Preparing for a new puppy, Part 2
The family should have a discussion regarding the topics below BEFORE the puppy comes home. House rules must be decided so that your puppy knows what is expected of him. If the family is undecided, then how your pup will ever know what is right?
I always crate train my pups so they will have a place to safely stay when they cannot be watched. It’s amazing the damage a pup can do in the amount of time it takes you to shower! It can be dangerous to your pup as well if they chew electric cords or get into something they shouldn’t. If you are in Kenya temporarily, then crate training will make it easier for your pup to travel happily when you fly home or to your next posting. Crates can be found at the pet store in Sarit Center or Dr Cockar Veterinary Clinic in Rosslyn Lone Tree. Check with your Vet, sometimes they will have used crates for sale. The East Africa Kennel Club sometimes has a list of used dog items for sale 020 386 6067. Or 020 209 2319 The airlines that fly here, SN Brussels and BA often have new crates for sale. The BA website even has a calculator to figure out the proper size for shipping a fully grown dog. Sometimes the breeder has a puppy size crate that they will loan you to get a start on crate training .Check under the Services section of this website for CRATE RENTAL if you would like to rent a crate for crate training your puppy.
Ask the breeder for a referral for a good Vet. If convenient, the breeders Vet may continue to see your puppy for final vaccinations. Be sure the Vet you choose is a licensed Vet; many guys go around by motorbike giving vaccinations and treating animals with little or no actual medical training. I prefer to use a Vet with good experience and that offers an on call Vet service for after hours emergencies. I also prefer to have my Vet close enough that in an emergency I can get there quickly during rush hour and safely in the event I have to drive in at night. Plan to take your puppy into the Vet within a few days of arriving home for a baseline visit to ensure all vaccinations so far have been given in the correct time frame so they are effective (take your vaccination booklet) and to see what vaccinations are next due. For example Rottweilers are usually given one extra Parvo jab due to Rotties being more susceptible to Parvo than most other breeds. Ask your Vet about the recommended de-worming schedule. Even puppies from a careful breeder should be wormed again as per your Vets recommendation. Ask about flea and tick preventative as well. Discuss proper feeding with your Vet, too. Growing puppies need quality food to grow properly.
Be sure to get an advance copy of the feeding schedule and what foods are being fed currently by the breeder so you have all items on hand before your puppy arrives. If your Vet recommends a different food, it’s best to stick to the breeder’s diet for several days or a week then gradually reducing the old diet and increasing the new diet until over the course of a week, the puppy is eating entirely the new diet. Too many changes all at once can upset your puppy’s stomach.
The family needs to decide where the puppy will sleep at night, inside the house or out. Crated or not, in the bedroom or in bed with the kids. THE SAFEST PLACE FOR YOUR DOG TO SLEEP AT NIGHT IS INSIDE, THIS IS ALSO THE MOST EFFECTICE PLACE FOR ANY DOG TO BE USEFULS AS AN EARLY WARNING OR DETERRENT. There have been many instances of dogs poisoned either due to nuisance barking that disturbed neighbors or an attempted break-in in where poisoned meat was chucked over the fence. Many people think that the mark of a good dog owner is whether the dog is or isn’t allowed on the furniture or in the family bed. In reality, it’s the day to day life that makes a difference. Quality time spent with the dog, training time or doing fun things. Proper Vet care and feeding are better markers as to the kind of pet owner you are.
HOUSETRAINING (outdoor toileting)
I have trained many, many puppies and even adult dogs to toilet outside. I have found that if you stick to it diligently round the clock for 2 weeks you can almost be accident free at the end of 2 weeks. Going outside with the pup on a schedule ( I set my phone alarm to remind me to take the dog out on a schedule in case I get busy and lose track of time) going to the same place each time and giving a command all speed up the process; as do eagle eyed attention and crate training. Puppies need to go right out after they awaken, after they eat and after a play session. As a rule of thumb a puppy can only wait 1 hour for each month of its life plus one more hour. If you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks, it needs to go out every three hours EVEN AT NIGHT You may get very lucky and have a puppy that can wait for 5 or 6 hours. But you cannot expect it! So, as a family, you need to decide who is responsible for taking the puppy out during what times of the day and night.