In this section I will endeavour to try to answer many the common question that go along with owning a new pet, so here we go.
Puppies will need to go to the toilet frequently, if you choose to train your inside dog to go outside, then you must take the puppy to the same spot all the time. Always take them the first thing in the morning, after they eat, last thing at night and whenever they get excited or nervous. After a short period of time you will recognize your puppies signs of when they needs to go. They may become agitated, sniff around the floor and generally become uneasy. This is the same if you are trying to train the puppy to use a tray or piddle pad. Always take your puppy to the tray or pad first thing in the morning, after they have eat and in the evening and if they get excited or nervous. Your puppy will have accidents, try to show patience as they are only babies and learning. When he has an accident pick the puppy up and put him outside and clean up the mess very well, as the smell will attract him back to that area again. When he starts to get it right praise him. The most important thing to remember is diligence, the more often you take your puppy the area you want him to use the quicker he will learn.
We recommend you buy "Supacoat Puppy" this is recommend by Dr Harry. This is available at most pet barns, supermarkets. A change of food will almost always result in diarrhoea. We recommend 1/3rd of a cup 3 times per day but increase as he grows. At 6 months of age you can cut it back to 2 feeds a day and then from about 1yr just 1 meal a day. Always have water available to him. If you wish to give him meat, we suggest you only give him a small amounts of a pet mince, because if you give him to much, to fast you will upset his tummy. Try using meat or meat product as a training treat. We never recommend tin food, they are full of all kinds of things, (yuk) this will give your puppy really bad smelly gas and diarrhoea. To help your puppies teeth get some large uncooked bones from your butcher. Don't introduce him to different types of food too fast, as you will regret it when you have to clean up the mess.
Chewing, Biting & Nipping
It is a natural behavior for your puppy to want to chew things. Chew toys, teethers and raw hide chews make an excellent substitute for shoes, chair legs or any other item that your puppy might take a fancy too. With a firm NO take the inappropriate item off your dog and replace it with one of the substitutes. Biting or Nipping usually starts as a form of play, again with a firm NO cease the play and give your puppy one of his own toys. Remember a playful nip on your hand from your puppy now will not be so gentle when he is fully grown. You must discourage this type of play now.
The most common reason for this problem is that the puppy/dog is bored or lonely. Puppies will not become bored or lonely if they have regular training sessions and get to play with family members. Do not tolerate excessive barking in the belief that he is only guarding your house - dogs are not mature enough to do this until there are approximately 12 months old. The other solutions to stop barking is if room permits to get your dog a play mate, dogs are happier in pairs.
Your puppy will have enough exercise in the beginning just with his general playful energetic nature. However as he grows, start to take him for short walks when you can, and runs in the parks when he gets bigger.
All dogs should be vaccinated this protects them against a number of harmful and potentially deadly diseases. These include Canine Distemper, Viral Hepatitis and Canine Parvovirus (Parvo). Parvo and Distemper effect the gastro intestinal tract and account for the death of many young dogs and puppies. Your family pet is easily protected against these with a series of injection called vaccinations. With the implementation of these vaccination it will minimize the risk of the these diseases greatly. By the time we give you your puppy, he or she will have already started there course of vaccinations. He will have had his first injection. You will be given a vet card which states when he is due for his second needle at around 12 weeks of age. After this he will need a annual booster vaccination to keep his resistance up. We recommend that you try not to have your puppy in public grounds/parks etc, until a week after his second needle, so that he is adequately protected against these diseases.
These can be internal or external: Common parasites such as Worms, Fleas, Mites & Ticks, can cause stress to both the dog and owner. All of these can be easily treated with various products that can be found at your vet , pet shop or supermarket.
Worms can cause a great threat to your dogs health if left untreated, when you pickup your puppy he will have already have been wormed at the age of 2, 4, 6, & 8 wks. There are 5 common worms in Australia - Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, Heartworm and Tapeworm (including the Hydatid). The 4 gut worms are easily treated with an "All Wormer Tablet" ( Round, Hook, Whip & Tape ) Your puppy will need to be wormed at 12 wks and then once every month until his is 6 months old and then ongoing every 3 months. Always give the your dog the recommended dose on the packaging. The 5th worm is Heartworm, it is transmitted by the mosquito. Those of you who live in a humid areas your pet will be more exposed to this worm. The adult parasite of this worm lodges itself in the dog heart and slowly causes congestive heart failure and death. If you live in this type of area you should consult your vet when your puppy visits, as the prevention treatment needs to starts before the puppy reaches 5 months of age. Your vet will advise you on your options either tablets or a needle.
Always pay attention to you dog, if you see that he is scratching all the time, please check him. Fleas are small insects that live on your pets blood by biting, this is what causes the irritation. Most people wash there dog regularly and most pet shampoos contain some type of insecticide which kills fleas. However if your dog has a really bad case there are some products specifically for fleas. A couple are " Frontline Plus " & "Revolution" ( always use as directed). However 99 percent of the fleas do not live on your pet, they will live in his bedding. So always wash and or change your dogs bedding when ever you treat him for fleas, or otherwise he will just become reinfested when he uses his bed again.
Ticks are less common than fleas but can be more harmful to your pets health. Ticks are found all along the Easter Coast of Australia but mainly in Coastal Queensland and NSW. The paralysis tick lives on the blood of your pet and remains for a length of time while they feed. While feeding they release a toxin into your pets blood stream, this toxin can cause eventual paralysis or even death. If you live in the area where ticks are common always check your pet regularly. Most insecticides contain agents that will kill both ticks and fleas, make sure you read the label and follow the instructions, make sure it does cover both.
There are 2 main types of mites that can affect dogs, Demodectic & Scarcoptic. Both of these mites live in the hair follicle of your pets, the most common disease caused by these mites is Mange. You may noticed your dog is constantly itchy and may also start to loose fur/hair from around the eyes & muzzle. There are various washes that are recommend to use to treat mites, diagnosis of which type mite it is must be done first to achieve the most beneficial treatment. In server case you may need a course of anti-biotics.
Female (Spaying ) If you own a female puppy then she may come into heat / season from about 6 months of age and then approximately every 6 months or 2 times a year. You do not have to wait until she has had her first season to have her desexed. Her season lasts about 21days, however she is only receptive to the male dog for approx 10 days. To avoid this inconvenience you should have your female dog desexed at approx 6mths .
Male (Neutering) For those of you who own a male puppy then he can be desexed at around 6 months of age. We suggest that you talk to your vet about both procedures.
Training your puppy / Puppy Preschool (optional)
Like children, puppies learn very fast at an early age. Teaching them during this early stage results in a well behaved and socially integrated adult pet. Training and socialising of your puppy should start from time you get them, although pups up to 16 weeks of age are able to participate in puppy pre school.
"Contact your vet, he should be able to recommend your nearest Puppy Preschool"
Puppies will investigate just about everything with there month, and are prone to ingesting bad bacteria which can upset there tummies and cause Diarrhoea. Other causes of Diarrhoea are stress and change if diet, accompanying diarrhoea may be vomiting this is a sign of dehydration.If you notice that your puppies stools are becoming soft or runny, you should first can change their food to boiled rice with cooked chicken in small amounts to see if this helps during the first 24 hrs.
Should your puppies Diarrhoea last for more then 24hrs, it can become very serious and you should contact your vet. He will give your puppy the appropriate treatments to fix the problem.
Well, hope we've helped, I could go on and on but if you have any other questions that I have might not have covered , you can always do some research over the internet, it is a fantastic tool to have access to. Also you might like to buy a book or go to the library.
"Good luck and best wishes, may you and your family have a long and happy life with your new family member"
Donna and Steven