Care Info For Your Puppy
Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Puppy. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.
Puppies make wonderful pets, and it is in the first few months that we can really help their development with positive impact. We are here to support you and your puppy through all the stages of their life.
Our partner vet is also ready and willing to assist you with your canine friend.
AVOCA DRIVE ANIMAL HOSPITAL
02 4365 1086
11 AVOCA DRIVE, ERINA, 2250
The first few days …
During the first few days away from friends and littermates and in its new environment, your puppy may become a little stressed. A puppy will require uninterrupted sleep periods of up to 80% of the day. Insufficient sleep can cause stress. Just like when you're stressed, it is possible for your puppy to be a little unwell.
There are some things you can do to help make this transition period less stressful for your puppy.
If you have other pets, keep them separate during feeding and sleep periods, and give your other pet(s) more attention than usual.
Introduce your older pet(s) slowly to the new pet and let them sort themselves and their own "pack" out. If you intervene too much it can lead to false pack member positions. Obviously we don't want any fighting, but being rough and playing is how they find out how to fit in.
Provide your puppy with a companion soft fluffy toy and a comfy cloth toy to help with separation anxiety.
Use a snug, flea resistant, washable, insulated bed for the puppy.
A heat pad can make them more comfortable for the first few nights and will also help during cold winter nights. Use caution if you use a wheat bag. The core temp of these can become very high. We recommend beads enclosed in a plastic shell. We do not recommend hot water bottles.
A wind up ticking clock can imitate the noise of littermates/mums heart. One placed near the bed can be comforting for your puppy.
In transit …
To get from point A to point B, you may decide to use your car and have your puppy as a passenger. Just like people are not allowed to be a passenger without wearing a seatbelt in Australia, your puppy isn't either. This is for their safety as well as other car occupants. You have two solutions available:
Harness. These will attach to the existing seat belt system and will restrain the puppy around their chest area.
Crate. These are a handy transport option and some can also be used on aircrafts (when used with steel fasteners). There are a variety of sizes.
Consider the adult size of the dog to get an idea of which is going to be the most suitable.
Play time ...
For your puppy to exercise their body and mind, it is important for them to be stimulated. This is true for all stages of their lives. It is remarkable how an ageing dog can spring back to life with some attention and stimulation.
To stimulate their mind and exercise their body … and reduce the risk of a bored puppy playing with your belongings, we recommend a variety of toys and that these toys be rotated with new ones added as the puppy grows.
Plush toys provide comfort, play, companion, and assurance. They are loved by all ages, but strength, material, design, and contents all play a large role in working out which one is suitable for the puppy.
Latex toys are a toy for young puppies to interact with. They are predominantly toys - that usually squeak. Loads of fun and simplistic function. Due to the nature of Latex, they are very durable and don't destruct easily.
Solid Gel toys (elastomers etc) provide a more dense product than latex and they usually last longer than rubber toys. Great for pup's who are teething. These are available in many shapes and sizes and some even come with squeaks and/or flashing LED's inside them to add an extra dimension of stimulation.
Rubber toys are one of the most dense products for more serious chewers however, the rubber does break down over time, so please monitor these. Also, be aware that some rubber is toxic to dogs so ensure it is a reputable pet product from a reputable pet store.
Rope toys are excellent for the puppy to chew on, relieve gum pain during teething, and be entertained with.
Treat Balls, Puzzle Balls, and Self-Rewarding toys will occupy your puppy for extended periods of time as well as reward them with treats as they master the toy. They gain focussed attention and a reward at the same time. Brilliant.
Chewing where they shouldn't be?
Should your puppy insist on chewing the wrong things, use a Bitter Spray or Gel. We recommend to use a sample on the object first to ensure there is no colour effects.
- It is essential to reward good behaviour of your puppy. A selection of treats and biscuits will help during the housebreaking and behavioural training. We stock a range of treats including thin liver, pig ears, bones, yogurt drops, meaty tid bits, jerky, carob, and rawhide. Feel free to discuss how your puppy reacts to these treats so that our staff can help find that special treat your puppy will do anything for. On some treats we also have bulk buy discounts.
- Like everything in life, there are pro's and con's to all treats so it is important to discuss you and your pet needs to get the right advice on what would be suitable.
Feeding time …
A stainless steel or Melamine bowl is great for food as they are hygienic, cannot be chewed and are dishwasher safe.
Ceramic bowls for water are harder to knock over, will keep the water cooler and are easy to clean.
With most of our feeding and water products, you can accessorise and have them looking more than just a bowl. If it is going to be in view for much of the day, you may as well enjoy seeing it too.
Auto feeders and Pet Fountains are another solution that require a check every few days. Be mindful of the kind of food you are putting through an auto feeder though as pet obesity is a increasing problem. Pet Fountains are a sound investment for them.
We only sell Super Premium Foods that are not subjected to any treatments or bulking agents to try and improve them. We evaluate all food based on nutrition and animal benefit - and we will happily ignore the marketing hype. So, if you want to know more about the food you are feeding, or want to feed, ask us! It is an area we are passionate about. Giving the best you can afford will, in most cases, lead to a longer, healthier life.
Please direct your attention for a few minutes and read the Blog on Food for Dogs and Cats to understand a bit more about food [link to blog here].
Toilet training …
Your puppy will need some guidance to assist with their toilet training. We have what is necessary to make this period as swift as possible.
Pee Pads are great for their super absorbency and can be used several times before needing to be discarded. We only stock highly absorbent pads and the vast majority of ours also feature built in pheromone attractants. Our pads will out perform just about any other on the market.
Housebreaking drops can be used to reinforce the correct place a puppy should relieve themselves.
These aids should be used for about 6 - 10 weeks, slowly moving the pads toward the door and eventually outside. Adopt a routine of toileting about 15-20 minutes after eating and drinking and immediately after waking from any sleep. Use high-pitched praise to let your puppy know they have done well and you should also reward with a treat. If your puppy makes a mistake and you catch them in the act - use a low-pitched sound of displeasure to let them know and take them to the Pee Pad or outside. If you do not catch them in the act, there is no point addressing them as they will struggle to link cause and effect. The night toilet training phase works best when the puppy is a little confined rather than allowing the run of the house.
- To help your cleaning efforts, we have available Enzymatic anti-stain, anti-odour, and stain remover. These are great solutions to remove stains and break down odours. If the odour is not removed, the puppy will usually revisit the same spot … And these products also get rid of nasty germs that may linger.
- Do NOT use household cleaners. There is plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence to reinforce that using bleach based products will in most cases encourage the puppy to go in the wrong place. And nearly all house-hold cleaners do NOT remove the scent beyond the amazing sniffing ability of a canine.
Away from home …
Identifying your puppy is essential should it ever get lost.
All canines must be micro-chipped and on top of that: By law, your puppy needs to wear an ID tag if it is in the public domain. We engrave ours on the spot so you can walk in and walk out with a completed, professional tag in next to no time. We have a range of collars to suit all styles and budgets. And when out and about, your puppy should be on a lead or a harness. There are several options available and we will be happy to assist you with your decision. We are also very proud to stock a range of poor-walking behaviour correction devices. Ask our staff for more specific advice.
A home of their own …
Some puppies will end up spending a reasonable amount of time outside the home. Fortunately, many homes still have decent sized yards for a dog. If your puppy or dog is going to be spending a lot of time outside, it is important to provide a safe, dry, cosy, dedicated "home" for them. We recommend an insulated kennel in this instance.
There are plenty of indoor options too with comfy, plush beds and mats. Some are reversible, and most are machine washable.
Looking good …
When it comes to general grooming, the following are essential to make your efforts easy and to make your puppy comfy. Grooming is a great interaction for you and the dog and should not be a chore.
Shampoo and Conditioner. The routine wash should be done using the correct lotions. The pH of dogs skin and coat is not the same as ours, thus the shampoo and conditioner required to give them the healthy coat and comfy skin is dedicated for these animals and there are a variety of lotions to provide the exact treatment for your puppy and all the stages of their lives. Try to wash no more often than at monthly intervals unless there is cause to do so more often, but brush at more regular intervals to promote natural coat oils. Use a high quality shampoo low or void of sulphates and parabens. A good conditioner can decrease shedding and lead to less mats.
A shedding dog must have a De-Shedding Tool - we have a few and these are coat type and size dependent. Double coat breeds are not meant to be clipped into the undercoat. What does this all mean? You can read about it in our blog here.
Never brush a dry coat as it can be damaged. Use a lubricating Brush Spray or Detangler. These are a must for a dog likely to knot up (eg Poodle x's).
There are also Slicker brush's as well as suitable comb's for your puppy's coat type and areas. Regular brushing is great for their health and your relationship.
Rubber mitts etc are designed to allow you to more thoroughly clean and to make the shampoo last longer.
Ear cleaner should be used on some dogs no more than fortnightly. These products help minimise wax and dirt build up, ear mites, and dry the ear canal. Plucking your dogs ear hair is NOT recommended as it can cause a bacteria imbalance leading to an infection. There is a great blog article on this matter - you can read it here.
Tear Stain Remover can be used on lighter coloured dogs as required.
Nail Clippers/Scissors are essential for a clean, pain free nail clip. Do not try and use grooming/home scissors as this can damage the nail and if nail clipping is not done well, it can lead to bleeding.
Grooming Scissors are great for general trimming and tidying.
Electric Clippers give you the tool to be a stylist. Indeed there are many breeds nowadays that require full clipping at regular intervals.
Health and Medication …
Just as you don't like getting sick, neither does your new pet. The following may seem pessimistic, but: reality check, our pets can get parasites, and in some cases, pass them onto us. Prevention is better than cure.
Intestinal Worming. Unfortunately, your puppy, in nearly all cases, has already been exposed to worms. A simple worming dose should be given at regular intervals through all stages of life.
Heart Worming. It is recommended to start heart worm prevention from an early age (i.e. now), because to leave it until after 6 months of age, or if you stopped treatment for a period of time, then it may mean you need to have your dog undergo a vet assessment too.
All-In-One Worming. The reality is that your new pet will most likely be exposed to worms and thus ongoing worming is essential. There are a few good products now available that combine intestinal with heart worming regimes into very easy monthly doses - and due to their convenience, they are often preferred by many customers and staff. Some even control fleas in the one product too!!
Fleas and Ticks. You need to be aware of these parasites. There are many products on the market and they all come with varying degrees of control. It is best to consult with us to find out the latest recommendations. The Central Coast is a HIGH RISK area for Ticks, so please discuss the best form of prevention. Not all work the way you may expect.
Vaccinations. Your puppy needs to be vaccinated and receive puppy boosters as well as annual dog boosters. You should not allow the puppy near unknown dogs or in communal/public areas until at least 10 days after the 2nd puppy vaccination.
De-sexing. You should arrange to have your puppy de-sexed just prior to 6 months of age. For a more thorough idea on desexing, please refer to our Helpful Info page on our website.
On a last note …
We recommend socialising your puppy to give it a balanced upbringing. This means lots of handling by you and others.
Cooling off …
Any reputable place of purchase will give you a cooling off period. Having a puppy is a big deal and they can live for many, years. We encourage you to find places of support - like us and our vet, and we hope we can assist you at all stages of your puppy's development.
The above information is a guide and we encourage you to contact us if you have any further concerns, questions or comments.
We aim at giving specialist advice backed by quality products and courteous service.
We believe that this will give you the best chance at having the kind of pet you want.
We would be grateful if you keep us informed of your new family members progress and we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.
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