your Puppy

By becoming familiar with your puppy's physical condition through regular brushing, combing, and eye, ear, and dental care, you will be able to determine if your puppy is in good health. Establish a weekly routine so the puppy comes to expect grooming at a certain time, preferably before he has eaten and after he has relieved himself. Regularity is necessary to make him comfortable with the process. Proper brushing and combing loosens and removes dirt, dead hair, skin cells, and distributes the skin's natural oil through the coat and prevents tangles. Brushing several times a week keeps the average dog neat and clean, although daily attention is ideal. A dog's nails should be trimmed so that they just clear the floor. If you hear them clicking, they're probably too long. Eyes should be cleaned when there is a noticeable discharge or when the dog is being bathed. Ears should be cleaned at least once a month, more often if your dog is prone to ear problems. Make an effort to keep ears dry and clean, or your dog may face recurrent ear infections that are difficult to treat. Teach your puppy to open his mouth so you can look at and brush his teeth, and praise him when he complies. Dental care is an aspect of grooming that many people ignore, but it can pay off in fresh breath and better health.

You can find more information on these topics on the internet.

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