Bringing Your New Puppy Home
There is no doubt a new puppy brings great happiness to your home. They are a source of unconditional love and affection and provide many postive health benefits.
Puppies are a lot like babies in many ways. They eat, sleep and poop. Mostly, they sleep and as they age, they will start to play more. Puppies also, like children, can get tired, stressed and unfortunately, they sometimes can become sick.
As a new puppy owner, you must prepare for your new family member with the same diligence you would if you were to bring a new baby home. This will be a huge change for your puppy, at only a few weeks old, he is being moved to a completely new environment, with people he has never met before, so be patient if he doesn’t immediately take off playing or doesn’t warm up to you right away. Here are a few tips that will help your puppy with their big transition.
Keeping your puppy on the same food during their first few weeks will help with stress and gastrointestinal issues. We feed Nutrisource Small Medium Puppy food. We recommend having a bag of this when your puppy arrives and switch them over slowly. If you feed too much too soon, your pet could suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, excess gas, constipation, or diarrhea. This is true for treats also, do not give too many too soon. You may even want to wait until they are a little older.
Intestinal Bacteria Play An Important Role
Normal bacteria in the intestine help your puppy digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes in the number and type of bacteria, hindering their ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, your pet must be switched to a new food slowly.
A Gradual Change is Best
Switch to a new food gradually over the course of 7-10 days. Make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for three days. Then make it 50-50 for three days, then 75% new food and 25% old food for three more days. If your pet seems comfortable with this progression, you can start feeding 100% new food.
Shibas are Nibblers
This is probably the most asked question we get. He won’t eat very much or we are having to feed him out of our hand, what’s wrong? Shibas are nibblers, they get a kibble, eat it, play, sleep, get a kibble, eat it, sleep, play… you get the drift. As long as your puppy is eating something, is playful and active, is drinking water, and isn’t having diarrhea, your puppy is fine. If you do think your puppy is not eating at all, try warming the food up or add some healthy canned food with the dry dog food. Your puppy may not eat for the first few hours after getting to his new home, but will start to eat slowly as he settles in. Be aware of the signs of hypoglycemia and treatment. If you have any questions regarding your puppy’s eating, feel free to contact us.
The change of environment can cause other stress-related problems including Coccidiosis.
Young puppies are frequently infected with coccidia and often develop active Coccidiosis -- even puppies obtained from diligent professional breeders. Undeveloped immune systems make puppies more susceptible. Stress is the #1 Cause of flare-ups of Coccidiosis..... such as new owners, travel, weather changes, and unsanitary conditions are believed to activate infections in susceptible animals.
Symptoms in young dogs are universal: at some point around 2-3 months of age, an infected dog develops persistently loose stools. This diarrhea proceeds to stool containing liquid, thick mucus, and light colored fecal matter. As the infection progresses, spots of blood may become apparent in the stool, and sudden bowel movements may surprise both dog and owner alike. Coccidia infection is so common that any pup under 4 months old with these symptoms can almost surely be assumed to have coccidiosis.
Fortunately, the treatment is inexpensive, extremely effective, and routine. A veterinarian can easily diagnose the disease through low-powered microscopic examination of an affected dog's feces, which usually will be replete with oocysts. One of many easily administered and inexpensive drugs will be prescribed, and, in the course of just a few days, an infection will be eliminated or perhaps reduced to such a level that the dog's immune system can make its own progress against the infection. Even when an infection has progressed sufficiently that blood is present in feces, permanent damage to the gastrointestinal system is rare, and the dog will most likely make a complete recovery without long-lasting negative effects.
We diligently work to prevent this from occurring. We treat our puppies 3-5 days before shipping with Albon or Sulfa Trim to prevent, but Stress of travel can still flare Coccidia up.
We ask that when you take your puppy for a well-check to have their stool looked at, so that in case the puppy does develop this from all the stress he/she is under when going to a new home, you may easily catch and treat this before it becomes a problem.
We do not guarantee against coccidosis as we do everything we can to prevent it's occurrence, but feel if the puppy is checked out when purchased this should not become a major problem.
These physical problems are often brought on by unavoidable stress, and are similar to problems you might have if you were moving to a new area. Just like you, the puppy may not sleep or eat as regularly as it would in surroundings that are more familiar.
Some puppies ease through the transition to their new homes, while other may have a harder time. If stress-related problems are ignored, secondary problems can become serious, even life threatening.
Every puppy is different.
The puppy's diet should NEVER be changed rapidly. The puppy might not eat the strange new food, and if does eat, develop diarrhea leading to dehydration and other complications.
WATER IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD IN THE PUPPY’S EXCITED FIRST FEW HOURS IN ITS NEW HOME.
To encourage the pup to drink and reduce the risk of low blood sugar, you might put some honey in its mouth or on a dish. (Too much honey, however, will depress the appetite.) If the puppy does not eat after these methods have been tried, you might try warming the food. Many foods are coated with an outside flavor layer and its appeal is enhanced when warmed. You can also mix in some canned food, if you think your puppy is not eating at all.
Rest is very important to the puppy. Puppies generally sleep throughout the day, waking only to play for a short time, eat, and eliminate waste. Do not expect the puppy to run and play all day. A human baby does not play all day either. Treat your puppy just the same as if it was a newborn infant being brought home from the hospital, and you will not go wrong.
This page was added to help make the addition of your new family member a positive experience. Information listed above is correct and true to the best of our knowledge. We attempted to find legitimate websites with helpful information. This is in no way meant to replace medical advice of your veterinarian. This page is not all-inclsuive and so we encourage you to do your own research and talk with your veterinarian before your new puppy arrives.
Out and About
Your puppy has already been started on vaccinations and dewormings. We give a Bordatella vaccination at 3 weeks, Neopar at 4 weeks, a 5 way puppy shot at 6 weeks and 2 more 5 way vaccinations at 9 & 11 weeks. Your puppy has also been dewormed every 2 weeks since birth. Please take the included record to your vet so he can see what your puppy has already had and follow up accordingly. Please be careful when taking your new puppy out while he is still young. They do not have full protection from vaccinations until about 4 months of age. The germs that cause disease are everywhere and you can’t see them. If you take your puppy to the pet store or the vet, never put them on the floor. You just never know who was there before you and if they may have been sick. Dog parks are also a no no until your puppy is fully protected.
Potty training is a process, but one that must be carried out positively and consistently. It is accomplished by rewarding your puppy for eliminating where you want him to go and by preventing him from going in unacceptable places. You should keep crating and confinement to a minimum, but some amount of restriction is usually necessary for your puppy to learn to “hold it”, especially if someone is not able to keep an eye on them at all times. Some puppies learn at a very young age, while others take longer, most puppies can be reasonable
housetrained by 4-6 months of age. However, some puppies may not be 100% reliable until 8-12 months of age.
Take your puppy outside on a consistent schedule. Puppies should be taken out every hour, as well as shortly after meals, play and naps. All puppies should go out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and before being crated or left alone. Know where your puppy is at all times, watch for early signs that he needs to eliminate, so you can anticipate and prevent accidents from happening. These signs include pacing, whining, circling, sniffing or leaving the room. If you see any of these, take your puppy outside as quickly as possible.
Accompany your puppy outside and reward him whenever he eliminates outdoors with praise or treats (remember young puppies may not be able to tolerate a lot of treats). It’s best to take your puppy to the same place each time because the smells often prompt puppies to eliminate.
House training does require an investment of time and effort-but it can be done! If you’re consistent, your hard work will pay off. Hang in there! If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified professional.