The excitement of choosing your dog is over. You are arriving home and the family is rushing out of the car and into the house with the new puppy. As you look at the cute little face you ask yourself one question. Am I ready for this?
What to Feed This New Puppy.
First things first. You will have to decide on what this little puppy is going to eat. You need to choose a high quality diet. You need to do a little reasearch and make some decisions. Your first decision is what type of dog food you will choose.
1. Canned Dog Food
2. Dried Dog Food
Some people choose canned dog food because they feel it is more like real food. It retains about 70-80% of the water that is naturally in the vegetables and meat. This usually means that the puppy will drink less water. Be sure to supplement with some hard dog biscuits that are suitable for puppies which will help to keep their teeth clean.
Currently the most popular choice seems to be the dried dog food. Always choose the best quality food you can afford. You have to remember that if you were only going to eat one thing all your life it had better be good for you. Dried dog food is now a scientific blend of all the nutrients your dog will need but the better ones have less filler and the puppies need a lot of protein to grow.
For the first few days you might want to give the new puppy that same food that they were receiving at the kennel you bought them from. After that you can slowly start mixing in your new choice, using more each time until you have 100% of the new food. You may as well start with some dog training basics now by not leaving the food on the floor all day. Only put the food out when you decide and take it away after they have eaten. Do it often as they have to learn that food is only available when you decide.
Sleep Time Comes Fast.
Hopefully you have thought ahead enough to buy a crate. Get your puppy started sleeping in the crate from the first night and it will eventually treat it as a safe place to stay. Make sure that the bottom has a soft blanket for the puppy to curl up in. Unfortunately if you think that's the end of it for the night, you are wrong. As you try to sleep you will be constantly woken by the sad little cries of a puppy missing its mother and siblings. They are used to lots of warmth and noise so it might be a good idea to add a hot water bottle under the blanket and to leave a radio or TV on for a while. Some people even leave a loud ticking clock near the cage to simulate the heart beat of the mother.
Who Is Entertaining Whom?
You will soon realize that your puppy is not just entertaining but also needs to be entertained. You should have a selection of safe toys for them to play with such as:-
- Chew Ropes,
- Balls and Bones of Nylon
- Soft Toys
Make sure to be careful of the squeaky toys as the puppy could chew the toy and swallow the squeaker. This has often ended in surgery and even if it doesn't the squeaking will drive you insane as they catch on pretty quickly on how to bite in exactly the right spot. Only let them play with rubber balls if you are supervising as swallowed rubber can upset their stomachs.
Start With Dog Training Basics
A crate is useful training tool both for house training and puppy behavior in general. Treat it as you would a childs bedroom. It is a safe comfortable place to sleep but occasionally they will be sent there when naughty.
You should begin your dog training basics by putting your puppy in its crate any time you need to leave them unsupervised in the house, or at night. This gets them used to it and they will often go there on their own when they want to get away from people. They will cry at first but do not let them out right away. If you do they will quickly learn that all they have to do is whine and you will let them out.
There will come a time when you need to discipline your puppy. You should never hit your puppy or raise your voice. You can use the crate as a time-out place. This is useful if your puppy is play biting too much or if you have caught them chewing the furniture. Make sure that the punishment instantly follows the bad behavior or they will not know what they are in there for. Put them in quickly with a firm, No, and leave them in there for a few minutes. If you have to repeat it then increase the minutes until you get the action to stop. This one tool will give you some control and get you started on the dog training basics you will need.