Updated: Sep 27
I'm sure you and your family are over the moon about bringing your puppy home. However, your puppy may be confused as to what is going on. Changing environments and leaving the only home they’ve ever known is stressful for any puppy. It is completely normal if the puppy acts shy, refuses to eat much for the first few days, has diarrhea, or cries the first few nights sleeping alone. Please try not to take it personally if it takes them a few days to warm up to you and the place you've prepared for them to live. To comfort your puppy you can order a snuggle puppy that mimics the warmth and heartbeats of their litter mates and you can give them the blanket (included in your take-home bag) that smells like home.
It is necessary to take your new puppy to the vet for a wellness exam within the first three days to establish care with a vet you trust and keep them on track with vaccines, heartworm, flea & tick prevention and parasite management. I do recommend continuing the deworming schedule every 2 weeks until they reach 12 weeks of age. Please read this blog to familiarize yourself with Parasite Management Protocols, so you can plan & prevent puppy parasite infections.
WARNING: Until your puppy receives the full series of parvovirus vaccines, it’s best to only allow your puppy to meet dogs who are up-to-date on vaccines and avoid highly populated or wet outdoor areas (parvo can live in the grass) like dog parks and not placing your puppy on the floor at the vet (where sick dogs go). All of our puppies have been recently vaccinated and can have FALSE positive parvo test results due to being injected with a live modified parvovirus, which protects them. Be sure to share your puppy's health record and vaccine history with your vet prior. Your pup comes with 30 days of free Trupanion insurance as long as you activate it within 24 hours of taking your puppy home, so please don't forget to do that here with code BR1TP31121. This insurance covers every type of emergency (but doesn't include wellness exams) and expires after 30 days, so it would be good to consider if you want to continue keeping your puppy insured or if you want to set aside an emergency fund for them.
We feed our puppies the Pawtree whitefish and brown rice kibble three times a day (morning, noon, and night). We allow them to eat as much as they want for 30 minutes and then immediately take them out to go potty. We use the phrase “go potty” to ask them to go to the bathroom. If you need to refresh on the potty training tips, click here. It is normal for an 8-week-old puppy to need to be taken out to potty once during the night. By 10 weeks, they should be able to sleep through the entire night as long as you don't feed them right before bed.
MANAGING LOOSE STOOLS
From time to time, every puppy gets an upset tummy. Whether the cause is stress-induced, due to consuming too many treats, passing pieces of toys, or eating something unusual outside. Loose stools are no fun for puppy parents, so I recommend keeping some natural remedies on hand because once you need them waiting for them to arrive feels like an eternity once you are in need. While your puppy's tummy is upset, feeding them homemade dog food of 50% rice and 50% ground beef is recommended. Don't add any spices or veggies to this recipe, as it is intentionally bland. To help your puppy reset their gut flora, you can support their digestive system with pre-biotics that contain soothing pectin (linked here) and administer a pumpkin pro-biotic (linked here). If the diarrhea is pervasive, you can bring a stool sample to your vet and they can test for parasites. To learn about the truth about puppy parasites and how to prevent them, click here.
TEETHING & TRAINING:
Now that you have your puppy, if you haven't already signed up for training, now is a great time to do so. Most people attend in-person classes or do the Baxter and Bella online program (discount code Teddypuppies). Boarding and training is another option for busy families. I’m sure you’ve already puppy-proofed your home and are thinking about ways to make them comfortable. Your puppy will be teething and of course, if they nibble on your hands or an off-limits object you can tell them no. However, it is important to give them something they should be chewing on. You don’t want to give dog toys that will crack or splinter into small pieces like rawhide, so we recommend Yak chews. Over time if a toy becomes smaller it is important to take it away before it could be ingested. Your new puppy has razor-sharp teeth and I wouldn’t recommend giving them plush bedding or anything that has small pieces they can break off and potentially choke on. Some doodles are allergic to chicken, so we recommend treats like these freeze-dried fish and CBD treats here.
If you want to learn about how to teach your puppy to stop biting during the teething phase, click here to check that resource out.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PUP
Like babies, puppies also cannot communicate with words. They communicate by acting out and it is our job as pet-parents to understand what they need. If they are crying in the cage, do they need more exercise before going to bed? Sometimes it can feel like a guessing game trying different things, but taking the time to be intentional to understand what your puppy needs will help you build trust with them and grow together. We highly recommend working with a professional trainer on your puppy-raising journey and being proactive about cultivating the life you'd like to have with your dog. Set the necessary boundaries up front and working hard training them in the first year will bring you joy in the years to come.
If you have other questions about caring for your fur baby, check out all the blogs at www.teddypuppies.com/blog