Basic Puppy Care – First Weeks
August 17, 2021
After choosing the puppy of your dreams it’s time to go home and raise your new pooch into a well behaved and happy member of your family.
The first night is always hard because your puppy will miss their Mum and siblings. They may cry or whine throughout the night, but if you run to your puppy whenever they cry, you may be reinforcing the habit.
On the first night, and for about three weeks, have the puppy sleep in a dog crate. Line the base with blankets so that it’s cosy and drape another blanket over the top to help your pup feel more secure. Try giving your puppy a cloth or stuffed toy that has their littermates’ scent on it to snuggle up to.
Puppies are mischievous by nature and will get into everything. Be sure that hazardous items like marbles, wires, rocks, and any type of harmful plants are far out of your puppies way.
Scolding your pup should be just like telling a child no. However, when you say NO, you should demonstrate the correct behavior. For example, if your pup is chewing up the newspaper, take it away and replace it with a favourite toy and then provide lots of praise when they get it right.
Reprimands should be sharp and short. Hitting or spanking may create more problems down the road and your pup can become fearful, shy or aggressive. Always reward for proper behaviors. Treats make a great reinforcer and so is a simple scratch between the ears and a hug.
Feed your pup dry food especially made for puppies, two or three times each day. Watch out for very high protein and extra vitamins as they may be harmful to your growing puppy. Usually after fifteen minutes, the pup will have eaten all they want, so you can remove the dish. As they grow, after ten to twelve weeks of age you can change to feeding them once in the morning and once at night.
All of these should help your new pup get through those first horrible weeks away from their family.
The bond that you start to form in the first weeks will last a lifetime.