This page is a great place to start if you have a puppy! The guidelines below include many very important things you should be doing with your puppy every day in order to avoid problems down the road when your puppy grows into an adult dog. For example, many puppy owners feed their puppy only twice a day or do not allow their puppy to sleep in the same room as them. These are two of the biggest mistakes puppy owners make that can dramatically impact the overall health, behavior, and well-being of your puppy. I also have puppy videos on jumping, nipping/chewing, and the basics of walking with the prong collar with previews and available for purchase here:
NEVER let a young puppy out of your sight. In two seconds they can chew through electrical wires and get electrocuted.
DO NOT WEAR SHOES YOU WEAR OUTSIDE INTO YOUR HOUSE! This is how most puppies get Parvo.
Limit where your puppy can go. Start with a small area and gradually expand one room at a time over the first six months.
Ease your puppy into everything gradually. Go slowly and back off if she appears fearful, nervous, anxious, or uneasy.
Do NOT try to console a fearful, anxious, or nervous dog. It will simply reinforce the insecurity.
NEVER call your puppy to come to you if anything she might perceive as negative will follow such as discipline, vet trip, medicine, leave dog park, leave the back yard, a bath, etc. It takes one time and she figures out she would have been a lot better off if she hadn’t come to you. EVERY time you call her to you and she comes you’re throwing a party!
As soon as she has her final vaccinations, start going to day care or the dog park. Be VERY careful! See my guidelines.
Do not run or ride a bike with your puppy before one year of age. Her joints are still developing and can be damaged.
Your puppy should sleep in the same room as you for at least the first few weeks/months in order to bond with you.
The Parvo Virus
Do NOT take your puppy in public areas on grass or dirt until she has her third and final Parvo vaccination.
DO NOT WEAR SHOES YOU WEAR OUTSIDE INTO YOUR HOUSE! This is how most puppies get Parvo. Puppies can catch Parvo even if you don’t take them outside.
The Parvo virus can live on grass or dirt for seven years! So if you haven’t lived in your house that long and someone had a stray with Parvo in the backyard five years ago, it’s possible (although not likely) that the virus is still there.
You can and should walk your puppy on concrete or asphalt as long as you stay away from grass, dirt, and feces.
Some vets give a fourth shot! Most puppies get Parvo vaccinations at 8, 12, and 16 weeks.
The chances of your dog catching Parvo may be slim, but if she does get it she’ll probably die. It’s not worth the risk!
It’s only eight weeks, but it will be the hardest eight weeks of your entire life as a dog owner!
Very young puppies often require that you get up every two hours during the night
to go out.
Give your puppy pig ears, bully sticks, and cow hooves! I recommend one pig ear or bully stick a day and she should always have a cow hoof available to chew. Be careful when they get small — they could become a choking hazard.
Rubber toys (like Kong toys) that you can fill with peanut butter (and even freeze) or rubber balls are good too.
No Rawhide! No Nylabones! No Deer Antlers! Rawhide is indigestible! Deer antlers can fracture teeth.
Don’t leave out fabric toys, ropes, or tennis balls. Some dogs eat them and they are bad for your dog.
ALWAYS walk away with the toy at the end of the play period if you are playing with her with a toy.
Choose an extremely high quality food. You can use this website to guide you.
Dog’s bodies are not designed to eat dry food! They’re designed to eat raw meat! Kibble (dry food) is the worst option.
Your puppy doesn’t get the variety in her diet that you get. She has to get all of her nutrition eating the same food every meal.
Because her body isn’t designed to eat kibble, it’s very difficult for her to get adequate nutrition eating dry food alone.
Raw meat, cooked meat, and canned food are generally better options than dry food, although the food quality is still very important.
It is NOT true that dry food is better for your dogs teeth! If you worry about dental hygiene give your dog dental chews!
If you do feed your dog kibble you can supplement it with raw or cooked meat or eggs (raw eggs are fine), leftovers, etc. and switch it up each week.
With a few exceptions, if it’s good for you it’s good for your dog (like fresh meat and vegetables with no additives).
I’m NOT talking about adding a spoonful of cottage cheese to get your dog to eat the dry food! I mean meat or something good, and a half and half mix!
Feeding your dog people food is not a bad thing as long as you put it in his bowl and don’t feed from the dinner table.
Feed three times a day, 8 hours apart. Your puppy is growing so quickly she needs constant nutrition throughout the day.
Go by the guidelines on the food for quantity and frequency based on your puppy’s weight.
If your puppy doesn’t eat her food within 20 to 30 minutes pick it up — don’t leave it out.
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